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Need house help? There’s an app ‘maid’ for you

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Popularity of websites and apps providing trained domestic help is rising, but some challenges remain

Geeta Mathais, 32, mother of two and an independent graphic designer, spent almost three months looking for a live-in house help who could assist her with cleaning, running errands, and looking after the kids. A few weeks ago, she took her hunt to the Internet upon a friend’s advice. Today, she has 28-year-old Laxmi working for her full-time, for Rs 15,000 a month.

Likewise, Raj Unnani, 31, an engineer working with an MNC in Mumbai. He turned to the Internet to hire a maid who’d look after his ailing mother for eight hours a day. “I met a lot of people, but nobody seemed trained for the job. However, some websites promised trained, and well-groomed staff. I thought of giving it a try. Since then, I’ve had a helper who’s been with us for almost 10 months now,” says Unnani.

Both Mathais and Unnani are representative of a society where finding a domestic help who’d do the job well and last at it, is a perennial problem.

However, where there’s a problem, there’s an app or a website. Some apps and websites are providing domestic help. They are trained in cleaning, cooking, babysitting and caretaking on per-day, per-hour, as well as live-in basis. (March 2015), a domestic help aggregator with presence across multiple cities. It claims to have over 10,000 registered house help based on region, religion, and language. Helper4U provides part-time and full-time placements to babysitters, help, cooks, drivers, who it sources from “the slums of Mumbai and Pune”, says company CEO, Meenakshi Jain., a site that operates only in Bengaluru at present. It offers only full-day maids for 8-9 hours, They ensure that the maids it places, go through basic vocational training in chores ranging from dusting, sweeping and mopping.


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