As they say, “Prevention is better than cure”. Having a clean environment is a good habit which can enhance the quality of our life. As a service provider, Al Najma Al Fareeda International Group believes that maintaining a clean environment can pay for itself many times over. Effective cleaning is an important part of creating a healthier environment by eliminating contaminants that can make people sick. Lack of hygiene and cleanliness is an open invitation to infectious disease.
The cleaning and hygiene industry is a growing industry as it is the basic requirement for any premises to maintain it clean and neat. With so many new firms originating day after day, the standard in maintaining the facilities have now become more challenging. However Al Najma Al Fareeda has made it a point to provide quality and sustainable cleaning through their service framework. So this month, we spoke to Mr. Jamal Haja Mohideen, Chief Executive Officer at Al Najma Al Fareeda to understand the different ways this quality is being maintained by the giant group, how the demand has changed in recent times and a lot more!
The changing demand
Cleanliness will always be a necessity that never goes out of style. Jamal believes that there is a consistent demand for soft FM services as it’s a highly competitive market. The market has been benefiting due to the rise in demand as people now have busier lives and the commercial sectors are mostly approaching professional cleaning services.
Other than that, COVID-19 has deeply affected operations and businesses across all sectors of the world and hence it is causing a high rise in option for services through cleaning companies.
Changing client expectations
The impact of COVID-19 has been immensely felt by all the businesses across the globe. Despite an obvious need for increased cleaning practices, cleaning companies are no exception. “Due to the advice of the work-from-home policy, many facilities have been left empty, reducing the demand for office cleaning services. While some of our customers invest in highly visible cleaning and quality standards look. There is a high request for sanitation due to the pandemic. Our customers have never stopped believing in our professional expertise and capabilities,” says Jamal.
Al Najma Al Fareeda has a growing awareness of how cleaning can reduce risk. In the early stages of the global pandemic, information about the virus and how to combat the spread of the infection was unclear and changing by the day. This varying information left the world struggling in understanding the best way to enhance health and safety procedures. At this crucial time, Al Najma Al Fareeda made it a point to focus on the cleaning of critical touch areas due to the high risk. The frequency of cleaning was increased to reduce risk of infection. The social and economic challenges posed due to COVID-19 have emphasized on the true value of identifying a business strength and weakness as well as recognizing and mitigating risk.
The key challenges in cleaning and FM operations
Manpower shortage is one of the biggest challenges faced in the service industry. While the other challenges faced are mostly the workforce qualification is often poor, language barrier causing difficulties in communicating. Also, some factors that can greatly affect the performance of similar industries, pricing, economy, regulations, pandemic and others.
“I believe in making a difference, being open to change, meeting challenges, learning from experiences and the ability to be flexible and adapt to the demands that are offered in the challenges. There has been a high rise in the number of Facilities Management companies operating in the UAE. This has led to great competition between the companies. The industry is large and the occurrence of a high number of service providers has crowded the market. There are companies that provide extremely low rates which weaken established companies. However, it's not simply about the monetary cost, the best service is possible with receptive client support and engagement of the customers. Our cleaning team is constantly trained to ensure quality of service and customer satisfaction. Retaining long term employees and customers is our key business objective,” says Jamal.
Training the cleaning staff
Training is very critical in ensuring highly professional cleaning staff. Al Najma Al Fareeda has a BICSc Certified Trainer exclusively to train the cleaning staff. They have a dedicated training centre in their premises with sophisticated technology. Development training programs are arranged for the cleaning staff which can help them in improving their performance and expanding their knowledge.
Al Najma Al Fareeda has noticed that training the cleaning staff has led them in maintaining the customer place cleaner, fewer accidents, faster cleaning, improving employee retention and has helped them with a more professional cleaning team. The cleaning team is motivated and encouraged to build a rapport with the client so they can be attentive to customers needs and expectations. To make it more effective, the cleaners are given a checklist and are trained in following it.
