Karandeep currently Heads the Operations (West Region) at Embassy Services Pvt. Ltd. – Property Management arm of the Real Estate mammoth, the Embassy Group. ESPL currently has presence across 11 states with over 100 Million Sft AUM across all verticals of Real Estate. Handling 15 Million Sft under his portfolio for IFM and PAM, he is responsible for managing the CRM, Financial Management, P&L Analysis of West Region, driving operations with cost effective solutions, building value adds, technology integration and new business development.
Heraclitus once proclaimed, “Change is the only constant” – these words ring true as the world gradually gets back to normalcy. Students are thrilled to get back to school after an extended period of virtual learning. From being confined to one’s home with the constant company of gadgets to a healthier environment with peers to study, learn and play together, is a welcome change. Educational institutions are coming up with innovative strategies by integrating various measures to ensure a seamless progression.
To bolster these measures, Institutions are employing Integrated Facility Management Services (IFMS) to secure students on their move back to school and create a conducive environment that fosters safety, comfort, and productivity. Facility management plays a vital role in strengthening various aspects across educational institutions, including their most valuable asset being its people, the buildings, equipment, and supporting infrastructure. In line with the growth and penetration of new and emerging technologies, IFMs render an extensive range of services that harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) with certified practices to harness their suite of services.
Some imperative services that the integrated facility management sector renders across educational institutions in the post-pandemic scenario encompass the following:
Hygiene Checks: A key lesson reinforced during the pandemic was the importance of maintaining hygiene. As schools and institutions resume, several hygiene checkpoints must be kept in place and maintained to ensure that the learning environment is safe and healthy. It is imperative that as students reach the school premises, they receive mandatory temperature checks and symptoms screening, followed by providing students with an entry pass after clearing these preliminary checks. Increasing desk spacing, maintaining a stipulated distance in cafeterias and common spaces, wearing masks, and ensuring proper ventilation are some of the fundamental practices that these institutions are adhering to with the help of IFMs.
Sanitization and Cleaning: Cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection measures are an integral part of preparing institutions to re-initiate their physical classes. Schools require cautious preparation to expunge the risk of exposure to COVID-19. While sanitization and disinfection kills pathogens and decimates germ spread, thorough and frequent cleaning maintains the requisite standards of hygiene. Sanitizer dispensers and stations placed in and around buildings is a crucial step to encourage students and staff to frequently sanitize their hands. Other important services include the day-to-day sanitization of frequently touched surfaces and objects including desks, doorknobs, computer keyboards, railings, as well as the cleaning and disinfection of specific areas including lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, cafeterias, and buses. Additionally, certain changes have been introduced to keep these sanitization measures in line with emerging trends. Increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection, utilizing stronger yet safe certified chemicals, periodic deep cleaning as well as thorough fumigation before operations are resumed across institutions have ensured composite, safe, and sterile surroundings.
Security and Surveillance: Security systems in schools and institutions have evolved in the wake of the pandemic. These state-of-the-art systems driven by AI and IoT enable real-time detection and monitoring, facial recognition, and scanning to effectively address the growing need of the hour. As common areas including lobbies, restrooms and cafeterias pose an additional challenge, crowd sensors installed in these places help in enabling social-distancing norms and giving admins access to information in order to ensure a streamlined access across the facility.
Maintaining Data: The need to maintain and manage data becomes extremely crucial – self-declaration forms, travel history, and other relevant documents must be provided with the resumption of offline classes. From the daily temperature records, travel history declarations, medical slips, vaccination status of family members, and past medical history, each document must be analyzed and organized with utmost compliance. IFMs undertake a critical part in supporting institutions with their cloud-based specialized services that maintain and store large amounts of such data.
As we commence with compliant and significant measures to combat the effects of the pandemic and pivot back to normal, the inevitable change in our approach will evolve constantly. This change has presented new opportunities for various sectors to reimagine their ways of operation. The Integrated Facility Management Services sector has truly presented itself as the backbone that is enabling organizations to stand tall, mitigate post-pandemic effects and enable life in a safe and secure environment.