While the government is still chalking up plans to start the country’s first women’s bank, one man has set up a services company run by women in Bangalore.
“There are homemakers who are qualified to work in a big company. However, many of them are unable to take up full-time jobs as they want to take care of their family. A regular office does not give them the flexibility to work for only 4-5 hours in a day. Hence, we thought of unlocking the potential of these women by enabling a work culture to address the business challenges faced by various companies,” said Karthik Ananth, co-founder and director, Maniams.
The focus of Maniams, which has hired 22 employees based out of Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad, is on economically inactive women. Maniams takes outsourced work from companies and its employees manage them. Its services include sales, market research, content writing and HR. Madhu Sarangi, who does market research for Maniams, quit her job a few years ago as she had to visit the US. On returning, she could not resume work as she preferred to stay at home to take care of her child. “I have a marketing background. I was sitting at home unemployed as very few companies in India gave the flexibility I was looking for,” said Sarangi.
“On Monday I get to know what I need to deliver by Friday. Hence, I chose my own timings. For instance, the maximum amount of work happens from 7:45am to 11:45am when my kid is in school,” she said.
Though women with experience are preferred, homemakers who have never worked before but have good qualifications cannot be ignored, said Ananth.
“I do not believe any lady sitting at home does not have experience that matters in a job. Most of them have arranged their kids’ birthday parties or weddings, which means they are good at event management.
The 18-month-old company could not take the traditional route to hire employees as their target was homemakers.
“Obviously homemakers will not update their resumes on the net. So we went to various apartment complexes and spread the word. Other sources were birthday parties and the playground. Most of it was by word of mouth.” “Managers in India are not groomed well enough to handle women employees. Some of the women I have hired have
worked in the US where they had to do every household chore. In India, despite family support, a maid and a cook, women are not able to work full-time as managers do not cooperate. We still have a long way to go in terms of women at the workplace,” said Ananth.