Recently Womennow had the opportunity to interview Shagun Singh Baruah who runs a home and commercial space cleaning and renovation business in Delhi NCR and Bangalore called Homework.
Much of Homework’s success, along with the quality of their work, stems from Shagun’s personable and identifiable nature, as someone who is not just running a business but is going through the same journey as her customers. Her professionalism, responsiveness and hands-on approach holds her in good stead and has helped grow the business.
How did you come up with the idea of Homework?
Finding reliable and consistently good quality house services is not easy. I know a lot of people would beg to differ, saying that domestic help is easily available in our country so why should that even be an issue. But the fact of the matter is that most domestic help are untrained and work in an ad hoc manner. This results in adequate surface cleaning perhaps, but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of deep cleaning and maintaining the upkeep of a house.
Homework came about just for that reason.” My woman friday “as I like to refer to her, couldn’t understand why I would not allow her to douse my bathroom with buckets of water. It was a messy approach and wasted so much water. I realised that my pain was the pain of a lot of other women. Gurgaon has a lot of really expensive real estate and the already high levels of dust and hard water make it hard to keep things looking clean and neat all the time. And that’s really how and where we started Homework. What started out as just a cleaning service in 2012 went on to become a one stop shop for all home services. Now we have earned enough trust in the market that people are more than willing to trust us with bigger jobs other than cleaning, like painting of their homes, woodwork and other maintenance services around the house.
What are the services that are offered?
We offer interior and exterior Painting; making modular kitchens, wardrobes and other furniture and carpentry services; electrical, plumbing and masonry services; complete turn key services including civil work; marble floor polishing; deep cleaning of entire homes, offices and other commercial establishments. People can pick and choose elements if they do not want a complete house cleaning, and just bathroom or kitchen cleaning. We also offer sofa and carpet shampoo, pest control, termite treatment and pigeon netting services.
Could you elaborate on your initiatives for women?
Though housework should be, and is increasingly shared between partners, our experience so far is that we are primarily contacted by the woman of the house for assistance. We would love to hear from more men as well, but if we are making the lives of several women a little easier in their multiple roles as mothers, partners, homemakers, professionals and more, then we are happy to have served in some way.
In terms of our organization, we do not have any specific initiatives for women at present. A job like this requires staff to work at different locations each day and some women employees find that hard to do and would prefer to go to work at a fixed location each day.
Keeping this in mind, we are considering offering sales roles to homemakers and mothers who would like the flexibility of working from home.
Which places does the organisation successfully function in?
Currently 80% of our client base is in Gurgaon. We also work in Delhi, Noida and recently started operations in Bangalore.
Please tell us something about the work culture of the organisation. What is the strength of the workforce?
Our entire team is on our payrolls, which helps us to deliver consistently good quality and professional services. Our parent company has close to 1000 people who work across Delhi, NCR and Bangalore. Homework itself currently has 60 people on board and growing.
We focus on multi skilling in our organisation and lay emphasis on growth and development of all the manpower that work for us.
Please share one of your success stories with us.
I think some of the reviews our customers share about us is the best way to describe our success. I will share one or two such reviews
A slightly overdue message of appreciation for Homework by AM Services. I recently engaged their services to complete the construction of my apartment – the builder was unable to complete the work!
I basically received possession of the walls and some floor tiles – everything else I handed over to Homework – Woodwork, Plumbing, Plastering and Pianting, Electrical, even the garden!
They did an absolutely fabulous job – everything was completed to the highest standards of quality. All I did was buy the material as needed and the team from Homework did the rest. Neighbours who drop in and say they wish they had used Homework instead of the contractor(s) they used.
The most striking aspect was the team itself – every single person who came to work was very skilled at his job, polite, attentive to suggestions and most importantly willing to share their ideas and suggestions – right from what material to buy to what grass to plant.
And of course Shagun and Col. Surjit were always available to meet at site, listen to and discuss options and ensure everything ran smoothly and to plan.
A big thank you to everyone at Homework! Thanks for making the whole experience so painless and easy for me, I should have taken possession from the builder sooner 🙂
Richa Saini reviewed “Homework by AM Services 24×7 Pvt Ltd”. – 5 star
I have tried many agencies for deep cleaning but Shagun’s team is miles ahead of them all. First thing that stands out is the personal touch that Shagun brings – she speaks directly with her clients and with so much empathy! In past, I have experienced ‘sales team’ kind of discussions with other agencies and those discussions lack a lot. Shagun completely understood why I didn’t want a large team doing the job – there was an instant woman to woman connect, which is tough to describe! Her team was punctual, professional, and polite – 3Ps that mark a good service. They were also extremely honest to point out what didn’t require cleaning! Yes, I had asked for sofa and mattress cleaning. When they saw the stuff, they pointed out that it didn’t require cleaning – so, there’s no ‘hard sale’ going on here… it’s a pure professional service all the way! After an initial briefing and a little bit of supervision, I stepped out for a salon appointment to return to a clean house… this group is completely self-driven! Thank you Shagun!
In what ways can potential clients get in touch with your organisation?
We are available in Delhi NCR and Bangalore via phone, email, whatsapp, our website or through our Facebook and Instagram page. Prospective clients can and do visit us at our office at the Qutab Plaza, DLF Phase I. Our contact details below:
Delhi NCR – 9953770123, 8826875888, [email protected]
Bangalore – 7022025780 or [email protected]
As a woman, did you face any challenge in giving shape to Homework?
Working in a largely male dominated set-up and with blue collar personnel, getting them to take me seriously or listening to me was a challenge initially. But I do believe that if you can make them see that you mean business and at the end of the day you can and will help them grow through their strengths, they do come around. No business is easy whether you are a man or a woman. Having the conviction that you are out to do something and do it well is what helps to inspire all those to work hard as well.
What are your future plans with regard to the overall functioning of this great project?
I haven’t ever been one to make big future plans. I strongly believe that if Homework can deliver good, reliable and timely services as we have done so far we will keep growing. I am not in a hurry to grow either. We have recently started our Bangalore operations and I would like to see that market settle down before I think of setting up in another city.
You are an inspiration to many. Would you like to share a few words of encouragement for the future generation of activists/philanthropists?
Believe in what you do, share your knowledge and strengths with your team, because when they learn that they have a chance to grow and rise up the skill ladder, it helps in motivating them and in getting them to deliver quality. Never stop learning even if it’s from the junior-most person in your organisation. Know your strengths and weaknesses and those of others on your team. Have the courage to accept mistakes when you make them and always remember that tomorrow is another day.
Womennow wishes Shagun Singh Baruah a grand success in all her future endeavors.