Which budding entrepreneur wouldn’t like to save time by hiring an affordable secretary? But efficient executive assistants come with a hefty price tag. While technocrats have come up with handy apps to save time and money, PlanMyDay (PMD) has come up with a solution that provides a humane touch. PlanMyDay is a firm that provides a “remote secretary” that manages, coordinates and completes tasks for customers via phone, SMS, email and web portals.
Shivadhar Soma, the CEO of the venture joined hands with his long time friends Easwaran Suryanarayanan, the COO and Shiva Prasad, the CIO of the firm in February 2012. Shivadhar, before laying his hands on entrepreneurship had a vast share of experience at firms like Oracle, TeraData, and Airtel serving in different capacities. He has obtained his MBA degrees from IIM Bangalore and EDII (Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India). Shiva Prasad has done his M.A in Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology, NY and his interests span from Web Designing to Film Direction. Easwar has an extensive experience of 15 years in global and strategic Account Management having worked in almost 45 different countries till date.
Motivation and Concept
“Businessmen from small and middle sector have a lot to manage however don’t have big pockets like big tycoons to hire full time secretaries. Ours is an effort to provide a cost effective resource for the assistance of this class,” shares Shivadhar. The assistants provided are equipped with the necessary skills to handle Contact, Email and Call management, research work and dictation and minutes for the clients. Apart from the services, the assistants solve the daily conundrums like booking tickets, restaurants or arranging for meeting and making the powerpoint presentation. For those whose business requires a frequent follow up with the vendors, the assistant reminds them on tasks and gets required documentation done.
Why should one hire an assistant from PMD?
Assistants hired full-time have a lot of pull backs apart from doling out more money. Hiring full-time compels the company to provide sufficient training along with entitling them to PF, ESI and other employment benefits. With PMD, Shivadhar says that is hardly a case. The plans are flexible enough to hire assistants as per scaling of the business of the client. “We hire a experienced lot into the business. Hence, they hardly require any training.” The assistant also reminds of the expiring insurance cover and anniversary celebrations, adding a personal touch to the service. Elaborating on one of the services which Shiva feels is a path breaker, “Entrepreneurs attending a lot of conferences get their pockets full of visiting cards by the end of the day. We collect those cards from the client, convert it into .vcf, readable by the cell and send it across to the client. This saves him a lot of time and prevents losing out on any important contact.”
The cost of hiring a secretary from PMD ranges anywhere from seven to ten thousand per month with add on packages that it offers. Located in Hyderabad, PMD offers services to the startups located in Hyderabad. It also provides outsourcing services to the clients located out of Hyderabad.
A bootstrapped venture, PMD is operationally profitable and will soon break even on its investment capital. In a span of year and half, PMD has served clients like Open Minds, TollyWood Directors etc. PMD looks for angel funding to spread its roots in other major cities of India. With a team size of 15, PMD has hired ten full time secretaries to cater to the needs of the clients. “We are planning to provide administrative services to startups along with a customer care department. PMD will spread its wings to Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore by the end of 2013,” says Shiva.