By Manvi Pant
Didi – The Concept
Transforming women who come from the weakest sections of the society into professionally trained helpers, a thriving idea promising an ability to change many lives – Welcome to “Didi”! Driven by a bunch of passionate entrepreneurs, Didi is a startup with a prime focus on 1) Women Empowerment and 2) Re-establishing the value of service delivery. Domestic workers in India continue to struggle for visibility and recognition. Gaining public acceptance of a household as a place of work is a real challenge. What appears to be a dream for millions of women at the bottom of the care economy food chain is a reality at Didi.
How does the concept work?
Download the DIDI app, select the service and confirm your booking. You can mention exactly how you would like you home to be cleaned. RELAX! The professionally trained DIDI will do it all for you. Isn’t that exciting??? Certainly, when you believe that someone can take care of you so well.
To gain a more powerful insight on their work, I spoke to the leading ladies of the DIDI team –
Riya Gayasen, Head, Applications Development Team, Didi
“In Hindi, ‘Didi’ means a sister. We strive to give our ladies that confidence that they can rise above the stereotype that the society has for the women who work as domestic helps (‘maids’). In India, the women who work as ‘domestic helps’ are amongst the poorest and, at times, exploited by the society. Many of them are forced to work as maids to earn money to feed their families. Didi has a team of ladies who have worked as domestic helps. But now, we are training them to do it professionally. While working with us, they also have a stable salary which gives them confidence.” Apart from encouraging women to take up more technology oriented roles, Riya ensures that the mobile app of Didi is always bug free, up-to-date and ready to use. With her devout passion, she was able to rope in Microsoft Bizspark and Haygroup for investing into the Didi.
Swati Choudhari, Web Development Manager, Didi
“My work focuses on the technical side of the system. This system works in such a way that it sends new job notifications to the Didis through the backend, thereby showing attributes from the start of the job till the end of it. Also, we are developing a system that could support the safety of our Didis”
Rachna Jain, Lead Operations, Didi
“I joined Didi when it was still at a conceptual stage and it’s been an immensely humbling and rewarding experience to see it grow into what it is today.
I come from a MBA background and have lived in cities like Mumbai and Pune for a while, so I never really had a chance to explore what you may call the ‘underbelly’ of our society. When I joined Didi, I was the only woman in the core team and my responsibility was to be the focal point for all Didis (our women service professionals) and ensure that they get trained as per our set standards and any of their concerns are communicated immediately to the top management for redressal.
Over the last 8 months, I have developed a personal bond with all of them. Getting to know them better has helped me cater to their needs and training requirements.
The biggest challenge I face is maintaining a balance between my personal relationships with the Didis and ensuring the overall good of the organization, especially when it comes to being stern with those who are not performing well. I have to be empathetic to their financial standing, personal issues and yet be firm to ensure that they understand where they could potentially improve. I feel that I have grown as a person over the last 8 months and I look forward to continuing this journey with Didi”.
To know more about the start-up, click –https://mydidi.in/