17 Jun 2016, 10:37 — 8 min read
Gender parity is rightfully gaining acceptance in the modern world. With an increasing number of paladins of the issue, emerging in support, the societal fabric looks set to transition to a level playing field. Ajatshatru is one such individual who proudly parades this badge through his portal, GharSeNaukri. The company endeavours to help unemployed women, by allowing them to work from home in the vocation that matches their qualifications, thus aiding them regain pride and discover their self-esteem in a largely male-dominated society.
Ajat is on a crusade to activate this huge hitherto untapped work-force comprising of educated and well-qualified women who are relegated to simply looking after their families due to pressure from in-laws, husbands, or society at large. He believes that women can contribute significantly to the country’s growth and GDP and all they need is the right opportunities to display their talents and put their education to good use. Ajat envisages GharSeNaukri to be the bridge that connects employers and women seeking to work from home.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Ajatshatru (Ajat) shares the chain of events that led him to establish GharSeNaukri. Watch this video to learn more about this entrepreneur who is creating work from home opportunities for women.
GL: How did the concept of GharSeNaukri take shape?
Ajat: GharSeNaukri is an endeavour to create an eco-system that connects talented and skilled women work-force with eminent employers, thereby providing opportunities for these women to work from home.
Several life experiences have led me to shape the concept of GharSeNaukri. It all started long ago, some 13-14 years back, when my cousin sister was denied a chance to go out and work after her marriage. She was extremely well qualified and held a Masters degree. Before marriage, her in laws claimed to be supportive of her career aspirations, but after marriage,they did a volte face and insisted that there was no need for her to work as the family was financially well-off and that she should focus on looking after the home and family. The sad part was that this happened not in some remote village but in a metropolitan city like Bombay.
I was very young at the time but this incident really shook me. Years later, I left my job with a partner company of IBM and started an HR & corporate consultancy. While doing the consultancy business, I found many such profiles of well-qualified women like my sister who wanted to work after marriage but were not permitted to do so due to pressure from their in-laws, society, husband or children.
It was way back in 2009/10 that we started hearing about portals like Naukri and Monster.com, and we were using these portals to serve many companies. At that time I couldn’t do anything because the jobs were for full-time employment and the companies were not looking for part-time employees.
In 2011, I took admission in IGNOU to pursue masters in Psychology. Doing the course, I saw many instances in society where the wife was not happy. One of the root causes of this was that she was not being given the value or respect that she deserved. I began to understand the psychology of a woman who is a homemaker, her aspirations and her need for financial independence. So finally clubbing all these learnings – my understanding of the job market, gender-gap in employment, the phenomena of qualified women sitting idle, I decided to start GharSeNaukri.
GL: Which year did you start the portal?
Ajat: The portal started in 2014. I remember the exact day was 28th January 2014 when the concept was crystallised in my mind. I booked the domain name that night itself. I shared the concept with my close friends and they wholeheartedly supported me. I left whatever I was doing, took a huge risk and decided to focus on this venture.
I got a team in Hyderabad to start developing the platform in April, and it was ready in August. With this raw portal, I started going into the market and meeting job providers. From day one, one thing was very clear in my mind: we would not charge a penny from the woman who is seeking a job opportunity.
GL: What are some of the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
Ajat: The journey has not been easy -- generating initial engagement, convincing customers and companies of this huge potential work-force has been an uphill task. The major challenge amongst the companies and MNCs is that their information is highly confidential and they are reluctant to outsource it. Also, there is the trust factor: they’re very doubtful if an employee working from home will do the job responsibly and within the time-frame. The major barrier is the mindset among job providers. Big companies insist that employees need to be in the office for 8-10 hours in order to be productive. We have started by approaching SMEs, but we will target the big MNCs as well.
From job-seekers’ side, because there are so many fraud agencies in India that promise alluring jobs, women are wary and doubtful of whether we can deliver.
In some areas, internet connectivity is also an issue. We collect a lot of information on call, but a resume for instance has to be sent via mail for which internet is a must.
GL: You also have a module called WomenInBusiness. Tell us about this.
Ajat: WomenInBusiness is a marketplace for women who want to start their own business. When we started GharSeNaukri every day we received approximately 100 calls from different parts of India. In at least 20 of those calls, women said they didn’t want a job; instead they were looking for a platform to leverage their talents be it cooking, stitching or counselling. Basically they wanted to be stay-at-home entrepreneurs.This is how the idea of WomenInBusiness took shape. At present it is in its nascent stage, but we plan to develop this concept further.
GL: How important do you think GlobalLinker is in assisting SMEs?
Ajat: GlobalLinker is a great platform that connects founders of startups and other small business owners. GlobalLinker really understands the needs and challenges of small business owners and is providing wonderful facilities. According to me, GlobalLinker’s strongest USP is that it is a one-of-a-kind forum that is connecting SMEs and bringing them opportunities that so far only big businesses enjoyed. I keenly follow all articles and discussion posts on GlobalLinker, and these are extremely insightful and informative.
I believe that GlobalLinker is well on its way to becoming one of the largest networks of SMEs in India and the world.
GL: What is your big business dream?
Ajat: Our vision is to enable as many women as possible to join the work-force and be financially independent. By the year 2025, we want to be one of the biggest job providers and job creators in the world. Right now we have 2.5 lakh women registered with us and out of this 1300-1400 have been employed. Within the next five years we want the number of women registered with us to cross 30-40 lakhs. Out of this number, if we are able to provide employment to 5 lakh women, it will be a great achievement.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Ajat: Women are the true power of India and they can do wonders. If you have a dream, you must respect it, trust it, and go and achieve it.
Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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