India is moving on its way to develop the skills of the citizens under the Skill India initiative by Government of India. Creating an eco-system where people especially Indian youth could polish their skills and earn livelihood by getting a relevant job is bit complicated and hard job.
There are sections of societies which will still be left behind. Yes! we are talking about people with absolutely no industrial skills. Maids, Rag Pickers, Scrap Collectors to name a few would suffer from lack of job opportunities. With the advancement in technology and machines replacing human beings, these unskilled labors suffer.
Founded by Meenakshi Gupta Jain and Punit Jain, Helper4U is a job portal for semi-skilled and unskilled workers looking for bread and butter. Including housemaids, cooks, drivers, caretakers, babysitters, housekeeping staff, office boys, courier boys and more can be hired using the service. It enables the hiring of ABCDE i.e Aya, Bai, Cook, Driver and Everyone Similar.
Helper4U is different from other players as they enable a direct connect between the Seeker and Giver, through a largely automated process, which requires minimal human intervention. This ensures better matches, faster hiring and hiring across cities which is extremely cost effective for both the sides.
Meenakshi is MPhil from JNU, with 25 years of work experience mainly in Training and E learning industry whereas Punit is an IIT, IIM Alumnus, with 27 years of experience across verticals, mainly the software industry. They currently handle the day to day workload of the company as CEO and Mentor respectively. (Punit brings in deals and look after strategic partnerships).
Meenakshi says, “The uneducated and/or unskilled workers, especially women in the domestic segment need jobs, and the ever increasing middle class homes and small businesses need these workers. But they have no way to connect in a time and cost effective manner, without a middleman. We have connected the two through a phone.”
“We realized that while we all need multiple domestic workers and there are many domestic workers around us looking for jobs, the two sides are so far separated that there is no way for the two to find them. Our process is technically enabled, requiring minimal human intervention of a third party. Therefore it is cost effective, fast, and highly scale-able” Punit adds.
There were 71 million urban households in 2015 (On an average 50% employ at least one domestic helper). There were 50 million SMEs in Tier 1-3 cities in India in 2013 (On an average each SME employs at least two blue collared Helpers). Also there were 20 million migrants living in urban cities in 2011(More than 60% migration is for employment.)
So, the sector is quite full of opportunities. That’s the reason why Helper4U received 14000+ hits on the website in December, 16000+ job seekers registered largely from Mumbai and Pune, 4000+ offered jobs. Digital marketing is the main medium for promotion of the startup.
The startup has not yet closed any funding deals. With a stable business model which is proven to work, Helper4U is trying to solve some of the challenges they still face. Once the problems are sorted, they can look forward to raise funds in order to scale the business.
Speaking about the future plans Meenakshi says, “We operate from Chandivali in Mumbai. We have worked hard to maintain a lean team to cut expenses. In addition to a full time CEO, we have a team of 5 part timers working as call centre staff and one full timer working as Marketing Executive in Delhi. We are working towards expanding our base to other metros as well as reach the source of Job Seekers in Maharashtra and UP.”
Meenakshi and Punit analyzed that just by facilitating a connect with prospective employers and by providing the blue collared working population with job information, they could transform livelihood of people, their family, community, society and nation, as everyday without work is big monetary loss for them. And this motivated them.
Do not be an entrepreneur because it is glamorous to be a startup in today’s times. Be one only if you are passionate about a cause and are ready to really slog it out.