Diwali was just around the corner when my housekeeper decided to head home to his village. It was the worst possible time because my Diwali cleaning was pending,” recalls Shefali Bhansali, a Peddar Road-based housewife. But just as Bhansali was about to panic, she came across a flier advertising Prachi Parikh’s new cleaning service, White Glove.
One phone call later, the team from White Glove was at the Bhansali residence armed with a variety of mops, cleaning liquids and vacuum cleaners. “They were accompanied by a supervisor, so I didn’t have to provide any instructions. In fact, the extremely polite staff asked me before touching the computer and other gadgets,” says Bhansali, who was thrilled at how thoroughly they scrubbed her three bedrooms, hall and kitchen within about three hours. From clearing cobwebs on the ceiling to dusting the fans, the team left the place spotless, she adds.
Well aware of the woes of managing a home, Parikh conceptualised the service while she was a student in Singapore. “My roommate and I had a maid who came once a week. Everytime she came, she’d use up all the cleaning liquid and she’d expect us to buy a new lot for the next time. The house was never cleaned to our satisfaction and we couldn’t understand how she managed to use up so much,” exclaims the Cathedral alumna.
“It struck me then how much more effective it would be if housekeepers received proper training. That’s when I began chalking out a plan to set up White Glove,” adds the young entrepreneur, who began working on the housekeeping service as soon as she returned to Mumbai in August this year. “I have a friend in the hotel industry and with his help I was able to hire the right set of staff members. Currently I have a team of six people along with a supervisor,” reveals Parikh, who finds recruitment one of the most challenging aspects of the business. “Finding people you can trust is near impossible,” she claims.
Her staff undergoes a rigorous training session, which prepares them through presentations and demonstrations at a Pune-based hotel. “They are trained to take care of the tiniest details. You may not need the service on a daily basis, it is certainly something you could use once a week or perhaps once a month, especially before a wedding or a party, or after one. White Glove is also ideal for people who are new to the city, as we offer customised packages to them,” Parikh elaborates. If you don’t need your entire house cleaned up, you can just choose to tidy up a room.”
More like the services provided by the housekeeping staff at a hotel, the team at White Glove is trained to neaten and organise your house too. “I loved how the team rolled up all the wires of the gadgets in the house and tied them up using Velcro strips,” recalls Bhansali, who was equally impressed with how they handled her delicate showpieces. “I’ve made sure to tell all my friends about them,” adds the happy patron, who is positive she’d call them for a second round of spring cleaning.