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Tariq Chauhan, CEO Of EFS Facilities Services Group: Building A Resilient Services Organization


The three ‘Ps’, people, passion, and precision, remain the perpetual pillars of our enterprise.

Tariq Chauhan, CEO of EFS Facilities Services Group, shares the group’s journey to transformation and the enduring importance of people, passion, and precision to its success.

When I was entrusted with the company transition in 2009, global and local economies were at the peak of their recession. The facilities management (FM) industry was also juggling ways and means to navigate the downturn.

At that time, my ultimate challenge was to seek stability and identify pathways towards sustainability. As someone new to the FM industry, I first delved into understanding the fundamentals; I tried to comprehend everything I could about its market dynamics and inherent characteristics.

In the very early stages of my deep dive, I zeroed in on the FM industry’s key factors, addressing the three most important drivers: people, passion, and precision. These became the essential elements of my strategy moving forward. Facilities management is a service-focused industry and I considered people as its critical assets, passion as the motivator for people to excel, and precision as vital to effective delivery.

In particular, I was intrigued by the industry’s people-centric nature and I fully embraced it. In my people-first approach, core alignment of each individual relating to discipline, attitude, and commitment, was essential, and each team member adopted the organizational value framework. Since then, we have never lowered our guard when it comes to these principles; rather, we have further emboldened them by engaging stakeholders.

I have always been careful in my actions and conscious of their impact, and I have consistently ensured that my C-suite and I walk the talk, never deviating from our guiding principles. No exceptions have been made from our core espoused values, even in the mainstream organization. My aim has never been to thrust our value system on staff, but to have all stakeholders own it through a shared vision and to embody it across the organization.

Within our value system, compassion and trust have always stood as key pillars, with diversity, inclusion, and tolerance also integrated into the company’s culture. From the beginning, our people-first policy also placed great emphasis on employee happiness, prioritizing personal development and progression alongside organizational key performance indicators (KPIs).

From the outset, we assisted staff in self-reflection when it came to their personal and professional development through annual goal alignment before setting their workplace KPIs. This approach helped employees immensely in achieving better professional development and higher self-actualization. To this day, instead of treating annual goal setting as merely an enterprise need, we prioritize employees’ personal goals, advancing their professional and personal objectives.

In any service organization, passion and precision also matter. From the start, passion was an essential part of my transformation and was reinforced through a collective and shared vision with ‘one goal and one team’ as the motto. Here, the team was powered by a shared goal of being proud to be an ‘EFSian’.

When the company transformation began, we focused on the two other essential drivers, structure and systems, to enhance precision. In doing so, we created a lean and transparent organizational structure. We recognized that complex structures could hinder decision-making, especially in FM, where swift decision-making is crucial. Therefore, we aligned the organizational structure to remain simple and reflect its lean nature. Clear roles and responsibilities were established through a responsibility matrix, from the project to the operating company to the corporate level, including shared services.

Systems adoption also remained a central aspect of our policy to support service needs and EFS’ goals. In this regard, our focus extended beyond just implementing a robust ERP or technology setup to placing a strong emphasis on global best practices. We developed systems and procedures ranging from integrated management systems to ISO certifications and robust internal controls grounded in sound corporate governance principles. From tools and machine automation to a safe and reliable service infrastructure, we took a comprehensive approach to our system adoption strategy.

The three ‘Ps’ – people, passion, and precision – remain the perpetual pillars of our enterprise, keeping us in sustainable mode. When working on five-year strategic business plans or envisioning or planning our annual goals, no market conditions or detrimental industry dynamics could deter us from our fundamental beliefs in our ethos.

Source: Forbes Middle East

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