Rupal Sinha, CEO- IFMS, Quess Corp

Rupal Sinha is an experienced and highly driven professional with 25 years of leading industry expertise in start-ups, turnarounds, creating joint venture partnerships, and driving sustainable, scalable growth and expansion in dynamic and changing domestic and international marketplaces. Rupal joined Quess in April 2020 as Director of IFMS. Before that, she held several flourishing legal positions at G4S, including the Regional Managing Director for India, and was the Managing Director at OCS Group Ltd for South Asia. Rupal is a Commerce graduate with a degree in Company Secretary and Law in Strategic Management from Stanford University.

 

While the onslaught of the mutated variants of the COVID-19 virus has warranted constant efforts to continue the upgrade in protocols as a preventive tactic against the pandemic, the government’s vaccination drives have instilled confidence in the education sector to bring about a “return to study” with new norms of hygiene and safety, as well as infection control protocols to ensure a healthy environment on premises and in transit.

For educational institutes with on campus residence, the emphasis is on providing student facilities with safety and health standards of formidable levels, for the wellbeing of their students and occupants. The goal of facility management companies is therefore to relieve the management of cumbersome activities related to support services and allowing them to dedicate their focus to core responsibilities related to student education.

One of the chief draws of automation is that it frees up human talent to do what humans do best – ingeniously plan, cleverly service clients, and creatively innovate. Automation being key, a number of trends are seen in smart cleaning, with semi-automatic to robotic machines in common areas, and sustainable solutions aimed at productivity, efficiency and conservation through an increased use of green products.

In line with efforts towards maintaining occupational safety standards, the introduction of UVC systems has seen a huge uptick to sterilize luggage and avoid any contamination at the time of entry to hostel premises. Further, onsite food services are using UVC technology at various stages of preparation to ensure that healthy and sterilized food is serviced to students, faculty and other visitors.

Air quality is another area of concern that has always been critical. Most health hazards are caused due to poor indoor air quality and hence, treated air with new age UVC filters in HVAC system can ensure Particular Matter (PM) levels of 2.5 or less, which is best suited for occupants in classrooms and other areas of usage. A well maintained indoor air system can significantly reduce the spread of any virus, pathogens, and bacteria while ensuring healthy air flow.

In today’s post pandemic environment, it is imperative that education infrastructure facilitate both physical distancing as well as hygiene protocols. For instance, application-based attendance, designated entrances and exits for different student cohorts, sectioned off common spaces, and floor markings to direct foot-traffic flows can help students and staff maintain adequate distance. Similarly, portable hand-sanitizing stations at entrances and common areas can promote regular hygiene—and all of these changes may be made at a reasonable cost.

School transportation plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of students and therefore needs to maintain a high level of hygiene with constant sanitisation for on-boarders. There are a number of new-age chemicals that can be applied at various touch points in a transport vehicle to substantially reduce the spread of any form of virus or bacteria.

Measurable results can be derived by leveraging facility management technology available today, through an integrated facilities platform that brings together various technologies available on site, bringing better management, quality service and lower operating cost over a period of time.

While technologies currently available are still maturing for the FM industry, it is the need of the hour to be pragmatic about the requirements of different customers, who tend to be at different phases of technology adoption, across their facilities and the asset management spectrum across sectors.

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