We have a fairly large base of urban educated women and many have taken the entrepreneurial path which includes presence in the now-buzzing startup sector. But here’s a startup that has taken to hand the task of ensuring no woman has to forgo her career after marriage or raising her kids.
Sheroes is a career support platform that takes into account the life stages to help women choose work opportunities that suit them the best. The career eco-system has been build to bring opportunities to women in varying work formats – full time, flexible work options, entrepreneurial work options, internships, projects, etc., she further explains.
Founded in January 2014 by Sairee Chahal as an outcome of her previous venture fleximoms, Sheroes has helped over 40,000 women find careers of choice and over a million women have found help via their communication channels. “More than 7000 companies use Sheroes to connect to women professionals which includes ladies from far flung towns like Theni and Champaran,” Chahal who has a business degree from IMT Ghaziabad and an M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi tells us. For instance, she says a priest’s wife from Gorakhpur had called for a career opportunity as she had studied but never ever worked before.
“Women’s careers are not really a national priority, we are still fighting for fundamental rights for women. But India has a large base of urban educated women who can do with better professional presence and support,” adds Chahal. This has also been one her early challenges as the startup isn’t about a product for women, like in most cases, but about creating job opportunities, and careers for woman aren’t seen as significant as in case of men.
An individual or a company can put up a job listing for free, and it won’t be charged. There is a fee attached only for value adds such as companies looking for premium jobs, more assistance in hiring, women centric initiatives and so on. “Our revenue is B2B dependent, where companies pay to use various hiring, engagement and marketing services,” she adds.
So, anyone can post a suitable job listing on Sheroes. However, the team moderates and does some background checking to ensure it isn’t fraudulent or no woman is getting a raw deal. However, it isn’t limited to just providing job opportunities. Sheroes has a vast community with support channels to help women via mentorship. The mentor board includes 70 members. There is a phone number, web chat presence on its site, an Android app and social channels via which women can post queries and Sheroes will answer them. They also conduct timely skill building workshops, and has partnered with over 250 women related organisations and likewise to help reach out to more women. The core team includes 40 members, and the startup is now trying to increase their sales team and also bring more value to what they’ve been offering women.
Sheroes hasn’t been incubated in a formal incubator, but Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Paytm have been partners throughout and have helped SHEROES find its place, Chahal points out. The startup has raised seed funds from Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur led Quintillion Media, 500 Startups and a group of individuals including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Rajan Anandan, Binny Bansal, Mekin Maheshwari, Girish Mathrubhootham, Indus Khaitan and Krishna Mehra in August 2015.