Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Building the Delhi Magic team

Yesterday, we went to visit the non-profit Manzil in Delhi. We were trying to recruit the next batch of students. We want some students to join our office operations team, and some to be trained as guides for our Delhi by Metro tour.
Four girls came for the meeting, each with their own constraints and dreams. One of them got married early, and has a baby; she has returned to studies and is now in Std 11. One wants to become a teacher. Another wants to grow her craft business. Yet another is graduating and wants a chance for a better life. They all have one thing in common: they need some form of income right now.

We explained how our flexi-time and flexi-location work model can help them earn and finance their dreams. We hope this model will give them the ability to get started on a career even if they have constraints and challenges.

We also explained that we don't want to keep them with us forever; what we want is to give them that initial break, that initial income cushion for 3 or 4 years, which the poor find difficult to get. Then they can fly high, charting their own path.

I have learnt that if you truly want to build a successful social enterprise, it has to start from what the other person needs. We cannot go into these types of meetings saying, oh, here's what we want, and now you girls must adjust your timings and personal commitments to suit us. The insensitive and difficult nature of the 9-to-5 environment, combined with commuting time, makes it impossible for women from disadvantaged backgrounds to find a way to become economically independent. Some sort of middle path has to be created.