New Delhi: The $15 billion-organised facilities management (FM) segment is likely to benefit the most from the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country as businesses resume operations and citizens begin to adjust to the new normal, industry experts said.
Maintenance costs, however, are likely to rise by 5-10 per cent to keep buildings safe, hygienic and coronavirus-free, they said. Health and wellness have now become priorities in housing and commercial complexes — a development that will immensely help the FM business.
Industry players said that their employees deployed to manage these facilities are acting as frontline warriors during this pandemic.
According to Knight Frank India, the organised FM market size is around $14.98 billion. The total area of management under organised FM is 3,000 million sq ft. Portfolio share with respect to office is around 65 per cent, retail 10 per cent and residential around 25 per cent.
With health and wellness becoming key focus areas, organisations may prefer to hire professional and trained facilities managers to drive such initiatives, said Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & CEO – India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa, CBRE.
“The role of FM services providers can become more strategic and long-term in nature with facets like hygiene and safety gaining importance for everyone,” he said, adding that the organised FM business would witness growth and be required to hire trained people, deploy technology-based and customised solutions.
Currently, CBRE India provides services to more than 200 buildings and handles an area of over 300 million square feet.
JLL India, which manages 420 million sq ft area, too said that maintenance cost would rise.
“FM is playing a leading role in ensuring the health, wellbeing and safety of people as well as in planning for the new, post-COVID-19 workplace of the future,” said Sandeep Sethi, Managing Director, Corporate Solutions, West Asia, JLL.
The enhanced COVID-19 protocols encompass several measures related to health and safety for all facility management teams, security protocols, thermal scanners and deep sanitisation which could spike up maintenance costs, Sethi said.
Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director – IFM and asset Services, Cushman and Wakefield, said earlier the FM used to be primarily all about the general upkeep, security and maintenance of the facilities, but now the level of sanitisation, hygiene, ensuring a safe secure work environment, mitigating transmission/contamination of facilities moves centre stage.
C&W manages 150 million sq ft area in India.