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RICS SBE
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May 16, 2017

I chose facilities management for faster growth - Ankit Joshi, a PGDFM student

Ankit Joshi belongs to Nainital and did his Hotel Management from IHM, Bangalore. After passing out, he joined McDonald’s as a Management Trainee in Surat. 5 months later, he quit as the pace at which he was progressing did not match his expectations. Read his story to know what why he invested his one year in developing his skills in facilities management with a specialized diploma in this sector.

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“After working with McDonald’s as a Management Trainee for five months, I left as I was feeling frustrated in a job which I thought was not giving me my due. At that time, my sister who was working with Wipro as a Facilities Director, introduced and guided me to Facilities Management. I did some research and came across the course in an ad published in a leading newspaper – The Times of India. I consulted my sister and decided to get a formal degree by enrolling for Post Graduate Diploma in Facilities Management.

I did not want to settle for a boring mundane job as I like to work very hard. I like work that is challenging and which gives me an adrenaline rush from inside. Before coming here, I used to work in the hotel industry where minimum working hours were from 14-16 hrs a day so I really missed the hard work post my shift to retail as it consisted of only a 9 hr workday. I was attracted to this industry as the job environment is dynamic. One faces new challenges every day and no two days are the same; difficulties either with employees or vendors are constant.

During the course, the most important thing that I have learned is to be an effective and communicative leader because the industry requires building relationships with the clients, both internal and external, and with a variety of vendors that one will be dealing with every day. Apart from that, I polished my scientific/technical skills and learned to handle problems as I studied about how systems in an organization worked like how to maintain temperature, electricity, advac systems.

My dream project is to help relocate an office because I feel that is a major task and have saved examples from my sister’s experience. She has just done a relocation project of Wipro, Bangalore shifting the entire office from one place to another. The relocation process requires a lot of skills which I have acquired like Project Management skills, knowing how to make GANTT charts and work break down structures which will help me apply the knowledge I have learned.

I feel that Facilities Management is an extension and betterment of hotel management because it also deals with procedure of creation of an operation, deals with creation of a standard operating procedure, how to prepare a tender, how to invite tenders from different vendors. One is not only doing an operational job but also a strategic job of helping an organization achieve its objectives.

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According to me, this is the right time enter this industry as it is still in its infancy. It is an unorganized sector but professional courses like the one I am doing will allow trained professionals to enter this field. Twenty years back, there was no formal education but now slowly things are changing and settling professionally. There is a big demand and these are the signs that it is a good time to start here.

What I have learnt from the course and during my  interaction with experienced Faculty Managers is that one needs to have soft skills. One has to deal with a variety of people every day and soft skills are the main requirement. Second is the relationship you build with them so apart from soft skills one needs to have good relationship skills.  Third is the knowledge of Finance as ultimately the Facilities Manager has to factor in budgets, operational costs and know when the profits will start to come.

Three skill sets play an important role to be successful in this industry. First is one should know how to build relationships. Second skill set I have acquired is the knowledge of soft services which although I also possessed earlier but through the course, that knowledge has evolved. Last but not the least is technical skills required by Facilities Management like operational maintenance of a DG or HVAC, making an operational checklist, annual maintenance contracts etc.

Five years down the line, I see myself as a person who is handling larger properties maybe as a Facility Manager or Director Facilities, not just a single property but bigger asset classes. The collaboration of RICS with IFMA gives this course an added advantage of accreditation which makes it eligible for working anywhere in the world which I feel is the biggest advantage.

My message to students is that if one enjoys responsibilities and possibilities of growing in a career, be it operation or corporate structure, one should definitely join this course as it will provide them with both hard and soft skills. Also as a new graduate, one will grow in this industry really fast as this industry is growing at every large scale."

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