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Maid in India: Domestic help a click away

Shayan Ghosh, Bangalore, Jun 19, 2013, DHNS : 22:20 IST
The long veins of the Internet seems to have penetrated every possible sector in India, with the latest addition being the huge unorganised workforce of maids who can now be hired online.

Though maids have been there for the picking online for quite sometime, many more companies have started operations in this field by attempting to bridge the gap between maid and potential employer. Following the advent of nuclear families living in cosmopolitan urban setups, searching for a maid offline looks a herculean task.

When Mumbai-based Manju Satish Agarwal set up office under the name of Dr Manju Maid Services, she along with her team had to travel to slums to educate women that working would be beneficial and provide them financial independence. Her company has provided jobs to over 15,000 people till date in places like Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai and has offline operations also.

“We charge Rs 7,000 from the employer for a year's service of a housemaid and offer free replacement in that period,” Dr Manju Maid Services' Legal Advisor Satish Agarwal told Deccan Herald.

The organisation also provides a copy of ration card, photograph and information of the maid's whereabouts in case of any misdoing.

For Bangalore's Babajob.com, that provides a Web platform for users to search and choose maids, drivers, cook and many more, the number of registered job seekers users have grown a whopping 966 per cent from 75,000 in 2010 to 8 lakh in 2013.

According to Babajob Chief Operating Officer Vir Kashyap said, “We began operations in 2007 and since last year we have seen a great upsurge in number of interested users.”Using the Babajob platform, employers can filter candidates based on skill levels, verify training with links to institutions and also view candidate references.

Kashyap said that they received Rs 7 crore funding from Gray Ghost Ventures and Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Impact Fund.

“Getting funded was a slightly different experience for us as there were very few such organisations for VCs to draw comparisons with.”

According to a report by the National Statistical Commission, the unorganised or informal sector constitutes a pivotal part of the Indian economy.

“More than 90 per cent of the workforce and about 50 per cent of the gross national product are accounted for by the informal economy,” the report explains.

Partner at Unitus Seed Fund Srikrishna Ramamoorthy said, “This model seems to be work as many such websites are coming up. And as information asymmetry ceases to exist, both the unorganised sector and employers stand to benefit.”

Unitus Seed Fund is an investment fund based in Bangalore and Seattle which provides opportunities for economic self-reliance, education and obtaining basic necessities to millions of people living at the bottom of the pyramid.

Another such website is Getdomestichelp.com, an online portal in Hyderabad and NCR to search for domestic help. One can log in to the website, registering and identifying the kind of domestic help you need. This is followed by an offline call center support to hire the desired employee.

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