What “Women at Home” Want? How Can They Make Money?

Hotstar was the first and fastest 100MN download app from India. Indian women were a major contributor to this. They are the bread buyers of the family so it make perfect sense for media companies as well.

Stay at home women in Indian households are major consumers but they are also considered a major reason for low growth of Indian economy. The social structure does not allow enough freedom to go out of home for standard work hours.

I am particularly talking about educated women in urban Indian family. Typically a women’s income in such family is “additional income” and not mandatory to run the household income.

Here are few traits that I have been noticing. It will help you understand what they want.

  1. Age 25 to 60. Married.
  2. Can use popular apps on smartphone. Not necessarily tech savvy. More browse, less search.
  3. They are influential but not necessarily on Instagram.
  4. Everything goes Viral. Word of mouth is fast. Comparable to college kids.
  5. Have free time from early noon to early evening. Not necessarily on all days. Not at the same time everyday. About 30-50 hours a week.
  6. Do not appreciate physically intensive work like data entry. Creative works helps.
  7. Need Social recognition for work. They need “colleagues” to work.
  8. Not pressed for money. Not looking to meet a need or target to achieve.
  9. “Sales” and “Creation” are most suited. Operational work is difficult remotely. Any work that requires time adherence is difficult.

There are few companies that are trying to tap this workforce. Let’s see what they are doing right.

  • Foodybuddy – The startup enables home chefs to sell online. This domain has been explored by startups earlier. Shef just graduated from YC to address the same domain. Amongst other things the one thing they are doing right is that they are selling long shelf life items. Along with immediate consumption item like dosa, they are also selling dosa batter. They are selling pickles and Ladoo. These need to be less predictable in terms of time of service. It’s difficult to beat a restaurant’s time adherence for immediate consumption food. Fast and convenient will always over take taste. For other stuff it is has a strong story, as powerful as that of Lizzat Papad’s self help group. Women do creative work, app handles sales and delivery.
  • Meesho / Glowroad / Shop101 / Wooplr– These are decently funded apps. All in the dropship category. Mostly selling non-branded women clothing. Apparently they are doing good in tier-2/3 towns. The local store may not have as much curation and catalog size so these apps work. Meesho sellers are like ecommerce assistants. Curating on Meesho is a creative skill. Same audience as Amway or Tupperware. Women do the selling work, app handles supply.
  • Flyrobe’s Trunk ShowFlyrobe is into rental of premium clothing. They are trying their hands becoming the suppliers for women who want to setup kiosks at local Flea Markets. They deliver the goods before the orders are placed by the consumer and allow of a more physical viewing. The unsold inventory can be returned. App handles supply.
  • Makemytrip has had work from home holiday consultants for sometime now. Sales centric again. But makemytrip gives leads to their holiday consultants. Users aren’t really selling to their own network. Time adherence will be higher in this case.

At my new startup, Refrens, we are looking at bring more work to this audience. Creative people who are good at what they do but may not be able to go out and sell.

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