Get a handyman to lend you a hand in cleaning the house this Diwali | business-news | Hindustan Times
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Get a handyman to lend you a hand in cleaning the house this Diwali

Who says e-commerce firms are only for buying apparels, accessories, cellphones, gadgets and other products.

business Updated: Oct 24, 2016 11:19 IST
Rozelle Laha
From bathroom cleaning to full-home cleaning — cobweb removal, fixtures cleaning, high-rise dusting, mopping, vacuuming, pest control, carpet cleaning and shampooing, curtain dusting, sofa cleaning, wall and ceiling cleaning — e-commerce startups are offering handymen for all cleaning services at your doorstep.
From bathroom cleaning to full-home cleaning — cobweb removal, fixtures cleaning, high-rise dusting, mopping, vacuuming, pest control, carpet cleaning and shampooing, curtain dusting, sofa cleaning, wall and ceiling cleaning — e-commerce startups are offering handymen for all cleaning services at your doorstep.

Who says e-commerce firms are only for buying apparels, accessories, cellphones, gadgets and other products?

A new category of service, hold your breath, house-cleaning, is on offer on online marketplaces such as UrbanClap, MyDidi, Housejoy, Broomberg and Helpr, among others.

So in case you want to get your entire house cleaned before Diwali, chuck those mops and instead, just log onto any of these sites and book a handyman — a technical term for a person who is skillful at doing small jobs (such as household repairs).

You can also avail discounts and freebies while buying these services. Sure enough, it has already become a hit with nuclear families.

UrbanClap’s co-founder Abhiraj Singh Bhal claims to have got over 10, 000 home cleaning bookings in October alone compared to 1,200 served by the company during September to December last year. The company recently partnered with e-commerce firm Snapdeal to launch promotional offers for Diwali home cleaning.

Mumbai-based MyDidi, which helps people get domestic helps for regular chores at two-and-half-rupees per minute, is delivering 150 orders in a single day since September, compared to 150 in a month last year, says co-founder Jhonny Jha.

September marks the beginning of the festival season with Onam, which ends with Diwali in November. According to e-tailers, 50% of their annual revenues come from festival sales.

From bathroom cleaning to full-home cleaning — cobweb removal, fixtures cleaning, high-rise dusting, mopping, vacuuming, pest control, carpet cleaning and shampooing, curtain dusting, sofa cleaning, wall and ceiling cleaning — e-commerce startups are offering handymen for all cleaning services at your doorstep for anywhere between two-and-half-rupees per minute to ₹15,000, depending on the intensity of cleaning and the size of the house.

A full-house cleaning can take up to two days. A full-house cleaning generally costs ₹1,899 and above, depending on the nature of the work.

“It is very difficult for us to convince customers for the first time as they feel the service costs are fairly high compared to what they pay to their domestic helps. So the first impression we create is very important for us,” says Bhal, who raised around ₹250 crore from Bessemer, Saif and Accel Partners, and an undisclosed amount from Ratan Tata in December 2015.

UrbanClap recently signed an agreement with National Skill Development Corp (NSDC), according to which, the company will target absorption and verification of 300-500 candidates per month from NSDC’s skilled workforce database, onto their platform.

Most startups meanwhile are wooing customers with festival offers.

As Saran Chatterjee, CEO of Housejoy says: “We have improved our marketing campaign. The amount of money we have spent to drive this awareness this year is higher than last year, and our discounts, too, have increased. Cashbacks funded by banks, complimentary diwali lighting, bumper prizes being funded by brands partly and partly by us are some of the exciting offers.”

Housejoy has raised 23$ million in its series B funding led by Amazon in December 2015. The company expects a 600% sales growth this year, Chatterjee said.

Broomberg, which gets 40% of its annual revenue from festival sales, is giving away discount coupons to customers, which can be redeemed on their next service, says CEO and co-founder Samrat Goyal.

Another startup Helpr is giving additional services with bookings. “The prices are 25% to 30% less compared to rest of the year,” said Vijayramkumar Veeraraghavan, co-founder and CEO.