IAQ Solutions clears the air
Poor indoor air quality and poor customer service in Barbados were the two major causes for Devanand Maharaj starting his own company here.
Maharaj is the managing director of IAQ Solutions Inc. – an air conditioning services company with a focus on indoor air quality. Speaking with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY at his Harmony Circle, The Belle, St Michael office, Maharaj said his main aim was to raise the bar in terms of customer service.
“I have been able to experience the level of service that is delivered here in Barbados. We come from an environment in Trinidad where it is very competitive and quality must be delivered for you to survive in the industry. So the experience has been that there is a lot of room for improvement,” said Maharaj, adding that the change should start with management.
“What inspired me to really start my own business was seeing what would be passed off as service in the local air conditioning industry. It was far from what the client should expect. The bar was set so low that clients’ expectation itself is set at a low level. We came into business about three and a half years ago to make a difference based on the experience that we had as to what is delivered in terms of quality and service in Barbados,” he said.
IAQ Solutions Inc. was the recipient of the Small Business of the Year and The General Services Award at the recent Small Business Association (SBA) awards ceremony. Maharaj, said while he was confident his business was performing at a high standard he was not expecting the award.
The engineer said poor indoor air quality was of concern to him, adding that having to do work with a number of companies and see what was done before was “frustrating”, especially in most government buildings.
“There are some cases where what passes for service is total negligence and there was one situation where we visited one location and half the filters were missing. The rest that were in the unit were black and dirty so whatever was in the filter was being drawn into the coil and being delivered into the air stream to get into contact with the occupied space. No wonder in a lot of these government buildings there are complaints about air quality and people getting sick,” explained Maharaj.
In that regard, he said there was a lot of work to be done to raise awareness and his company was already taking steps to do so. Maharaj said he started discussions with a number of interested parties in an effort to form an organization to deal specifically with issues surrounding air quality on the island.
IAQ Solutions directly employs five people. A number of projects are contracted and could employ over 30 people at a time.
Maharaj said he was not worried about competition, adding that his company was privileged to have done work for a number of large companies including those in the high-end market.