Househelp, handypersons for busy Yangon couples

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and Ma Hla Htet was just too lazy to get out of bed and do her weekly house cleaning and other domestic chores.

She felt that after working for five days as a sales consultant in an information technology company, she deserved a really good weekend.

But her husband was still fast asleep after a late night out with his friends and she was the only one taking care of them. So she dragged herself out of the bed and started preparing breakfast, before she went doing her mundane weekend task of house cleaning and keeping their flat in order.

As the country’s economy opens up, more women are opting to join the workforce.

This change is leading to an increase in the number of households where both partners work full time.

In turn, this has brought about rising demand for part-time home cleaning, a trend that is already seen in more developed economies.

To meet this demand, Ko Aung Paing, 29, set up the company MyanAnts as a sort of clearing house to bring together home owners and reliable service providers including skilled maids.

Ko Aung Paing hopes to reach out to people like Ma Hla Thet and other working couples who have less time to spend in the house and would prefer to use their days off resting and just lounging around.

The business was launched to solve the issue of how to find a reliable service provider, said Ko Aung Paing, CEO of MyanAnts.

“Instead of having to look all over to find skilled workers to attend to home matters such as cleaning and repairs, people can just come to MyanAnts,” said Ko Aung Paing.

MyanAnts is just a phone call away for all Yangonites’ household needs such as plumbing, servicing of air-conditioners, and house cleaning.

The company also offers services such as carpentry, masonry, painting, electrical repairs and installation, laundry, deep cleaning and metal work.

Established in September 2017, it now has more than 1000 customers, most of who look for maids monthly, the most sought-after service, said Ko Aung Paing.

While such services are common in other countries, MyanAnts is breaking new ground in Myanmar and is still exploring the growth potential of its business model.

Ko Aung Paing says he sees his target market as the growing middle class, wives between the ages of 25 and 35, and the elderly and people with disabilities.

The company has plans to offer the services of part-time nurses for the elderly people and the ill, said Ko Aung Paing.

Ko Thant Oo Zarni, a customer who has used MyanAnts’ plumbing service before, said that it’s extremely convenient as services are provided quickly in times of need.

Ko Aung Paing said the company’s customers appear to be mostly satisfied with the quality of the services provided, although some have complained about the punctuality of maids and have requested that this be addressed.

The company and its services appear to be serving the needs of a growing demographic in Myanmar of working people too busy to attend to chores at home.

“At first I was worried about the security of my belongings or whether the cleaning would be done properly, but after I actually used the service, it was smooth sailing. My house is cleaned very well and there’s no problem communicating with the company and the maids,” said Ko Kyaw Zin, a customer who recently signed up for MyanAnt’s part-time housekeeping service.

Aside from providing services to individual customers, MyanAnts is also targeting companies. In fact its second-most sought-after service is office cleaning, with companies signing up with MyanAnts on a weekly or monthly basis.

It is more cost effective for companies to outsource their cleaning and office maintenance rather than hire permanent workers to do the job, according to Ko Aung Paing.

MyanAnts is confident that it will be able to expand its services in the business sector in the coming years.

On the other side of the coin, MyanAnt is creating job opportunities for local people who might otherwise leave the country to do similar jobs overseas.

As more customers sign up for the company’s services, more local workers will be needed to provide the services the company provides.

“We are happy to offer jobs and our workers’ incomes will rise according to their proficiency,” said Ko Aung Paing.

“There are no educational requirements for the service providers and they will be able to work in their preferred jobs while also being trained systematically,” he said.

The cost of a part-time housemaid from the company is K7000 for three hours and K13,000 for six hours, with prices higher for weekend work. While the cost might be higher than if people went and found their own maids, the company offers guarantees of skill and safety.

“There are many people who are providing these services independently. Among them, we’ll work with those who are trustworthy and skilful,” said Ko Aung Paing.

While there are other companies that have begun offering similar services in Yangon and nearby cities, MyanAnts is confident of gaining a strong foothold in the market.

MyanAnts have a very strict process in obtaining workers to ensure that they are able to provide the highest quality of service to customers, Ko Aung Paing said.

“Our company can vouch for the integrity, skills and competence of every worker we send out to our customers,” he added.

SOURCE: MYANMAR TIMES

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