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Written By: Indranil Roy

Forbes Facility Services Pvt. Ltd. along with the Govt. of India (GOI) proudly confers their joy, on achieving the 8 Blue Flag Certification, in a single attempt. Eight beaches were selected for this acknowledgement, namely Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands). FFSL stands proud of managing three of these internationally acclaimed beaches – Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu) and Kasarkod (Karnataka). FFSL was working with the Ministry of Environment (GOI) on this project for the last four years.

Managing a beach isn’t a cakewalk, as it requires a result-oriented framework and skilled people, which unfortunately wasn’t available. Hence, FFSL had to start from scratch, working on building an adroit team, convincing the locals about the need and efficiency of beach cleaning. Another thing they did was, acknowledging every cleaner as an ambassador of the Blue Flag Project, which deliberately charged them up. FFSL fostered all kinds of maintenance and associated supports to every crewmate, who put their hard work and sweat into the fruition of this project.

The coveted blue flag recognition is the world’s foremost certification that covers Beaches, Marinas, and Sustainable Boating Tourism Operators. The accreditation includes stringent quality parameters – environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility, that has to be followed without any exception. The international jury of this certification included eminent members from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The certification is conveyed conferred, by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education.

From Mechanized Housekeeping, Operation and Maintenance, Food Service, Offshore Service Management, Guesthouse Management, Horticulture, to Façade Cleaning and Pest Control, all are governed by FFSL. Incepted in 2005, FFSL is an inclusive part of the famous Eureka Forbes Group and carries the corporate lineage of Shapoorji Pallonji Group. With a demonstrated history of spectacular solutions, FFSL has allied with all industrial verticals ranging from the manufacturing sector to hospitals, hotels, schools and many more. Its quality and commitment to solutions are fortified with certifications, namely ISO:9001, 18001, 14001 and 22000. Now, with the 8 Blue Flag recognition, it’s aiming to become more polished. FFSL carries the same vision as its parent body, “A Happy, Healthy and Safe Pollution-Free Environment based on Trust and Lasting Relationships with Customers”.

When the project was still on paper, FFSL had projected a significant infrastructure development required for its fruition. This made them bring Eureka Forbes on board not only for being its parent body but for being the foremost provider of infrastructure. Syncing with the parent body gave FFSL a major upper hand with respect to technical support. “It was a great opportunity where the parent company and the sister concern had jointly taken up a project and successfully completed it. So, that gives us a great sense of achievement or synergy within the group”, acknowledges Rajiv Julka, one of the leading executives in this project.

Convincing locals about the project and marshalling a team of like-minded people, were the two significant challenges, for FFSL. Since this was a pilot project, only four beaches were initially selected that too under strict criteria. The focus was to revamp these beaches to an international level. The locals around the beaches had a stringent ambiguity regarding this project; as such, convincing them that this is something worth doing and has a definite significance on the environment was a daunting task. However, FFSL’s core motivation drove their energy; first, they did in-depth research on what they are trying to achieve. Then, they forayed to make the locals understand the project and build a team of people, having the will and passion towards it. Around 400-500 arduous people were selected (98% local), and FFSL put a considerable effort into training them. Govt. bodies like the BMC and the Collector also took a great interest in the project, which helped them addressing compliances.

Accomplishing this project has upscaled FFSL’s already-attained position – a notch higher. The Company proudly stands as the cloud borders of its segment and has a history of building the business of many renowned companies. Originating from the industrial pioneer – Eureka Forbes, the Company already has a revered presence for its mechanised cleaning and other housekeeping solutions in diverse industries. Now with recognition on cleaning and maintaining beaches with industrial-grade equipment, FFSL has built strong roots in a much-untapped avenue.

The manufacturing space was widely affected, by the pandemic. Whether its economy, employment or movement of materials, everything faced an unprecedented halt. On top of that, the physical movement was strictly restricted, further increasing the problem by a level. However, FFSL carried a boiling desire to see the successful completion of this project. As such, with an iron will the entire team worked meticulously towards their individual roles and responsibilities. People working at the sites were safeguarded with all preventive measures and Govt. guidelines. Being a significant part of the Country’s economy, some of their services were permitted, with special guidelines off course. FFSL leveraged on digital communication to monitor the daily progress of work and further to stay unified.

The safety measures were also rigorously implanted in their offices. Only 15% to 30% of the employees were allowed at the office. Daily sanitization of premises was done to ensure everyone’s safety. The Company also formed a special team, who conducted sanitization programs in other companies. A scalable number of their people across branches did get affected. However, FFSL ensured all the medical facilities and support needed to cure the affected.

Along with the prized milestones that include PAN India presence across 100+ cities, a client base 260 + at 400+ sites, 95% client retention rate, 6000+ dedicated people, ability to serve 65000+ meals/day, managing over 72 million sq ft. of structures, 100% compliance norms and an eminent overseas presence, FFSL has been bestowed with many revered accolades. The Company is the first to win the prestigious IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award. Also, for their astounding efforts in the outbreak, FFSL was given the Safety Award, by Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd., Warriors of COVID-19 by Mankind Pharma and COVID-19 Braveheart by Mondelez.

With a corporate lineage of 150 years, and exceptional maintenance of three ‘Blue Flag’ beaches Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu) and Kasarkod (Karnataka), FFSL sets eye on GOI’s intent to develop – 100 more beaches. The effective transformation of these three beaches has made the locals aware, and they’re approaching the GOI  To keep working on this activity. This growing demand is building a propelling pipeline for FFSL. Working in synergy with Environment Ministry and GOI, FFSL envisions to revamp the face of – 40 more beaches, in the coming years.


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