Didi aims to create a platform for women entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid to cater the customers household service needs. Their approach involves apprenticeship and gamified training and a discovery platform for on-demand job requests. The Didifounding team consists of JhonnyJha and SagarSen, both IIT Bombay alumni. We chat with the founders about the venture. An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture?
Didi was born out of our desire to reimagine the level of service delivery seen in India. End customers (homes and businesses) face massive issues with quality, reliability and trust around services they consume. Although industry has focused on solving the ‘discovery’ problem by developing multiple Uber for X platforms, there has been minimal focus on creating a fleet of trained professionals that would address the problem of quality.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
The key to our success has been our focus on training and apprenticeship of our Didis. We group our Didis into community based cells and then make them undergo gamified learning which involve associative learning techniques
(e.g. learning through mnemonics, pop culture references etc.) as well as onground practice sessions in a model home setup at our headquarters. As a result, we are able to standardize the enduser experience to a large extent and improve the quality of service delivery.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Our biggest challenge was changing the mindset and behavior of our Didis. The hindrance was in teaching them to learn rather than the learning in itself. Our community led approach helped the Didis in overcoming their inhibitions and get trained successfully. Seeing their counterparts practice the soft skills in mock sessions and the shadowing with real customers inspired confidence in them.
Over the last 2 months, we have trained around 40 Didis and their average rating has been greater than 4.5 out of 5 from our customers, which speaks a lot about their perseverance and success of this model.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
Our co-founding team comprises of seasoned professionals from varied backgrounds including McKinsey partners, private equity analysts and angel investors. Thus, all our business decisions undergo intense scrutiny from varied lenses before they are executed.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
We have a very talented developer in Akshay Agarwal who has several years of experience in developing systems for MNCs and startups and hence most of our technology whether it is the real time tracking of Didis or the one-tap booking from our app has been built inhouse.
We have benefitted immensely from the chat platform that we have developed in collaboration with Intercom and which allows our users to always be in touch with us over our different channels.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
We believe in personalizing every customer experience so that every Didi service you get improves on the previous one. For example, when a customer requested a specific cleaning solution to be used at their home, our team insured that it was included in the kit for the next service.
Our expansion efforts are guided by our one hour service delivery promise – we have targeted areas which are close to catchment areas of our pool of Didis so that our model remains hyperlocal. We soon plan to move to complete P2P model that would enable us to go live across Mumbai much faster,
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I am reminded of a saying here by Anton Chekov – Any Idiot Can Face a Crisis; It’s the day to day living that wears you out. In my humble opinion, people who can persevere through the daily maze of startup problems while preserving their and their team’s passion (the thing that made them startup in the first place) would ultimately achieve success.
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