When Manan Majithia’s sister gave birth to twins, they struggled to find a trained, professional caregiver to support her growing family. As Manan learned, this struggle is all too familiar to families across India, where the population is growing rapidly, but caregiving remains a largely informal sector.
This realization inspired Manan to start his company, YouCare, to bring global standards for caregivers to India and provide training and job opportunities for underprivileged women. YouCare was launched in 2016 with the vision of formalizing caregiving as a mainstream profession in India with professional training, fair pay, benefits, and dignity.
YouCare operates in five cities, providing care services to 1,500 families. To date, the company has trained over 2,500 candidates to become nannies, nursing assistants and baby sitters. Through its website, YouCare connects their trained, professional caregivers with families in need of services based on a set of specific criteria, such as experience, availability, and language.
Manan hopes YouCare will pave the way for the professional caregivers in India, bringing dignity and recognition to the profession and providing reliable job opportunities to young and marginalized women.
YouCare was selected to participate in Upaya’s 2019 Livelihoods Accelerator Program. Our team had the pleasure of visiting the company’s headquarters in Chandigarh, Haryana and learning more about Manan Majithia’s vision for the enterprise.
Q: What key issue was your company built to address?
“While there was no dearth of options to provide care at home, no one was focusing on building caregiving as a mainstream profession in India and maybe Asia. Hence, caregivers were mostly from the informal sector, a dotted line between a domestic help and someone who cleans up after your baby or elderly parent. We wanted youth, and women especially, to come forward and say that they wished to be recognized as a caregiver with equal dignity, perks, and rights like their foreign counterparts. This can only be possible through foreign collaboration, brand building, right processes and systems and developing a sense of dignity and respect in this profession.”
Q: What inspired you to start your company?
“India is a nation of 1.2 billion people with over 300 million of them above the age of 60 and a child being born every five minutes. Yet, we do not have an institution or organization training people to become professional caregivers at home. Once I realized this personally when my sister had a hard time finding a trained and professional caregiver for her new born twins, the idea to bring global standards of caregiving to India and encourage youth and women to take up this as a mainstream profession took shape.”
Q: What has been your biggest challenge or learning so far?
“Adjusting the mindset of the people of this country has been our biggest challenge. We want to make this profession acceptable to youth in need of jobs and guidance, along with dignity and respect for the work they do. Convincing families to choose professional services over domestic workers or freelancers has also been a challenge.”
Q: What is your vision for your company?
“YouCare also takes pride in its grassroot level exposure, our dynamic and passionate team members, globally recognized training program, and a strong and ethical foundation.
I see YouCare bringing caregiving as a mainstream profession for the youth and women in the years ahead. Not only will caregiving get its rightful recognition as a lucrative career, but it will no longer be deemed as dirty, low-grade work anymore. By bringing global and professional standards to this industry, we plan to open up domestic and international opportunities for people working in this industry, thus, bringing respect and honor to this profession. We plan to be the pioneer in bringing research and science to identify ways to improve longevity of terminally ill and bed ridden patients through excellent caregiving at home and in keeping older adults engaged and active as a source of inspiration for the community.”
YouCare provides training for lower income women and youth in patient care and nanny courses and provides them with jobs as attendants, nannies, and babysitters. With a mission focused on bridging the gap between genuine, skilled caregivers and those who need care and love, YouCare uses their website and other resources to bring ease to the process of connecting these two groups. Incubated in 2016, YouCare today operates across 5 cities and has impacted the lives of over 1,500 families requiring jobs and care services.
Entrepreneur Spotlight Series
Upaya has the privilege of working with so many passionate social entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs are our heroes, leading businesses that provide employment opportunities for people in some of the world’s most marginalized communities. We love learning and sharing what has inspired our partners and accelerator participants to take the leap into entrepreneurship. View the blog series here >>