29 May 2020

Table of Contents for Cover Story

Interview - Varun Karthikeyan R (Roots Multiclean)

We will offer every support to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Roots Multiclean Ltd (RMCL) started manufacture of mechanised cleaning equipment in the early 1990s through a techno-financial collaboration with Hako Werke, Germany. The alliance became one of the most successful in the Indian industry. Today, RMCL has grown into a leader in the Indian cleaning equipment manufacturing industry and has a significant market presence in the world market. Its domain expertise spans design, development and manufacture of cleaning equipment. VARUN KARTHIKEYAN R, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ROOTS MULTICLEAN responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES queries on the role played by his organisation in the country’s cleantech market. 

Tell us about the role played by your company in the clean environment space and tell us about the various products and solutions you offer?

Understanding the need for cleanliness and hygiene, Roots Multiclean Ltd (RMCL) ventured into the manufacturing of mechanised cleaning equipment’s in India way back in 1990. For more than two decades we have been manufacturing and selling cleaning machines for sweeping, scrubbing, vacuuming and general cleaning. These machines are in use in all types of industries like engineering, automobile, food processing, pharma, hotels, hospitals, highways, railways, airports and in defence establishments.  We have a huge variety of machines specific to the application and the cleaning requirements. For example, we have a range which is specific to sweeping open areas like roads, alleys, streets, walk ways, parking lots and another which is meant to scrub all types of floors like epoxy, marble, tiles, granite etc. Depending on the size of the area we recommend a smaller machine or a bigger one so that the area can be cleaned in a quick and a cost effective manner. We also have a wide range of other products like commercial and Industrial vacuum cleaners, mops and trolley systems etc. We also have a specialised range of products for municipality road cleaning which are real heavy duty truck mounted road sweepers to clean very large areas.


Give us an understanding of your manufacturing facilities, their capacities, and investments?

Our state of art manufacturing factory has a built up area of 85000 sqft. Our factory is located at Kovilpalayam which is 35 km away from the city of Coimbatore. Our shop floor has state of the art equipment which comprises sheet cutting machines, bending machines, array of welding stations and semi–automated powder coating unit. We produce over 150 varieties of cleaning machines from our factory. We also conform to the highest quality systems and standards in par with other international companies of the same field. We are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 certified. We have a very strong R&D and continue to invest heavily in research and development.


Which are the projects which your products and solutions have supported?

From day one, we have been supporting various projects. In the government sector we have worked very closely with Indian Railways during thei r drive in 1997. We have tied up with the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) for various solutions to clean their roads and alleyways. We also have our machines running in almost all Delhi metro stations, which ensure that the stations are kept neat and tidy despite the heavy footfalls. For the Commonwealth Games we were one of the cleaning machines suppliers to keep the city clean and tidy. We have been providing one stop solutions to thousands of corporates – customers like Maruti Suzuki, Daimler Benz, Tata Motors, Jindal Steel, Apollo tires, MRF tyres, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, BMW, Bosch, Mercedes Benz, Mahindra & Mahindra and Volkswagen.


Tell us about the markets for your products and your strategies to push your products and solutions further?

Our cleaning machines are extensively used by all types of environments, for both indoor cleaning as well as outdoor cleaning. Awareness to keep the environment clean is growing steadily and we have been constantly working with various agencies to increase the same.  We participate in fairs, exhibitions and conduct promotional events on a pan-India basis wherever opportunity arises.

What is the cost of your solutions and how much does cost dictate market demand. How can such technology be made available to all across the country?

Cost is definitely a key factor and India being a very cost conscious market, we focus on delivering machines which are not only cost competitive but also very durable and robust enough to weather tough Indian conditions. Although people are aware of different technologies available for cleaning, cost being a deciding factor, many of them still opt for manual cleaning. But the days are not far off where mechanised cleaning will be the only way forward to have a cleaner environment. We are already starting to have manpower shortages for such manual cleaning. As time goes on it will become more and more difficult to find people to do manual cleaning.


What kind of a role does your company expect to play in the new cleanliness thrust launched by the prime minister? What are the new opportunities you will be seeking and do you have a specific plan of action to address them?

We must really compliment the new government at the Centre for taking such an excellent and a much needed initiative. As a leading Indian cleaning machinery manufacturer we will provide our best possible support to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a very important project. It is imperative to keep homes, workplaces common areas clean. We see a huge potential for sweepers, scrubbers, vacuum cleaners and general cleaning tools. We will certainly take a deep look into the same and do whatever is needed.


What in your view will be the challenges for the Cleanliness campaign? What are the must do steps for the government to address the fault zones?

In India, all such campaign starts with great euphoria, the engine starts losing its steam over a period of time. The government needs to ensure that doesn’t happen. Cleanliness campaign being a social initiative, a larger role has to be played by industries, educational Institutions, service organisations and government establishments. A support mechanism needs to the evolved so that everyone is involved in this great movement.


What are you going to do to raise the profile of your company in the coming days?

We at Roots Multiclean have always believed that the only way to raise the value of our company is to provide more value to the customer. This has been our mantra and we have been doing this since the inception and will continue to do so. We want to offer more value in terms of lesser cost, more durability, less service issues and finally the least cost of ownership to the customer. 

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