Category Archives: My take

Today, the 25th of March, 2017, is Earth Hour, 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Dear Friends, today, at the above mentioned hour, people from as much as 178 countries, may come together to switch off non-essential lights and power equipments. The idea is to show that we care for our planet and our sustainable living. It may be just a symbolic gesture, given the short span of ‘switching off’…It may lead to limited power savings, as some would argue; others would say that we would need to do much more that just this…I agree, but in this one hour, we get a time to ponder- how important it is to save electricity from fossil fuels; and how each one of us can directly reduce carbon emissions and limit Climate change.

So I am going to try switch off at 8:30 PM for an hour…!

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Got something to repair?- Meet the new age ‘home services marketplace’ in India

This article is for all who are living in metros and big cities of India…who are tech-savvy, time-pressed, quality conscious – We all need to repair our stuff, be it appliances, plumbing, electrician work and so on. More often than not, we are forced to select the handymen who we know nothing about and who may charge a bomb for even low-quality work. Now sites like Urbanclap, Housejoy etc boast of providing trusted service providers at the click of a button for all our home needs including repair and maintenance.

In this article, I talk of 9 of such ‘super startups’ who have made a place from themselves in the field. Please go through this article and share if you like it!

Why Repair?
When we repair our broken-down stuff, it is good for our pocket and our larger pocket, ‘the Environment’. How? Repairing gives a second life to our stuff. This means that the stuff would not end up as waste as yet, so waste is reduced. And since the demand for a new stuff has not been created as yet, there would be lesser extraction of natural resources. This is good news for our Environment.
Fortunately, in today’s world, connecting to repair service providers is lot easier than before. Actually, it is online.

This blog gives the details of all the online service marketplaces in India.

Encyclopedia of Online Repair-service Marketplaces in India.
The firms listed below are web and/or mobile-based platforms in the business of connecting customers to verified, good quality repair service providers end to end. Another name of this class of firms is ‘On demand home services providers’. Most of the firms claim to have background-checked verified professionals as service providers; and through website and/or mobile application, customers can book the service provider for the desire service, and pay for transaction online or offline. Generally, the customer authentication is done through his/her mobile number.
However, the reach in terms of customers, the quality of service providers, the ease of transaction, pricing and new schemes or offers, differentiate one from the other. The order of companies in this article is purely alphabetical.
(Disclaimer – The facts quoted in the article are mostly from the Companies’ websites or from sources stated and readers are advised to cross-check the information before making decisions/judgements)

