Housecleaning is time-consuming and painstaking task for all women. If they are working women, then it will create significant amounts of additional stress and anxiety. To assist them in keeping their household clean and tidy, Nanojobs founders launched BookMyBai, an online marketplace for hiring domestic maids at affordable prices.
Anupam Sinhal and Vikash Chowdhury started NanoJobs.com in 2011. It is a job-portal for blue and grey collar staff with over 5 lakh registered jobseekers from Mumbai and surrounding towns. After experiencing unprofessional and deceitful maid providing agencies, they started their own portal in March this year. You can get maids for cleaning, cooking, baby sitting and elderly care on BookMyBai.
Anupam is a computer science engineer from PES University, while his cofounder, Vikash has done Bachelors in Information Technology from Queensland University of Technology. A says, “Bookmybai.com was launched since the need of employers for this segment of jobseekers is very different from the other commercial skills like drivers, office boys etc.”
In a span of 2 months, BookMyBai.com has amassed a database of over 3000 maids and has successfully placed over 250 of them already. They are uber for maids in India. Presently, they are operating in Mumbai and planning to expand to other cities very soon.
Below is the interview with Anupam Sinhal, co-founder of BookMyBai.
What is the present state of the industry in which you are operating?
Currently the situation in this sector is very very bad. Due to lack of government regulations, tiny mom-and-pop agencies have come up. Most of these do not even have a registered office address. They just have a mobile number and a fake company and register themselves with some of the local search engines. The employer who needs the maid calls up the local search engines and they send the employer few phone numbers of such companies.
These companies which are mostly a single-man agency will take an advance payment and the employer is forced to pay because he is desperate for a maid. Most of them will then never return calls or even if they provide a maid, the maid will abscond after a few days and the employer will be running helter skelter trying to locate the agency since by then he would have paid the entire recruitment fees to the agency.
This is only one problem. There are various other problems which are self created by these rogue agencies which has not only spoiled the reputation of the industry but has also left such an impression on the clients mind that they now do not trust any brand.
What problems are you trying to solve with BookMyBai?
The problem that we are trying to solve is professionalism. Another USP of BookMyBai is the video interviews of the maids. Usually when you contact the agencies, they might end up sending you one or two maids for personal round of interview. One – The employer does not get any options. They have to choose between them. Two – The employer has to wait at her home for the maid to come and thus wasting her time.
Also if she rejects the maid, the maid has to go back empty handed and she would have spent considerable amount of money and time in travelling to the interview venue.
With the help of video interviews, the employer can watch the pre-recorded video interviews of as many maids as they want at a time of his convenience and then shortlist the maids he wants to meet. This way he gets hundreds of options and also saves a lot of time and effort.
The video interview already has answers to almost all the questions that you might ask in a personal round of interview. Also all the maids do not have to go for the interview and hence saving time and money
We generate a database of maids via our own sources and then shoot a 2 minute video interview of the domestic help. The two minute video consists of basic 10-20 questions that the employer would have asked the maid in his personal round of interview.
So now when the employer watches the video most of his questions are already answered. Most of the employers do not even feel the need of conducting a personal round of interview after watching the video interview. They select the maid and ask the maid to join the next day.
How do ensure quality as well as security of your clients?
We are very focused on the quality of the maid and the security of the client. Various types of the background verification, address verification, document verification is done before the maid is listed on the platform. Being a marketplace model, this does not come as a cost to us but adds a lot of advantage to our offering
What is your USP?
We are India’s first marketplace model for this segment. We create our database through partnerships. Our USP is that we save time and money through the usage of technology. The employer need not call us on the helpline even once. The portal is so technologically advanced that starting from posting your requirement to the maid joining is done through the portal. We do not charge any advance payment. The client pays only after the maid joins.
Also most of the other services charge a renewal fees after 1 year. We do not. We do thorough background checks which the others do not. Moreover the marketplace model assures that the turnaround time is less than 24 hours
Is your startup bootstrapped or funded and have you achieved break-even?
The company is bootstrapped. A total of 2.5 crores has already been invested by the co-founders in both the companies i.e. NanoJobs.com and BookMyBai.com
What is your revenue model?
We charge one month’s salary as our consulting fees to the client. We also guarantee a free replacement if the maid happens to leave within 6 months of joining.
Tell us about your customer base data.
We get over 100 new client requests everyday but because of varying client requirement and salary constraints we can service only 10% of these requests on a daily basis. We are striving to educate the consumers on the market-rate of the maid services and we should achieve 70% conversion rate by the end of this year. We have create a strong marketplace and have partners across the city through which we source our database.
Who are your target customers?
Our customers are usually women who are looking to hire a domestic help for their daily chores. Also mothers of infants looking for nannies and baby sitter in Mumbai has been one of our fastest growing categories
Tell us about the industry stats.
We are in the industry of providing home based staff. We will soon start offering other home based executives like drivers, electricians, plumbers on a contractual mode. Current Annual Market Size of maids division is about $4 billion
You might have come across many hurdles until now, what were they?
This industry has always been plagued with rogue agencies. Overcoming them is the biggest challenge. From gathering database of maids to creating new relationships with partners across the city have all been challenging and hurdles. But now that we have set ourselves up, scaling the product is a simple task.
Toughest decision was to pivot to marketplace model. Due to the nature of people we are dealing with we cannot depend on technology alone to be able to service them all. Due to a marketplace model the entire transition and lifecycle of client has become smooth and now we come with a service guarantee.
What is your advice to new startups and entrepreneurs?
A startup can be successful only if you have the right team who acknowledge your vision and share the dream. If you have hired the right people, you have won half the battle. Also, an idea is only good enough if you implement it well. There have been many good ideas and startups in the world, who have failed miserably because the founders could not handle the operations.