Sometimes, accidents happen, and the team is trained how to handle the situation professionally. “We are constantly working on upgrading our employee’s skills. We also encourage our cleaning team to give their feedback during training to reap the benefits of the training sessions. As a result of our rigorous training programmes, we always aim to exceed the cleaning standards of the British Institute of Cleaning Science,” says Jamal.
The Expo 2020 impact
EXPO 2020 is a ground-breaking event for UAE, being the first Middle East country to host the convention. Surely, UAE will bring diverse opportunities during and after EXPO 2020. Al Najma Al Fareeda got the opportunity of providing our services in some of the pavilions at EXPO 2020 and we are highly optimistic and expecting more prospects. EXPO 2020 will definitely have a significant impact on the country with massive change expected in almost every business sector of UAE.
The future of cleaning
Trends in the cleaning industry are changing over time as the needs and desires of modern businesses evolve. It is essential for all the cleaning service providers to stay up to date with these industry trends and adapt their practices to account for the unique demands of the market. The pandemic has placed cleaning and hygiene at the peak of the program. It has reminded everyone the importance of cleaning and the people working in this sector protecting health and safety. Moving forward, it is expected to see increased and constant investment in the cleaning industry which will create more job opportunities along with the adoption of advanced technological solutions which will help the cleaning operations team to deliver a higher standard level of service.
Al Najma Al Fareeda - cleaning and soft FM services
Al Najma Al Fareeda offers a fully integrated service. However, the company has built their core competence of daily cleaning including interior and exterior cleaning services for government, commercial, residential, schools, hospitals and industrial properties. They work with their customers closely and suggest remedies or improvements as and when they arise. As a leading provider of Facilities Management services, Al Najma Al Fareeda is focused on delivering outstanding service everyday to every client. Their services include office cleaning services, reception/ concierge, service desk cleaning, pest control, façade and external glass cleaning, sanitization and security services.
Jamal believes that in order for a facilities management company to operate effectively, it requires administration of both hard and soft FM services. Thus, he has invested in the best equipped team of FM specialists from different fields of expertise to cater all the needs of our customers. Cleaning Services are customized for hospitals, educational, residential and commercial facilities through customized programs. A thorough and regularly scheduled maintenance program for restrooms is offered. Disinfection procedures are offered with Dubai Municipality certified products to minimize the spread of germs. The company also offers a specialised service of external cleaning through rope access.
“We have highly efficient and disciplined IRATA certified personnel who are always geared up to provide safe, environmentfriendly, quick and quality services at any dangerous peak much to the satisfaction of our valued customers. We are committed to health and safety and train our staff in IRATA audited and approved training centers,” adds Jamal.
Jamal has acted asa catalyst in building Al Najma Al Fareeda Group since its inception. As the first employee of ANAF Group, he was selected solely for marketing ANAF Services. To start from zero to 300+ customers, he was able to drive the ANAF Group into one of the leading Soft Service Providers in the FM industry. When ANAF was started as a family business, no one had any relevant experience in the soft service industry. Without any relevant experience the organization started as a cleaning company and now has diversified as a full-fledged TFM Service Provider. When Jamal started this journey, he neither had a formal qualification related to this industry nor any relevant experience. Today, he has spent 21 years in this company and led it on various fronts - marketing, operations and more.
Under his leadership, Al Najma Al Fareeda has diversified its operations globally namely opening of Al Fareeda Hyper Market, AL Fareeda Silks. In the FM Industry in UAE, they have restructured our FM operations. Iconic customers like Majid Al Futtaim (VOX Cinemas, Magic Planer, Fashion stores, MAF Properties, Ski Dubai), EXPO 2020, Dubai Municipality were all acquired.
Al Najma Al Fareeda is the fifth company to be listed in Dubai Municipality as an approved disinfection service provider. Since then, they have done a business volume of more than 3 million in this service alone.