1.     Bro4U

2.     Helpr

3.     Hometriangle

4.     Housejoy

5.     Localoye

6.     Taskbob

7.     Timesaverz

8.     Urbanclap 

9.     Zimmber
Read below to see which of them cater to your city.

1.        Bro4U
https://bro4u.com/
This firm is in the business of providing a host of home services to the customers. On its website, ‘Repair and Home Maintenance’ is the first category of services. It was founded by Pramod Hegde and Rajath KR in 2015[1]. It currently serves in Bengaluru and plans to extend in some more cities. Repair services offered are Plumbers, Carpenters, Electricians, Computer Services, Mobile Repair, AC Repair and Services, Kitchen Appliances Repair and Home Appliances Repair. The contact number is 08030323232. The services can be availed through the website or the App. Latter can be downloaded from both App Store and Google Play. Payment can be made online before or after the service.
2.     Helpr
https://www.helpr.in/
Another on-demand home services market place, it is on both platforms – web and mobile (as an app). Co-founded by Vijay, Vignesh and Rajesh in 2015[2], it serves five cities – Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Coimbatore. It offers several home services, including which are repair services, which specifically include – Electrical, Plumbing, Appliances, Carpentry, Appliance Repair, Carpentry, Geyser Service, Vehicle Care and Computer repair. The contact number is 7676-000-300. Its app is available at both App store and Google Play.
Payments can be made either directly to the Provider upon completion of his/her services or through the Website/App. (According to their website)
For most services, it offers free guaranteed service in case of recurrence of issue within 10 days. It further claims ‘professional and highly experienced staff & transparent pricing’.
As a differentiating feature, it has several subscriptions, some of which are specific to ‘Home Repair’ and ‘Appliance Care’.
3.     Hometriangle
https://hometriangle.com/
This firm was co-founded by Ramesh Chincholi, Dhirendra Prasad and Manohar Negi in the year 2014[3]. It serves in 7 cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.
Focusing on home improvement services, this company also gives a range of repair services. Among the repair services offered are plumbing, carpentry, electricians, Appliance services and Handymen. The contact number is 7676000100.
Services can be availed both through Website and App (available currently on Google Play).
Their website very proudly claims to have their ‘professionals’ having gone through identity and criminal record checks. Also every job is insured up to Rs.10000. They also claim to have verified reviews which is not a feature with some other companies.
4.     Housejoy
www.housejoy.in
Co-founded by Sunil Goel and Arjun Kumar in 2014-2015[4][5], Housejoy offers a host of local home services.
Cities they serve in are Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi & NCR and Gurgaon.
Specifically, repair services include repair of appliances including refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines; car and motorbike servicing; Plumbing; Electrical and Carpentry & computer, laptop and printer repair.
Based in Bengaluru, the contact number is 1860-123-4569. To access the service, one can visit its website or the app (HJ app). App is available on Google Play and App store, which the company claims is more user-friendly.
Their ‘certified experts’ come up to doorstep and do the repair. Process according to them to avail the services involves ‘Book, Schedule and Relax’. The company offers a ‘Housejoy Guarantee’ – Insurance amount which varies from service to service.
Payment for services are to be made before or after the service, through cash or online payment options like including credit card, debit card and net banking.
Among the special features on their website are offers & deals.
5.     Localoye
www.localoye.com
This ‘services marketplace’ online firm is servicing currently in Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Mumbai, New Delhi and Noida. Services are available over website and Android app available on Google Play. It was founded by Aditya Rao in 2013[6].
Among the host of local home and other services offered are also repair services. The latter include AC Repairs and Services, Apple Device Repairs, Car servicing, computer repairs and services, Electricians, Fridge Repairs, Laptop Repairs and Services, Microwave Repairs, Plumbers, TV Repairs and Services, Washing Machine Services and Water Purifier Repair and Services. Repair services for Offices include AC and Laptop Repair.
According to them, the process of availing services through them is ‘Give your requirements – Get customized quotes – Hire the Best’
They even give ‘1-week post service guarantee (not applicable on purchased materials)’.
6.     Taskbob
https://www.taskbob.com/
It is a Mumbai based start-up which offer repair services as a part of a basket of other home services. It provides services in different parts of Mumbai. It was founded by Aseem Khare, Abhiroop Medhekar, Ajay Bhatt and Amit Chahalia in the year 2015.[7] Among the repair services offered are Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter, Appliance Repair and AC Repair. The contact number is +91-8080809019. Services can be booked over the Website or the App. Latter is available on both Google Play and App Store.
It offers a couple of subscriptions to reward its loyal customers.
7.     Timesaverz
https://www.timesaverz.com/
Founded by Debadutta Upadhyaya and Lovnish Bhatia in 2013, this came early in the space of providing local services at the customer’s doorstep from the comfort of his/her home. Their tag hash is #savetheday. It currently serves in 6 cities – Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gurgaon and Delhi and also Thane and Noida. In the repairs category, services offered are the following – AC, Chimney, Computer, Fridge, Microwave, Mobile, water Purifier & Washing Machine. Among the Handyman services offered are Carpentry, Electrician, Mason, Plumbing, and Water proofing.
Customer contact number is 9022711888. Services can be availed through the website or mobile App, latter available both at App Store and Google Play. Payment can be made before or after the service.
They display offers/discounts on the website. Another interesting thing is the annual subscription packages – Diamond, Gold, Silver and Bronze which convert to discounts, free inspections, higher rated service partners etc. for regular customers. As the name indicates, they give emphasis to ‘Turn Around Time (TAT)’ and have introduced a reward program of ‘Earn Minutes’.
8.     Urbanclap 
www.urbanclap.com
Abhiraj Bhal, Raghav Chandra and Varun Khaitan founded this company in the year 2014. It is a mobile marketplace helping customers hire ‘trusted professionals’ for their repair and other local service needs. According to their website, this is how it works – ‘Choose the service’; ‘Browse and Book’ the professionals after exploring their photos, reviews and videos; Chat to finalize details with the professionals and hire; and that is about it! It is currently servicing in 16 Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Faridabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Secunderabad.  
The Repairs domain includes Electricians, Plumber, Carpenter, Mobile Repair, AC Service and Repair, Laptop Repair, Microwave Repair, Refrigerator Repair, Washing Machine Repair, Water Purifier Repair, Apple Product Repair & Geyser/Water Heater Repair.
The Urbanclap mobile app is available in Google Play and App Store.
Payment Options are mainly online (debit card/credit card/Net Banking) or cash post service, before or after the completion of service according to their website.
They claim to have background-checked professionals to ensure safety and satisfaction of customers. For at-least some services, they offer a limited period service guarantee and monetary insurance against damages.
It is the fastest growing services marketplace[8]. (ET, 2016)
9.     Zimmber
www.zimmber.com
It was founded by Anubhab Goel and Amit Kumar in 2014. It is a web-based ‘aggregator platform’, which offers home services, including repair services. They specifically cater to Mumbai. ‘Zimmber champs’ as they call the service providers or professionals provide the repair services for washing machine, refrigerator, Microwave, PC & Laptop, Geyser and AC servicing along with services like carpentry, Plumbing and Electrical service.
The process of availing the service according to them involves ‘Select a service – Select Date, Time & Address – Get Confirmation and Relax’.
The app is available at Google Play and App Store.
Contact number is 8080-824-824.
After 3 days of non-complaint from customer, the request is considered closed.
Payment can be made through Zimmber web-based services (Freecharge wallet) post the service.

