How many times have we entered a public washroom and came out in a split second because it smelled or looked nasty? A survey of public toilets in Delhi, conducted by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) in November 2019, found that nearly 55% of the facilities inspected were either completely unusable or extremely dirty. Dirty toilets are in fact a leading cause for almost all UTI infections among the female population.
As the founders were researching the possible reasons for this lack of maintenance of the public facilities, they realized that housekeeping is extremely tough to manage. It’s manpower intensive as well as a complex process and needs quick responses. If a toilet is dirty it needs to be fixed now, if a tap is leaking, it needs to be fixed now. Supervision of housekeeping processes is even tougher, with limited visibility of ground level operations and a complex hierarchy, but still, there is a clear lack of real time tools to manage and supervise the day to day operations.
Commercial spaces such as Public facilities, Hospitals, Corporate Buildings, Hotels are currently using age-old paper checklists along with WhatsApp groups to manage the housekeeping processes, which is a very tedious process and provides unreliable data with no traceability.
In times where almost every kind of paper has been replaced with screens, housekeeping processes are still done on paper, MANUALLY, which is the root cause of all the problems.
At Humblx, an Enterprise Software has been developed to digitise the paper checklist and all the housekeeping processes around it. It's a QR based system to report housekeeping related issues supported by pictures, text and audio.
This brings real time operational visibility of day to day process, accountability and overall transparency in the system, empowering the housekeeping teams with remote monitoring, realtime actions, constant improvements, effective execution of SoPs, lower cost, Better trust with customers, efficiently scale and get more customers.
Where it all Began
Recognizing the problem of dirty public facilities, Samir started Humblx to solve this problem in India through technology. He took this up as a course project at CUSAT through the help of college funding. He received further grants from Kerala Startup Mission and BIRAC, Dept. of Biotechnology to develop the prototype.
He then met Ankit, who has more than 11 years of corporate expertise of running housekeeping operations, Krushn and along with his brother Ujjwal have grown the company to where it is right now.
Going through multiple types of housekeeping data and surveying 100s of public toilets made them understand the immediate need of a better feedback and reporting mechanism. But they needed to know if there was a market for it and upon doing some research, they found that the Facility Management market in India is a 70 billion dollar industry in 2018 with a CAGR of 20-25%. Only 10% of it is organised, which presents a huge opportunity for them to empower the unorganised sector with technology and allow them to compete with the big players in the market. Size of Facility Management Software market in itself was $37.81bn in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 10.94% annually.
There has been little to no evolution in the housekeeping and management facilities industry with respect to the technological advantages as compared to other industries and hence Humblx is poised as a great solution to solve the long-lasting traditional problems that have plagued this industry for the past many years.
Effects of Covid19
With the coronavirus pandemic affecting so many lives, the focus on health, sanitation and cleanliness has never been higher in recent years and will continue to be of paramount importance in the future as well. Public toilets, restrooms in hotels, malls and restaurants will have to maintain strict sanitation measures in the future due to this new fear among customers and hence Humblx is perfectly positioned to make the supervision of housekeeping and public maintenance to the highest standard of accuracy and safety possible.
Having done pilots with hospitals and agreed upon deals with several housekeeping and facility management companies through their partnership program, Humblx has definitely proved that there is a need for this product and as a result, a new change in which the industry operates.
Through the use of digital checklists, the process of supervision and maintenance of quality becomes much more effective and quicker. This system also eliminates the complex hierarchical system which involves several layers of supervisors, managers, etc. With countless possibilities and diverse markets to enter, the potential of Humblx is clearly immense and we at 100X definitely believe in Samir, Ankit, Ujjwal and the rest of the team in delivering on this potential.
Humblx is tapping into a market which has not seen much technological developments and advancements for a long time and through their product and GTM, we believe that they will make a huge change, both in terms of growth of their business as well as creating a safer and cleaner environment. 100X.VC wishes them the best of luck in their future endeavours.