Q&A: Talking to Suresh Bajaj of Millennium Pools
Suresh Bajaj is the founder and chief architect behind Millennium Pools – a company that has built over 10,000 pools across various locations in the country. Millennium is an accredited member of Master Pools Guild, USA - an elite group of international pool builders. Millennium is the only company chosen by invitation from South East Asia, to be part of this Guild, which has been in existence for over 50 years.
Suresh, who has been active in the pool and ancillary industry over the last 27 years, says that each pool needs a design identity of its own and a visual theme that blends in with the architecture of the property. He adds that pool design is invariably customer inspired and the evolution process is guided by aesthetics, safety, environment and other practical considerations. We talk to Suresh about pools at timeshare holiday resorts, and what makes them different from regular home pools.
A: Pool design is a very specialized job and each location throws up different challenges – in terms of space available, soil structure, the client’s expectations on the project and his brief on available budgets. So, while a pool is an absolute essential for a timeshare resort, a wide range of customized solutions need to be considered along with project-specific design. These days there’s another factor that comes into play - resort owners ask for compliance with industry standards and specifications, which can have a clear bearing on quality, safety and efficiency.
Suresh Bajaj and Valentino Bajaj – a father-and-son team that runs Millennium Pools
In the first place, a pool at a timeshare resort is not like a home pool – we need to factor in what we call “float loads” – that’s the average number of people in a pool at a given time. So we need to plan breathing space, as well as multiple entry points to the pool in terms of step ladders. Today’s resort pools also need hard-wearing deck spaces and filtration plants that are capable of taking on more loads than a home pool. Add to this, very high standards in terms of design, visual appeal and deck furniture that goes along with the resort’s visual theme.
A private pool linked to a cottage at a timeshare resort is pretty much like a personal home pool – but visually, it needs to blend in with the design and architectural theme of the resort. You will also need to match water loads with the right kind of filtration system. From my point of view a private pool needs to be really private, with carefully planned screening devices that ensure privacy, comfort and a feeling of exclusivity.
On the construction side we have modern methods to form the actual water holding profile. Instead of traditional aggregates that are manually applied, current methods use prescribed concrete admixtures that are pressure-hosed into the metal framework - this results in a one-piece monocoque shell that optimizes leak-proofing and water retention. These days, you also have a wide range of sophisticated filtration systems that are hard-working and efficient.
Quality assurance is a broad and specialized term and should normally include quality of raw materials, workmanship and other individual support equipment supplied to complete the pool installation – like pool accessories, filtration equipment, and the consumables necessary every month.
A pool builder can also assist in the running and maintenance of a pool. And his support needs to go long beyond the guarantee or warrantee periods outlined in the contract.
Pool maintenance is like life-support and without a qualified resource things can get tricky and sometimes even unsafe in terms of water quality. Professional inputs here would cover trained technicians to manage and administer pool cleaning, chemical dosing, and equipment maintenance – this is a very specialized job and needs to be done by trained hands. To maintain optimum water quality in a pool you need to check on filtration, chlorination, pH level, total alkalinity (TA) and calcium hardness.
On client locations our teams check pH and chlorine levels every day – and the testing is done first thing in the morning, before anyone can enter the pool.
There are basically two aspects to pool safety. Safety that has been planned at the design level, to include pool covers that extend across the pool and save people from drowning, anti-slip surfaces to ensure that people don’t slip at the edge of a pool, and things like the right insulation for submersible lighting and other fixtures.
There’s another aspect that comes into play at an enforcement level – with rules and guidelines laid out for pool users to ensure total safety. Additionally, you should ensure the availability of emergency life saving equipment and life savers nearby to rescue people who may be in distress. With children, you must always have adults supervising pool activity.
I also recommend that pool owners and users attend emergency rescue and resuscitation training to offer the first round of assistance in case of a mishap. This is normally ignored by pool owners, but I see it as essential. Pool safety is one topic that I stress upon during all customer interactions – for me it’s there right on top of all plans, measures and considerations.
What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.