“It’s not just about getting the work done, but also about hiring the right people. Although there can be a stigma when it comes to treatment of cleaning companies’ staff, we don’t take advantage of our workers. Our priority is our employees. We are just as strong as our force. That’s why, even if we have just a 3-hour notice, we’ll be there first, delivering the fastest service and providing the best quality.”- Jesse Parmar, Co-Owner, of Eco-Giants Construction Cleaning.
“Legacy” is a powerful word, for the Parmar brothers of Eco-Giants Construction Cleaning & Janitorial, legacy is at the core of their organizational philosophy. Gary and Jesse Parmar carry forward their beloved family business and aspire to leave a positive impact on their community and clients. From helping their parents hands-on in their school days, to now opening business offices in Surrey, Calgary, and soon Toronto, Gary and Jesse have experienced quite the journey. For this legacy, they credit their parents.
Sukhwinder Kaur Parmar and Talwinder Singh Parmar (parents of Gary and Jesse), broke into the cleaning industry in the 1990s. They’d clean everything from apartment condos to medical offices. During this time, young Gary and Jesse would accompany them as childcare was not affordable and the couple could use the extra helping hands. Although eventually often judged for being young businessmen, the siblings undeniably garnered valuable experience at a young age.
While both admit to having viewed the business negatively in the beginning, their views have since changed. Gary recalls, “I remember, while fulfilling a cleaning contract with my parents, we bumped into some teammates that my brother had played football with just the week before. They poked fun at us, telling us we had “missed a spot”. Growing up, we missed the opportunity to attend many special occasions such as birthday parties, summer holidays, even Christmas. Moreover, people would tell our parents that their kids wouldn’t ever amount to anything and that they would only be “just cleaners”. Today, when I sit in my office, I proudly say that, yes, we are cleaners. However, with this business, we’ve been able to educate ourselves, grow financial stability, and make smart and calculated investments. We have grown and are able to genuinely appreciate and realize the sacrifices our parents made.”
Sukhwinder and Talwinder themselves may have struggled in the beginning, but Gary and Jesse remind the world that it is through the cleaning business that their parents were able to withstand two recessions and purchase a home in Surrey. Gary and Jesse emphasize that service-oriented businesses, cleaning included, truly build our economy and shouldn’t be looked down upon. The Eco-Giants co-owners further encourage young adults to remember that family businesses are a labor of love.
That said, Gary and Jesse didn’t always have such a positive outlook. In 2009, their mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Despite the harsh chemotherapy treatments and the inevitable emotional turmoil, she continued to work, even if it meant heading to a cleaning contract right after finishing a chemotherapy session. Embodying pure strength, she never took a day off. Her cancer came back in 2011 and once again aggressively in 2013, after which the family lost Sukhwinder.
Following her passing, Talwinder and his sons continued with the business, but there were just too many memories associated with the company. Soon after, the Parmars made the decision to close down the company. After venturing off to experiment with other career paths, in 2016, Gary and Jesse decided to try again, with their minds and hearts fully on board. This time, they’d immerse themselves not just in the janitorial space, but bring to life their vision of becoming the “Rolls-Royce” of construction cleaning. Though their mother and father may not have been physically present, Gary and Jesse fell heir to their gifts of resilience, perseverance, and inspiration.
Jesse explains that their differentiating factor as a company lies in their staff power, “It’s not just about getting the work done, but also about hiring the right people. Although there can be a stigma when it comes to treatment of cleaning companies’ staff, we don’t take advantage of our workers. Our priority is our employees. We are just as strong as our force. That’s why, even if we have just a 3-hour notice, we’ll be there first, delivering the fastest service and providing the best quality.”
Eco-Giants has been successful at retaining clientele. The company has secured some of the biggest sites in major cities across Canada, thanks to an eco-friendly, simple system that offers consistent pricing and quality. Furthermore, steering through obstacles is an acquired and honed skill set for Gary and Jesse. Gary remembers securing a project with Surrey Memorial Hospital, the very place his mother was being treated, he mentions, “When negotiating a new contract, I have no fear because I feel like I’ve gone through the worst of the worst already. I put my head up just as much as the competition or the client. I try to educate people and try to make them understand our perspective. People may know how to manage a project, but they have no idea the intricacies of cleaning a building. We do have to put our foot down occasionally, we’re strict and this allows our performance to speak.”
Learning early on from the do’s and don’ts that their parents exemplified, Gary and Jesse invest in top-tier staff, training and products. Eco-Giants’ non-solvent cleaners get the job done well but don’t damage property, nor leave residues that may otherwise pose long-term health risks. Though projects range in size and duration, no job is too big or too small for Eco-Giants. That’s why the company customizes each project based on their client’s unique needs.
Surely, what was once a small business is now on its way to becoming a business empire all set to operate in three major provinces of Canada. In the next five years, Eco-Giants’ goal is to enter the United States of America. Though Gary and Jesse’s father also passed away in 2019, both parents would have been beaming with pride today looking at their boys’ success. Alongside their parents, the brothers are heartily thankful for their maternal uncle, Kamaljit Chauhan, in Ontario, who has been a significantly influential role-model and has guided them in the right direction in life and business.
Gary shares, “Don’t take your parents for granted. You should tell them you love them everyday. Take advantage of the time you have with them. We also hang on to memories by staying in this business. Remember, at the end of the day, they’re doing it for you.” To amplify the impact of their parents on the community, Gary and Jesse have started “The Sukhi and Tom Foundation”, a noble non-profit committed to financially helping underprivileged organizations and individuals. Whether it be a scholarship for a full year of sports training or a team-based jersey sponsorship, the foundation strongly believes in providing donations and support to those in need.
As for Eco-Giants, the sky is truly the limit for this business of passion. With dreams in their eyes and purpose in their hearts, the two fearless leaders are on a mission to spread their wings of steel. Jesse sums up their strategy best, “As our parents have taught us, treat people with dignity and respect, do good and good will be returned to you. As for our company, we work hard and with honesty. The fruits of our labor will continue to grow.”