“The art of getting things done lies in finding the right person to do the right job”
We are neither Batman nor Ironman who can afford our very own Alfred or Jarvis to take care of our everyday errands. How do we usually get things done? Post a query online, and then you have millions of responses (only a few that actually solves your queries). Now taking the same scenario to services, you need help with something and you’re pretty sure that you’re not the right person to do it. How do you find the right person? You’ll obviously get an online classified, which gives you the list of people that might be eligible to do the job. What lacks here is the connection, that is fundamental when you give a job to someone.
There are lots of problems associated with the traditional way of outsourcing work. The first thing that comes to mind is —where can I find help, and who’s actually going to help me out? Today as technology is enabling trust and friendship amongst strangers, TaskMitra, a crowdsourced task marketplace brings to Mumbai a culture that could forever change the way people get things done. It is trying to reinstate a buddy system where people can freely connect and seek help from each other. TaskMitra eliminates these conventional ways of asking, hunting, flipping pages, or even begging for help.
The Real Mitras
TaskMitra is founded by childhood friends and batch mates Gautam Gokhale and Ushma Khabaria with a simple desire to solve the unsolved problems by making outsourcing real quick and easy. Having pursued an MBA in finance, running a startup was something Gautam and Ushma decided way before finishing their programme at a B-School.
A go-getter and visionary, Gautam always had an itch to start up from a very young age. His passion to innovate something simple and intuitive resulted into TaskMitra. He handles the company’s Financial and Tech front, and also looks into the operations and functionalities of the business.
Ushma believes she’s inherited the entrepreneurial gene and maybe that’s what instantly reckoned her towards TaskMitra when Gautam first told her about the idea. She looks into the strategies, enjoys networking and marketing the business. Being the creative director she also handles the branding, and loves to create elegant things that solve problems and delight people. On homeground she’s also been called the resident perfectionist, making sure Taskmitra runs scrupulously.
TaskMitra was conceptualized and launched in March 2015 with the idea of promoting collaborative consumption, which leads to less of consuming, more of sharing, saving and meeting awesome people. While conceptualizing TaskMitra they were clear of 3 things:
- To create a platform where it’s easy for one to say what they need done with a price they’re willing to pay.
- To build a crowdsourced marketplace which would also create fresh sources of supply that had never existed before, thereby creating a new user behaviour altogether.
- To provide a single platform where one could seek help for Tasks when needed or choose to complete tasks one is skilled at.
Within just four months of its operations, there have been over 3,500 tasks completed on the website, amounting to Rs 70,00,000, with almost 40 percent repeat users.
Broadcasting your need to a Mitra
Users needing help with tasks are broadcasters, while those who complete them by providing their services are called Mitras.
“TaskMitra can be used as a two sided marketplace where users can alternate between being a Broadcaster or Mitra, as and when required”
Broadcasting a task takes under a minute and it’s the most convenient way of letting people know things that you need help with. TaskMitra helps people broadcast everyday errands, short-term work and offbeat projects, and seamlessly integrates them with respective service providers or even skilled people who are willing to help through an interactive interface.
Users can use TaskMitra to fulfill all kinds of tasks, from something as simple as decluttering their wardrobes, learning to bake, getting fitter to complex ones like getting a partnership deed registered, filing taxes or needing a content writer for a blog. To broadcast a task, you simply needs to describe what you need, along with the location and budget. Once the task goes Live, Mitras with the required skills or intentions make an offer on the task; after which you can choose a suitable Mitra to complete the Task and securely Pay online. Being an intermediary, TaskMitra makes sure all dealings are fair and secure through verifications, user reviews and personal interventions when needed.
The Emerging Business of On-Demand-Service
The on-demand-service is not new to the market, this has been prevalent right since the age of yellow pages. With the old timers like justdial, sulekha and other listing portals already existent in the market, there are a few new entrants in the service aggregator space like localoye, doormint, and urban clap who come across as a lateral young version of the former. There are a few like taskbob, Hammer and Mop who have mushroomed in verticals as well.
What exactly makes Taskmitra stand out in this new emerging business of on-demand-service marketplace is its emphasis on community integration by getting Broadcasters and Mitras on a single organized platform to collaborate seamlessly for every kind of tasks. Unlike most other players in this genre it is not merely limited to a service that would require a professional handyman or trainer.
They are divergent in business as they’re using a crowdsourced platform approach to disrupt the service industry which has been highly dominated by service or product quality. This also helps them bring in a culture of social collaboration. This approach not only allows them gain traction but also helps create a new source of supply which is unexplored.
“A help in need is a help indeed”
In contrast to most companies driven by a desire to up their competition and protect their stakes, TaskMitra is an all inclusive platform that allows everyone with certain skills, talent and experience to provide services and help users. Although most Mitras are professionals, you can also find freelancers, part timers, homemakers, students (adults), experienced retirees and people between jobs who are onboard. Creating a plethora of opportunities, it’s interesting to see freelancers connect with clients, students make a few extra bucks while they’re still learning, working professionals take up a weekend vocation and even seniors with some free time on hand earn while they choose to do what they like.
The platform not being limited to a few services, leaves the scope unimaginable as, quite truly, there have already been tasks that seem out of the ordinary. From needing someone to teach a mid-thirties woman to ride a bicycle, wanting a home gardening enthusiast to help set up a small home farm, to looking for a person with good handwriting to make personal invites, people are getting a hang of it, and beginning to experiment with it. That means no matter what you need, you could look for any kind of help (even the quirkiest tasks) and with a few clicks you can receive offers from Mitras, like a boss.
Concentrating solely on Mumbai for now, it aims to expand to Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai by the end of this year. However the next step is to also launch a mobile app that will help them take social collaboration in India to the next level with multilingual interface and other innovative features.
So, what are we still waiting for? With TaskMitra here, everybody is a Mitra.