March 7, 2021

Women leading the way adapting and rebuilding their business from COVID-19

Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate, we hear from inspiring women who are leading the way for Business Partnership Platform business partners, adapting, innovating and rebuilding from COVID-19. We’re celebrating women’s leadership in all its forms, and recognising the major contributions of women to helping businesses meet the challenges of COVID-19.

Why? Gender equality is at the heart of the BPP, we work with businesses to create social impact through private enterprise. We provide a range of guidance and support to support our partners to help them drive successful business initiatives that also deliver economic and social benefits to women and men.

In the COVID context, the role of business in tackling gender equality and social inclusion is more important than ever. We are thrilled to share with you the women who are leading the way, helping our business partners to adapt and drive the recovery!

Meet Phuong-Anh Dang, Chief Operating Officer of JupViec.vn

BPP partner JupViec works with thousands of house cleaners, mostly female migrant women, to provide their services JupViec’s online on-demand cleaning service.

As Chief Operating Officer, Phuong-Anh Dang is an integral part of the leadership team. Her work setting up the Ho Chi Minh City branch helped to build the business. Dang explains: “We have grown tremendously and secured our position in this vibrant market (Ho Chi Minh City), while generating many more jobs for female migrant workers.”

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the business. It has lowered revenue and income for workers.

“Due to social distancing requirements and the hesitance of our customers in letting ‘strange’ house cleaners into their houses. It has been especially challenging for our workers who have little to cushion the extended shocks and uncertainties of COVID-19,” says Dang.

Phuong-Anh Dang has helped the business to adapt to COVID-19 by offering new services, adjusting bonus policies for workers, partnering with charitable initiatives to provide emergency relief support to workers, and promoting safe work practices.

“We have had to respond and adapt constantly to changing contexts to minimise the impact on our business and workers,’ says Dang.

Phuong-Anh Dang is also leading JupViec to overcome discrimination for low-skilled migrant workers in the labour market. The auto job-matching algorithm underlying JupViec’s app (connecting customers and workers for house cleaning jobs) helps to eliminate biases for women workers.

You can read more about the BPP partnership with JupVic.vn here

Meet Sujatha Ramani, CEO of Pollinate Group

BPP partner Pollinate Group sells solar home energy products to communities across India. As CEO, Ramani is focused on amplifying Pollinate’s impact and on building a sustainable business model for growth.

Ramani explains: “My job is to maximize our reach as an organization to empower more women, and therefore more marginalized people through them. This, not only helps our women entrepreneurs gain skills to make a living, but also improves their overall confidence, financial independence, contribution to domestic decision making and position in the household and in society.”

COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions disrupted Pollinate’s communications with its salesforce. A lack of internet connectivity and digital literacy hampered their ability to communicate with their team.

Ramani lead her team to adapt. Thanks to Pollinate’s innovations, many of the entrepreneurs are now back selling their products.

“We saw a steep dip in the products our women entrepreneurs were able to sell, and the number of new women we could reach out to, but our team refused to give up, and we came up with a bunch of handy solutions in the form of an online LMS platform and a smart-phone donation drive.

Despite these solutions, we were able to work closely only with quite  a few women while the lockdowns were still in place. A vast majority of them remained hard to reach due to problems like limited digital access and knowledge, illiteracy and our inability to meet them as usual.

As the world slowly reels back to a new normal, we are seeing the spirit of resilience rising among our women entrepreneurs as well, and many of them are back to making a difference and selling newer products that can help their customers access better standards of living, while saving money and of course, reducing their carbon footprint,” says Ramani.

You can read more about the BPP partnership with Pollinate Group here

Meet Sophia Bosibori Omwansu, Customer Care Representative from KOKO Networks

BPP partner KOKO Networks is a technology company operating in East Africa and India, focusing on the last-mile distribution of clean fuels to urban communities.

KOKO’s customer service work was severely disrupted by COVID-19 as it requires visiting customers in their homes.

Omwansu explains: “With direct interaction between two people no longer possible, we had to change our ways of operating to take more precautions around our health, as well as that of our customers,” says Omwansu.

Omwansu helped the business to adapt and continue safely by ensuring that all cookers were sanitized, proper face masks were worn, and finding ways to connect with the customers without being in close proximity.

“Pandemic or not, people always need to cook, so I’m really pleased that I can continue making our customers happy in these difficult times,” says Omwansu.

You can read more about the BPP partnership with KOKO Networks here

Meet Jenny Ramamurthy from Sola PayGo Limited.

BPP partner Sola PayGo is a solar company that provides reliable and affordable power solutions in rural and remote provinces in Papua New Guinea.

Jenny oversees Sola PayGo’s daily operations and staff development. She is an experienced manager with a background in education.

Sola PayGo’s customer service model was severely disrupted by COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions. Staff that were used to working in a call centre had to transition to working from home.

Jenny supported her team to work remotely and found new efficiencies in the service they deliver to customers. Given the limited internet connectivity in Port Moresby and the challenges for staff to work remotely this has been a major shift in operations.

As a result, staff have gained new skills and a developed a range of new systems for collaborating online. Sola PayGo has also expanded their operations and employed new staff, consistently building the business during this disruptive period.

You can read more about the BPP partnership with Sola PayGo here

Meet Jaspreet Tuteja, Project Manager for Children Under Five and Women Over 50, Karma Healthcare.

BPP partner, Karma Healthcare is a start-up focused on providing quality and affordable healthcare in Rajasthan, India.

“I work at the grassroots level, building knowledge regarding the importance of health for women and their families,” says Jaspreet.

Through her work, Jaspreet supports women to improve their health. Her contribution to Karma Healthcare is not only working with individual patients but also developing women as agents of change, who, through their personal experiences, can support others.

During COVID-19 the biggest hurdle for Jaspreet was communicating with patients. Karma Healthcare developed an app to overcome this and reach patients. Jaspreet’s field experience and innovative ideas ensured that the platform is easy for patients to use.

You can read more about the BPP partnership with Karma Healthcare here

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