Today, many entrepreneurs bluster about their niches and their technology based startups. While some entrepreneurs promulgate the virtues of entering into organized sectors, the excessive privileging of a few niches will prompt entrepreneurs like Meenakshi Gupta Jain to take the baby steps and explore the unexplored entrepreneurial niches and dominions. Endeavors that combine action and affection make an entrepreneur a walking magnet for attention. Meenakshi Gupta Jain, the founder of Helper4U, grabbed the attention for all the right reasons. Today, MyVenture brings to you the highly unusual story of Helper4U, a highly unusual, prodigious online platform for all blue collar job seekers.
Helper4U is a mobile optimized and a standard desktop website launched in 2014. It is a dedicated online platform that allows all the registered employers to hire blue collar workers for their chores. Employers can search for suitable candidates from the profiles listed on the portal. If they find suitable candidates then they can subscribe with a nominal one time fees to get phone numbers of these candidates. They can then connect with them directly to interview and hire them, without any middleman. Blue collar workers such as security guards, cooks, drivers, maids, delivery staff, babysitters, office boys, courier boys etc. can find jobs by maintaining their respective profiles.
Tryst with destiny
The arc of the founder’s story is determined by a crucial facet which we call it as ‘Tryst with destiny.’ Entrepreneurship is an inseparable attribute of her outsized personality. Talking about her tryst with entrepreneurship, Meenakshi Gupta Jain said, “The idea for Helper4U was conceived on a beautiful morning on the eighth floor balcony of a multi-storeyed building in Mumbai. I was having my morning tea when the phone rang and my maid said that her daughter had just delivered a baby. This meant that she would not be able to come for work for a few days. While I was happy for her, and for the young mother, a louder thought nagging me was – The house has not been cleaned, we have guests coming over tonight, and I have a tight schedule for the entire week. How will I manage the house chores in her absence? At that moment my husband Punit remarked,” Yellow pages of maids in Raheja Vihar are what you need right now to find a short time replacement.” And I thought, “Why not?” Enticed by the idea, Meenakshi Gupta Jain buckled down and quickly discovered her destiny.
Advent of adversities
Every super venture story is teemed with adversities. Shedding some light on the adversities she faced, Meenakshi mused, “The difficulties we faced were two-fold:
- Hiring people to work for us in the slums to register various job seekers.
- Convincing employers that Helper4U is a remarkable one-of-a-kind venture and will work wonders.
Despite several such serious challenges and mild complaints, the founder never lost her mojo. She went on to dazzle several job seekers and job givers.
Often to the point of outright adoration, Meenakshi thanks her team members for their tremendous contribution. Here is a quick run-down of team Helper4U:
Meenakshi Gupta Jain, Founder CEO: Meenakshi is a JNU alumnus, with 25 years of experience across training, business development and project management. She is responsible for product conceptualization, operations, and marketing. She worked as a “flexi place” “full time” employee for well-known corporates in the last 15 years. Time management is her forte.
Punit Jain, co-founder, Board Member: He is an IIT- IIM alumnus with 25+ years of experience of sales, marketing and heading companies. He advises on strategies, alliances and marketing.
Aditya Halan, CTO: Aditya is an engineer with over 12 years of experience. He works on various technology frameworks. He spearheads the product development team and digital marketing team.
Hope dares to blossom even in the abysmal abyss
The road to success is fraught with learning experiences. Entrepreneurs have to learn from disappointments. This is what Meenakshi did. On the subject of her failed venture Meenakshi said, “We had started an online social platform for audio visual based self-study English lessons. It failed due to many reasons:
- We tried to hire senior people to handle sales too early in the day.
- The idea was much ahead of its time. When we launched the program in 2010 India had great challenges in data accessibility. If we had launched it today it would have been a success.
- We had not done enough research. We assumed that the government policy of a compulsory language lab in colleges would have been implemented by colleges. But, we found things were only on paper.”
Nonetheless, she countered all the aforementioned pitfalls in Helper4U.