Bhagwan Singh Bhaya is from Jhalawad, Rajasthan. He studied only till 10th standard and then took up a job painting posters. The work was seasonal and hence he would often be unemployed. He decided to get involved in the construction related jobs in the cities and came to Diamond Building Care (DBC). “I came to DBC, they taught me plastering, waterproofing and other building related work. We get to go to new places and learn new things that are latest in the market as well. Now I get work all year through.” From a painter who had no stable source of income, Bhagwan Singh has now become a multi skilled applicator at DBC. His earning potential has also gone up and he dreams that one day his children will be doctors.
DBC was founded by Itisha Chauhan and Arshad Khan. Itisha is an ex Air Force officer, and a management graduate from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Arshad is a management graduate with in depth knowledge in building care industry.
Arshad and Itisha’s visit to an eminent architect in Mumbai is what made DBC happen. They noticed that the architect was struggling to juggle contractors and vendors. There was mayhem at the architect’s office with supervisors complaining about how plumbers, painters, contractors, etc had not stuck to their commitment. Arshad and Itisha realized the need to be a one stop service provider in building care.
Building this obviously meant that now they would have to work with third party agencies and people. The challenges that they faced and with their own experience, the duo came to the consensus that DBC would have its own pool of “Apply and Supply” – the talent pool of workers, services and the material, everything would come under the DBC umbrella.
A committed team being the biggest lacuna in the ‘Building and Construction’ industry, the founders knew that they needed their talent pool to be the most stable and happy lot. To understand and adopt the best in class labour management systems, Itisha and Arshad continuously interacted with the blue collar workers and understood their side of the story.
The business model that helps blue collar employees
Itisha throws light on the condition of painters. “More than 70% painters are seasonally employed since painting in itself is a seasonal job and then have to work as labourers.” Itisha points out another interesting fact. “Building and Infrastructure is the second largest market in India. This industry cannot do without this talent pool. But because of the way they’re employed with so many challenges, they’re slowly weeding themselves out from the industry and diversifying to other industries.”
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DBC now only picks up painters and trains them in all the other aspects of building care like waterproofing, thermal insulation, cleaning services, vertical gardening, pest control, painting solution, wooden flooring, on-demand electrician, plumber and carpenter. As a result, the skill sets of all the painters increases. Since the painters are comfortable with brushes, they are first trained in jobs that use brushes. Full time employment is the first benefit. Itisha adds, “It gives them recognition is their social circles. We give them uniforms and they get exposure to a lot of new places.”
Painters are taken on board after a rigorous check. First, the service person to be taken on is interviewed thoroughly by the DBC Care team to gauge his behaviour, communication skills, educational background and the skill license check. Second, a personal background verification step follows which includes personal ID, address, criminal records and police verification. Once this is cleared, DBC Care keeps a strict vigil for the first two jobs of the person who is taken on and customer feedback is taken. Once the customer and DBC Care are satisfied, the service person is signed on.
A content lot
Painters are not forced to stay with them. They are free to move onto other companies/vendors if they would like to. Itisha adds, “There was a time that they used to be out of jobs during monsoons, but now they’re employed because people want waterproofing just around monsoons. With their widened skillset, we’re confident that they will get 100% employability because of the range of services we offer.”
DBC seems to have succeeded in their mission. Bhagwan Singh has been with them for 5 years. He says, “They get the works for us. They teach new things. I have been working for them for 5 years and will continue to do so.” Today DBC Care has grown its pool to 277 skilled service professionals across the range of services it offers.