Urban Company
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Urban Company

At UC, learning never stops

Through our structured training modules, we want Urban Company partners to get upskilled and improve their earning potential

Urban Company’s commitment towards skilling and upskilling its partners has always been an integral part of its growth story. For us, it’s a journey we want every partner to take. Let’s start with one story. That of Bhavya Sharma.

Bhavya today is a familiar face in Bengaluru. If you’ve got your water purifier serviced from Urban Company, she has probably visited your house. However, at the beginning of the year, things were hard for Bhavya. The passing away of her husband, the sole bread earner of the household, threw her life into disarray. But instead of depending on others for financial help, Bhavya contacted UC. Her spouse was an RO technician with UC. We offered her compensation, but that wasn’t enough, not for us and not for Bhavya. So we trained her to become our first female RO technician.

Bhavya today is proud of her independence and her new identity. She now earns over Rs 25,000 per month, supports her children, and consistently features among the top 10 UC partners. Bhavya is just one example of how Urban Company’s upskilling initiative has benefitted its partners.

We believe it is important to upskill. Not only does it help partners earn more money, the new skills they learn make them resistant to the waves of seasonal jobs. If an AC technician manages to, say, upskill themselves to a geyser technician, they will be able to find a regular supply of jobs across the year. We find ways to help our partners move overseas as well. Currently, UC operates in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Australia. And a small team has already left for the UAE to train and be exposed to the international market.

Back in 2019, only in the fourth year of our formation, UC had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to mobilize, train, and therefore, give our partners a chance at a better life. Since then, we have been a part of the Skill Indian Mission, and have seldom strayed from our promises. We have 150+ training centres across 37 cities, where more than 250 trainers work with our partners and help them upskill. Everyone of our 35,000 partners are free to choose which part of the journey they want to embark on.

The upskilling drive

Whether it is a room-based cleaning partner who wants to graduate to a full-house cleaning professional or a restaurant worker wanting to become cooking service personnel, UC offers structured modules to specialise.

Since the training is developed in-house through expert discussions, UC partners are able to get promoted to senior roles within a year. We structure each session in such a way that the trainer-to-trainee ratio is between 1:15–1:25. This way, everyone gets personal attention.

Our work design strategy helps our partners get higher monthly payments and pushes them to discover new markets. UC now is also running a pilot programme wherein shortlisted partners are trained and sent to the Dubai market to get exposed to the demands of international markets.

Here’s a glimpse into the training support for each service category:

Beauty services

With over 13,000 partners, this is our most popular and in-demand segment.

The category offers upskilling across all beauty categories. What it means is that a UC partner can transition from Classic to Prime to Luxe in a few years. So you get the scale of the growth we offer, our Luxe category professional can earn up to Rs 60,000 per month.

Focused training also helps. Each class takes 20–25 students only. For us, maintaining an optimum trainee-teacher ratio is of utmost importance. Once our partners have successfully exhibited their growth in India, we offer them a chance to explore international markets as well. Our trainer Rumpa, along with a batch of 30 beauticians, for instance, has recently moved to Dubai to head the Training for Salon category in the country. And our next batch of professionals is ready for their chance to move.

Apart from India and the UAE, UC is also present in Singapore, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. International postings have started off with the UAE right now, but we aren’t ruling out other global markets.

So, how does this work?

  • A UC partner who maintains her rating and has no escalation against her is considered for the next ladder.
  • The transition from Classic to Prime to Luxe is a growth path for the partner. These professionals are upgraded not just on the technical skills but also softer skills such as language and behaviour.
  • The training is modified according to the local statutory and cultural requirements.
  • Trainers ensure quality control. In beauty and massage put together, we have 108 full-time trainers and 111 contractual trainers.

When it comes to the UAE work opportunity, UC fully sponsors the training, the visa, and flight tickets. The partner only needs to pay a security deposit that is returned in six months. On arrival in Dubai, there is another refresher training that is provided to the beauticians.

Spa at home

Spa services form an allied category that is quickly gaining popularity. Freshers have to undergo 45 days of training across offerings such as deep-tissue massage and Swedish massage. Once fully trained, a professional has the opportunity to easily earn up to Rs 30,000 per month.

Home cleaning segment

The home cleaning category is one that is in demand all year round. And our professionals have a serious shot at upskilling.

Under home, one could work on individual rooms, kitchen, or upholstery depending on customer needs. UC provides training by which a partner who, for example, is working only on sofa cleaning can be upgraded to a full-home cleaning professional, a segment that pays the highest.

Their career trajectory looks like this:

  • A new entrant starts off with individual rooms like kitchen or hall cleaning.
  • After completing over 50 rated jobs, those partners who are rated higher than 4.8 get an opportunity to move to delicate cleanings, such as sofa and carpets. This training is based on the demand in individual locations.
  • UC partners who are content with upholstery can continue with that segment.
  • Professionals whose ambition is to earn a higher pay are trained to become full-home cleaning staff.

Here, the training is provided free of charge in a physical classroom setting to the selected partners.

AC repair

Air-conditioner servicing is a seasonal business category. And we want our partners to have the option of working during other times of the year. Therefore, AC service persons aren’t just trained on the latest technology but are also given cross-functional mobility opportunities. So, an AC servicing professional can diversify and choose to learn geyser servicing.

This is the only category where professionals can move into a completely different business. Not only does this expand the skill profile of our partners, but also ensures that they are financially independent even outside their peak season.

In this service category:

  • Currently, we have 26 full-time trainers and 92 part-time trainers in addition to subject matter experts(SMEs).
  • Among these, 85 trainers and SMEs also work as UC partners.
  • In AC, we do multiple training sessions that differ based on the skill level (good, average, weak) of the partners. The ‘good’ partners have a training period of two days. Our ‘average’ partners attend five days of training while the ‘weak’ and new partners have to attend the training for eight days.
  • In Delhi and Chennai, we also do AC training for fresher pros for 12 days. In large and other appliances, we do 3 and 6 days of training.

Cooks at Home

Cooks at Home is a new category we have introduced at UC. Under this, individuals with 3–4 years of experience in the food industry/restaurants are encouraged to apply for partner positions.

The trainers are former 5-star hotel chefs. Here, the batch size is 6–10 per trainer and the modules involve an array of topics, from the basics of cooking to local and international cuisines.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CVh6l4RpeeE/

That’s not all. At Urban Company, learning never stops. Once a UC partner reaches the career peak in their respective fields, there is an opportunity to switch to a trainer’s role. The trainer is a full-time UC employee.

Through this, these service persons can move up the learning curve by becoming a trainer. From an external independent role, trainers are full-time employees on the company roll. Employees get similar incentives, irrespective of whether they are trainers or the company’s CEO.

Today’s informal job market is getting equally competitive. We can’t reiterate enough that upskilling is the sole path to success. At Urban Company, we want our partners to be self-sufficient at all stages. Our current programmes are only the tip of the iceberg and we will continue building our training pillars.

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