PCT Clean celebrates 20 years of serving local residents and businesses
By Alexandra McCray
If there’s one word to describe PCT Clean and the people behind it, it’s care. The company and its team care about their clients, fellow staff members, their industry, and others in general.
Cleaning is more than an occupation for those involved with the 20-year-old Kennesaw business, which offers residential and commercial cleaning and disinfecting services. As Isabel Arévalo, who serves as scheduler and administrative assistant, explains, it’s about lifting a weight off their clients’ shoulders. “It’s not just that we clean your house. It’s what we provide for you and your family,” she says. “You know, I’m a mom, too. I have three kiddos at home. So, I know for sure when somebody calls and says, ‘I really need help,’ it’s because they need it.”
As the first PCT Clean representative with whom many clients interact, Arévalo is the one who communicates messages between them, the cleaning crew, and the rest of the office staff. She cherishes being able to explain to the team the situation behind a client’s requests and rallying the crew to go above and beyond. “I say, ‘Hey, you are my team. I know you can do this for this customer because they need it right now,’ because maybe they have a baby or somebody had surgery, and they need help with the house,” she says. “I love that because I feel like the team understands what I’m doing.”
Arévalo also frequently gets to hear about the difference PCT Clean makes in clients’ lives. “To be part of that, part of making the magic, and then they call me back and say, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you so much, because you really understood what I was asking for, what we needed, and we appreciate your help.’ That’s wonderful,” she says.
That joy is similar to the kind marketing director Angela Bockmon gets through her role. Though she spends plenty of time on traditional marketing tasks, like overseeing PCT Clean’s latest website update, a lot of her energy is spent getting to know the staff at other local businesses. Her involvement with multiple networking groups and events enables the team to make qualified referrals to potential clients when they ask about a service PCT Clean typically doesn’t provide. It’s rewarding, she says, to be able to support other small businesses in the community. “We had a bank that we were going to go in and do a deep clean for, and they needed some walls fixed and other things like that,” Bockmon recalls. “So, I was able to refer out to one of our partners for the handyman work, and they came in right away and did a great job, and then we were able to go in and clean.”
The PCT Clean difference
Founded in 2003 by RJ and Asha Patel following 27 years of hotel ownership, Prestigious Cleaning Team (PCT Clean) began as a way for the pair to bring the elevated cleaning standards of their hotel (think, bathrooms that were always hair-free when new guests arrived) into the homes of people in the local community. Today, the company and its team of cleaners, who are certified house cleaning technicians and certified by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), offer flexible residential and commercial cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting throughout select cities in and west of Cobb County.
Initially, RJ and Asha planned only to serve residential customers. RJ says, though, as clients grew to trust them even more, they began asking them to take care of their businesses, too. The commercial side of PCT Clean now services offices, warehouses, and construction sites (once work is complete and the spaces are cleared for use). Erika Alcantara, a former cleaning crew member, serves as commercial manager and visits each of the company’s nearly 70 commercial accounts monthly to perform quality control checks, which also are done for residential clients as well.
No matter where the team works, RJ stresses that they’re doing a lot more than wiping away dirt. There is thought behind every technique and tool used to create a space that’s hygienic. For example, when discussing post-construction cleaning, he says, “Nobody can out-clean PCT. I’m confident when I say that because I totally understand how to do that level of cleaning. I go looking for dust. I understand that environment. I look at that, and I go, ‘What work did you do? What equipment did you use?’” He considers how dust travels in that and other situations, like through the heating and air system, and where it can sneakily accumulate. “I do my homework. I go deep, and I look at the logic behind it, and that’s how I do business,” says RJ.
The co-founder has always wanted his cleaning team to understand the thought process behind what they do. He spent 15 months creating his own in-depth cleaning manual covering kitchens, bathrooms, and more. The company now has its own training videos and four employee trainers as well. Once PCT cleaners get the green light, their education doesn’t stop. RJ, who served as the president of the residential division of the ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, likes to keep them updated on the latest practices and information. To complement its techniques, the team uses professional-grade products — PCT Clean is a longtime partner of Procter & Gamble and the Mr. Clean brand — and top-of-the-line equipment such as vacuums with two high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
Putting the PCT Clean method into practice probably sounds like quite the task, and Waleska White, director of human resources, can confirm. “I went home one day, and I cleaned my bathroom the way PCT does, and I didn’t realize how hard it was,” she confesses. “I came to work the next day, and I had to speak to the team and tell them how proud I was of them and how I had a different perspective of cleaning because I spent three hours, literally, if not maybe a little bit more, in [my] bathroom trying to clean the PCT way, and I was exhausted … and these women and men clean six or seven bathrooms in one home.”
