In 2003, there was an unforeseen change at Parliament House: Members of Parliament noticed that the insides of the building, cleaned by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), looked like they could do with some more scrubbing, while the areas around the library and the annex had taken on a brand new squeaky clean finish.
The CPWD, which had been cleaning government buildings in Lutyens Delhi since Independence, had outsourced part of their job to a little known company from Pune, Bharat Vikas India. Armed with high-pressure water jets and industrial vacuum cleaners, instead of the usual brooms and mops, Bharat Vikas managed to make such an impression on the MPs that they asked the firm to bid for contracts for the main Parliament building, Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Prime Minister’s residence.
It has been eight years, and two governments, since then. But no matter who has held the purse strings, Bharat Vikas has bagged the contract each time. “Given that the Parliament is a very sensitive location to operate in, I would say their performance has been good,” says Neeraj Dasandani, executive engineer, CPWD.
Winning the bid to clean India’s highest corridors of power helped Bharat Vikas Group (BVG), the holding company, write its own success story and become the largest housekeeping company in India.
But, in 2003, winning the bid to clean the Parliament House brought its own problem. It was a small company, with revenue of less than Rs. 10 crore, and bidding for the six-month contract would need an upfront investment of Rs. 50 lakh in equipment.
While some within the company balked at the cost, BVG founder Hanmant Gaikwad was convinced. “If we did good work, I saw no reason why the contract would not be renewed,” he says. This decision saw the company increase its revenue from Rs. 16 crore in 2005 to more than Rs. 400 crore in 2010. He has also attracted private equity investments from Kotak Private Equity and 3i Capital.
Equity infusion is what will propel the company into a full-service facilities management company, believes Gaikwad, and is the only way he can maintain high profitability in an industry known for sub-scale players and low profitability. “I won’t be surprised if we clock Rs. 2,500 crore in the next five years,” he says.
With 25,000 employees, BVG is not a large company. But India’s facilities management services (FMS) industry — estimated to be worth $2.85 billion by 2012, according to a Grant and Thornton report — is highly fragmented. It has just about 15 organised players (who have less than 10 percent of the market share) and 500 small operators, among whom many have struggled to grow.
The 38-year-old Gaikwad’s success has more to it than a good business decision. His childhood in Pune had been a tough one: A chronically ill father had depleted the family savings and, on his father’s death, he was left scrounging for his fees in the third year of college. Unable to afford the Re. 1 bus fare to college on most days, he cycled 21 km each way.
Former colleagues remember Gaikwad as a man in a hurry. But until 1997, he — an engineer at the Pune Tata Motors plant for three years by then — had no idea he would get into the business of cleaning.
In 1997, a couple of events changed the course of his career.
Gaikwad and a colleague, Ganesh Limaye, saved the Tata Motors management Rs. 2 crore by suggesting ways to use old electric cables worth Rs. 2-3 crore that were simply going to waste at the plant. “At that time, no one would bother with old cables,” says Limaye, now in charge of BVG’s purchases. Gaikwad and Limaye studied the cables and realised they could be used for new car models after some modifications. This won Gaikwad instant recognition from his employers and this would help him in future deals and projects.
The second incident was when some people from Gaikwad’s native village in Satara, Maharashtra, approached him for jobs at Tata Motors. The plant management agreed to hire eight of them, but could not employ them on the company rolls. Gaikwad suggested that he could employ the people in a trust he had registered and Tata Motors could pay the trust. Given their confidence in him, Tata Motors not only accepted his suggestion but also helped him get Rs. 60 lakh in loan from Tata Finance to buy cleaning equipment.
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(This story appears in the 20 May, 2011 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)
winner don\'t do different things, they do things differently totally belongs to you. hats off to you sir...... feel proud to b a part of bvg pariwaron Jul 15, 2014
what a great journey salam u hanmant siron Mar 13, 2014
I saw your interview on ABP maja. It is a very inspiring success story. I am very proud of you as you are a great entrepreneur and the big boss of Maharashtra.on Nov 3, 2013
Congratulations, I saw your inteview on abp maja, amazing success story of one maharashtrian. Wishing you a very happy and prosperous diwali.on Nov 3, 2013
I am really thankful to this company, because I am in this company on House Boy post at AIIMS Delhi from las two years. Gaikwad sir, I am thanking to you for giving me a Chance in your companyon May 29, 2013
Hats off to you Mr. Gaikwad sir i am your fan and attending an interview in your company tomorrow. if i get the job over there i will be very proud of myself for working in BVG.on Mar 20, 2013
I am really thankful to this company, because I am in this company on supervisory post , I am never forget giving me this job opportunity, I am really great full for this company.......................... Thanking you BHUPENDER KUMAR S/O SH. HARI KISHAN SUPERVISORon May 14, 2012
Truly motivationalon Mar 27, 2012
I am really proud of you sir, because you are generating employment to B P L people. I think Now they are not in BELOW POVERTY LINE(BPL). And You are feeding them twice in a day. And I Thankfull to FORBES INDIA for Publish about Mr.Gaikwad jion Jan 13, 2012
Sir., I am really proud of you, generating employment to needy people., also uplifting the BVG pariwar families., one should read this article and learn how to serve ourselves to our nation.on Jan 11, 2012
Truly motivational story... Would love to hear more about such an incredible organization.on Oct 7, 2011
BVG is a very good platform for every young Bvgians and I am proud of to take this oppurtunity share my views to all BVG Pariwar. Thanks, Suryamani Sahu Delhi.on Aug 12, 2011
dear sir, just today i read your success story in Rashmi banshal's book n tonight i search you on google.....really, i'm inspired by your imagination......big salute to you sir!!!on Jul 20, 2011
I wish every young lad in India should take this as an example and create his/her own destny. Hard work always payson May 30, 2011
Nothing is impossible... Because we are Bvg.on May 20, 2011
Dear Sir,You are best leader in the world.on May 11, 2011