Interview with Neha Bagaria, co-Founder & CEO of JobsForHer
If people were born entrepreneurs, Neha would certainly be one of them. After graduating from Wharton, she gave life to her vision of womanhood. She founded JobsforHer in March 2015. In less than 2 years it has become a powerful community of women who share the ambition to combine a meaningful career with a happy family life. Through JobsForHer, Neha (and her now 35 team members) connects female professionals to a strong network of female-friendly companies.
“What we are doing with JobsForHer is the need of the hour in India, and we couldn't have come into this market at a better time.”
We asked Neha to share her personal stories and tell us how JobsForHer helps other women regain their confidence to get back to work, after a long maternity break.
First of all Neha, congratulations on Jobsforher ! Seeing your office buzzing is very inspiring. To what you think you owe your success?
My passionate and dedicated team of women restarters (and now a good number of men, too!), hands down. Every person in this office was hired based 1) on their ardent belief in what we are doing, 2) their aptitude and skill for the job that they get done. And we are doing it.
We are doing it without working weekends, and while taking no lunch/chai breaks. We are doing it with most of our team members working in multi part-time/job-sharing roles. We are doing it with women who are mothers taking advantage of our work-from-home option when their child is sick. We are doing it with every person in this office understanding the complexities of work-life balance and respecting every person's need to do what they need to do to get both jobs done - on the work-front, and the home-front.
What was your first job ever and how this experience has shaped and strengthen you towards what you’re doing today?
I started my first company at the age of 21, a fresh-faced Wharton grad in Finance & Marketing, and I brought the American Advanced Placement program to India. I became the College Board Representative for the country in doing this. I ran that company, successfully, for 2 years before I got married and relocated to Bangalore. I was always an entrepreneur and I was always meant to work.
What were your challenges as an entrepreneur?
I don't think I faced any challenges, really, because everyone around me was so supportive of my decision and my dream to build this company - from family to friends to advisors, and everyone in between. What we are doing with JobsForHer is the need of the hour in India, and we couldn't have come into this market at a better time. The stars have aligned perfectly for us to bring women back to work, because the world over diversity is in the driver's seat and companies, economies, and governments are realizing that bringing women back to work from a break makes good financial sense - for their bottom lines, for the economy, for society and its generations to come.
Which stage are you in currently and what is your next step in growing JobsforHer?
Since our inception in March 2015, we stayed under the radar for the first year, limiting operations to only Bangalore, and establishing our product-market fit. Things have come a long way since then - JobsForHer now has a 35-member team including a CTO/CO-founder who is ex-Snapdeal, an AVP Diversity Talent Solutions who is ex-LinkedIn and a robust team of women getting back to work. We are now working with 1600 companies across India in diverse industries to get other women back to work. We work on a basic freemium model in which companies are welcome to post job openings for free on the portal and women can search & apply for suitable opportunities. We also offer (chargeable) solutions to companies to promote their jobs or company profiles, and partner with us to run recruitment drives, reskilling programs, and returnee-internship programs.
What do you like most about what you do? What makes you wake up every day?
I love the sense of purpose and drive I get from every woman we place through JobsForHer for the last year and a half. Every client of ours has sent glowing testimonials of the women they've hired through us - their die-hard commitment, their unbelievable catch-up speed on the job, their superb multitasking abilities, their incredible time-management abilities, their finesse in relationship and customer service management - everything that they would have to train a fresh graduate to do, they don't have to with a woman returning from a career-break. It is these women whose exemplary lives get me out of bed, feet hitting the floor, and ready to take on the world outside.
If you were 20 again what would you do professionally?
I'd probably do it all over again, including the 3.6-year long career break which is what finally brought my career full circle to social entrepreneurship.
Where can we find you if you are not working?
Spending quality, happy time with my children and my family, making memories for posterity.