A trusted maid, cook or nanny can be such a blessing in current times. Be it that career-defining meeting or attending a family wedding, a lot can change if there’s diligent help to look after the family in your absence.
Although such a huge significance of these houses help our lives, this sector remains unorganised and sporadic. This is what irked three Delhi based young entrepreneurs – Niharika Jain, Vaibhav Agrawal & Saurav Kumar, who joined hands to start Broomees in 2020. Let’s know more about this unique start-up.
One would often see jokes about the importance of efficient house help. Despite the known significance, there’s a considerable lag in the whole process of finding help. Why do you think this space is still so unorganised?
Correct, these jokes often find their way into our pitch-decks and leave the same question in the brightest minds of the room – why is there such a lag in finding help. Well, to be honest, this space is so unorganised because it’s genuinely hard to organise a market where there’s a lack of education and awareness. The demand is endless, but there’s a massive gap between what’s available and what’s employable.
How did Broomees come about? That too from DU & DTU graduates!
Haha, we get that a lot from our friends, family and clients. But the reality is, my two co-founders (Vaibhav & Saurav/ the DTU guys) were always into social entrepreneurship. They used to teach underprivileged primary school kids for free by charging the rich kids (for fancier engineering subjects). They’ve worked with lots of NGOs and also had one of their own, which is why they both feel deeply about the social issues of the unorganised sector (or let’s say, as Vaibhav jokingly puts it, “engineering was never our strength, so we found our way out”).
I happened to relate to the clients’ side of this issue. When I’d moved out of my home, I’d talk to my mother every day, who would tell me how difficult it was to manage work and home without reliable help. I tried multiple platforms to look for a helper, but even though I was ready to pay a premium for good service, there were no platforms available to help me! So when I heard the idea, I felt it was needed!
What was the research like?
The research majorly included the issues that both clients and helpers face in this industry. 3,25,000 thefts by domestic workers were reported in 2019 alone! The average amount lost to the customer is more than INR 24,500. We faced issues before we started but had no idea that it was to this extent. We initially thought that traction would be a challenge since we were new in the industry, but the response was overwhelming! The primary learning has been that the supply needs soft and job skills training, which we have launched through online training modules. We also started with offline training at two dedicated centres in Delhi.
The funding bit – from seed money to break even! How has it been?
We were profitable from the second month itself. We needed money to expand and cater to the overwhelming demand, so we started looking for seed investors in Feb’ 2021 and got one within 15 days! It has been eight months since then, and we’re breaking even as of now. We now have global VC firms such as Antler and 100x backing us!
Any exciting or surprising anecdotes you can share with us?
Yes! We have had some fantastic clients who were very supportive towards the help they hired from us. One of our helpers was studying while working at a client’s location. The client helped the helper with her studies and gave her sufficient time to prepare for exams. She ended up cracking SSC Exam!
On the other side, we often hear of problems faced by irregular house help, but what are the issues these girls/boys face when they get hired in an urban household?
Unfortunately, we have heard several incidents where the helpers have gone through mental abuse. Some of them are made to work for more than 16 hours a day, served stale food, given unhygienic accommodation and even held against their will. We are very strict with our policies and withdraw the helper and our services immediately in such cases.
The plan is to hit series A of funding, expand further, test and train our helpers thoroughly and build a bigger team! We have transformed around 1500+ lives, and we plan to change a million more!