The next time you want to hire house help, you might go online and send out your requirement. You will then be matched with a suitable professional, who will turn up at your place at the scheduled time. More than 100 families in Pune are already availing this service, founded by a startup called Maideasy.
With Mandar Ghugari and Sunita Ghugari as its co-founders, Maideasy specialises in connecting families with professionals for elderly care, house help, cooking, babysitting and patient care, among others. The start up will be opening an office in Pimpri-Chinchwad around September, and is working on launching an app.
“Around January or February 2020, a friend, who is in the US, called to say that his elderly mother in Pune needed a help. That’s when I found that there were hundreds of companies that took care of patients but very few who offered elderly care. I connected my friend to a person who was efficient with elderly care and started me thinking about a startup that will carry out the job of finding help for homes in a streamlined manner,” says Mandar, an IT professional.
The company has a database of more than 200 helps, recruited from areas around Pune. “We put up boards in areas frequented by the community, such as Sassoon Hospital, marketplaces and localities where they live. Several helps came to us through word of mouth. A member of our staff visits the home of each house help for verification and gets the thumbprint or signature of their next of kin as a precaution,” says Mandar, adding that they also have insurance and medical tests for the helps.
Clients, on the other hand, are expected to provide a detailed list of chores as well as terms and conditions for the house help, such as leave. Due to the pandemic, house helps are being offered for a minimum of eight hours only, though the company expects to create a service where a person might find a worker at the last minute if their regular help does not turn up. “At present, it is best is a help works in one house. They will not be going to various homes and, thus, there are reduced chances of her getting infected,” says Mandar.
The helps are trained in work, but instructed on ethics and behaviour.
The revenue model of the company revolves around charging the client a month’s fees — payable in two instalments — in a year, against which they are offered two replacements free. “We do not charge any commission from the house helps,” says Mandar. Thanks to COVID, the company experiences uneven business — sometimes the demand is high and supply in low and sometimes it is the reverse — but expects the sector to become stronger since the pandemic has changed the way people work from homes. They are not looking for investments at present.
“Hiring of house helps is an unorganised sector and we hope to contribute to streamline it over the next few months,” he adds.