Though standards are high at PCT, the effort and intense work each person puts into their role is valued at all levels. “They make me feel like I’m very important,” says Arévalo of RJ and Asha. “Like my position is really appreciated, and that makes you feel like you’re working in the right place.”
Of course, genuine care is always part of the equation as well. RJ attributes his concern about his employees to the example set by his grandparents back in India. “I remember how they treated the workers. They fed them every day, three meals a day. They looked after them. They asked them, ‘How is your family? How is your wife? How are your children?’ They cared about them, and those workers never left. And so that left an impression on me. It’s like, all they’re doing is applying the human element. Care. And so, we’ve carried that forward,” he says of the six businesses he and Asha have had.
The group at PCT is a true team, too. Nobody is afraid to get their hands dirty. In fact, RJ, his business partner, and another industry contact travel to Clarksdale, Mississippi, every three months to clean and disinfect a medical clinic built by a nonprofit group RJ and Asha are a part of. The facility offers completely free care to the community, and PCT provides routine deep cleaning to supplement the facility’s regular cleanings.
The company also gives back by partnering with Cleaning for a Reason, an organization that works with cleaning companies to provide cancer patients with free home cleanings. RJ says that when he found out about it over 10 years ago, the decision to take part was a no-brainer. He immediately thought about what a close friend, his own family members, and others have gone through during their cancer battles.
Each October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the company ramps up the number of cleans it does for Cleaning for a Reason. After being forced to take a hiatus from that effort recently, RJ was determined to get back to it full force in 2022. Thankfully, his fellow Kennesaw Business Association members were there to help and pitched in for the October cleanings. The volunteer opportunity was such a hit among members that RJ is inviting them to be part of it again. The goal for this October, he says, is to clean 22 homes — one for each business day of the month. Bockmon says they hope to get members of other business associations, especially those in Marietta and Acworth, involved, too.
Taking their commitment to Cleaning for a Reason up a notch is the main way RJ and Asha want to commemorate PCT Clean’s 20th year in business. The company officially hit the two-decade mark on January 4, and a party celebrating the business and the couple’s 37th wedding anniversary was held in the winter.
Looking forward, RJ says there are no plans to expand PCT Clean’s service area. “This is my 45th year here in Kennesaw. …This place is so special to me, the people, the community, Cobb County, Kennesaw, everything, that I just cannot leave here,” he says. “And so, I would say my focus is to serve this community: Kennesaw, Acworth, Marietta, Woodstock, Cartersville, all of that, Dallas, all that is our service area. We just want to focus on that and be the best in this area.”
LGE Donates $10,000 to Chattahoochee Tech Foundation
Chattahoochee Technical College students will benefit from enhanced career development initiatives thanks to a $10,000 donation from LGE Community Credit Union. LGE Community Credit Union officials presented this donation to the Chattahoochee Tech Foundation in February, at the college’s Marietta Campus.
“We are very grateful for this generous support,” said Chattahoochee Tech President Dr. Ron Newcomb. “This funding will be dedicated for use by our Office of Career Development in their mission to assist students with career readiness and connect them with local employers.”
More than 300 students engage with the Chattahoochee Tech Office of Career Development each semester. The office helps students to hone their skills in résumé writing and job interviews. LGE Community Credit Union will join in this mission to help students by serving as a presenting sponsor at upcoming career fairs and engaging with students at financial planning workshops.
“We’re thrilled to announce a partnership that’s such a natural fit. LGE and Chattahoochee Tech share not only similar values, but also an overlapping geographic footprint of the communities we serve,” said Natalie Sakar, the director of business development at LGE. “Where there’s a Chattahoochee Tech campus, there’s an LGE branch, and I can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish by joining forces.”
Since 2010, LGE has given back over $2 million to local nonprofit organizations, families, and individuals in need through the LGE Community Outreach Foundation. For more information about LGE, visit LGEccu.org.
For more information on Chattahoochee Technical College, visit www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.