References

[1]http://indianstartups.co/2015/06/hyperlocal-startup-bro4u/
[2] LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vijayramkumar-veeraraghavan-13353110
[3] https://profiles.yourstory.com/organization/hometriangle.com
[4] https://www.linkedin.com/in/sunil-goel-5938616
[5] https://yourstory.com/2015/11/housejoy/
[6] http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/local-services-at-the-click-of-a-mouse-116011100017_1.html
[7] https://yourstory.com/2016/02/taskbob-funding-series_a/
[8] http://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/startups/16-startup-founders-india-2016/50401747

Thanks for reading! Do Like and share it with like-minded people!

Can We Do it – A Cleaner & Safer Diwali?

Some intuitive ways of celebrating a “Cleaner, safer and Fun Diwali” – Prayers, Sweets, meeting family members and friends, holidays and…

  • Minimizing use of fire-crackers, especially those which produce lots of smoke and noise
  • Resisting the need to over-buy – better for pockets of ourselves and Mother Nature
  • Resist over-lighting – after all, power is precious…

Can we do it? This is the question to all of us Indians. Diwali, the big festival of India, has in recent history, been associated with massive bursting of crackers, and massive pollution of air, soil and water as an aftermath. It is something which we have seen through our own eyes, in most of our lifetime.

diwali-pollution-2diwali-pollution-1

Courtesy: Pumirror.com, The Hindu

However, if we pretend we do not know about it, here are some news reports of Diwali last year.

On Diwali night, India gasped for breath – http://www.thehindu.com/data/pollution-on-diwali-night/article7872344.ece, November 13, 2015

The level of pollution reaches ‘severe’ in several cities of India where healthy people also start getting affected, leave alone people with pre-existing conditions.

Diwali: Delhi pollution ‘hits hazardous levels’ – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34795305, November 12, 2015

Pollution in Delhi during Diwali: The harmful pollutants and their result on human lives – http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/pollution-during-diwali/1/518634.html, November 7, 2015

Is that the only and best way to celebrate – by choking ourselves & our fellow people? That too, when the environmental balance is getting more and more fragile by the day? Can we have a “cleaner  & safer  Diwali”, this time?

diwali

Happy World Environment Day – June 5, 2016

http://www.wed2016.com/

Happy World Environment Day , Friends!

The most visible eco-phenomenon our world is facing today is Climate Change.

Over the last one month, I have written five blogs looking at this from different angles.

There is a lot to know and lot to be done, if climate change is to be reversed or at-least slowed down.

Each one of us need to do our part, for the sake of ourselves and our children.

Do visit the my recently written blogs,

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/blog-5-climate-change-series-the-waste-connection/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/blog-4-climate-change-series-need-to-act/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/climate-change-series-paris-dealleaders-of-187-countries-stamping-on-the-need-to-take-action/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/climate-change-series-relevant-facts-leading-to-solutions/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/climate-change-myth-fast-changing-to-reality/

Thanks for reading and stay Eco-conscious!

Blog 5 – Climate Change Series – The ‘Waste’ Connection

Hello.

‘REduce, REuse, REcycle’, the 3 Rs, is the consensus mantra to reduce the effect of waste and waste management practices on Climate Change. How does Waste impact Climate Change?

“The climate benefits of waste practices result from avoided landfill emissions , reduced raw material extraction and manufacturing, recovered materials and energy replacing virgin materials and fossil-fuel energy sources, carbon bound in soil through compost application, and carbon storage due to recalcitrant materials in landfills. In particular, there is general global consensus that the climate benefits of waste avoidance and recycling far outweigh the benefits from any waste treatment technology, even where energy is recovered during the process. (UNEP)

As we know, Green House Gases (GHGs) are a major cause of Climate Change as they trap the heat radiating from the earth back to space, resulting in global warming. One such GHG is released from the breakdown of Organic waste in landfills – Methane. (GRID UNEP)

In 2016, Deonar Dumping Ground in the Indian metropolitan city of Mumbai caught fire recurrently. This is a 300 acre ground (largest in Asia) used since 1927 to dump at-least half of  garbage (untreated) of Mumbai.(NDTV) . Among other reasons for this is emission of methane, a flammable GHG.

(Pic: Courtesy, NDTV)

If less waste is generated, less spontaneous emission of methane would be there and therefore less warming due to its ‘greenhouse effect’.

Another dimension of the same is lowered GHG emissions as reduced need of production & distribution of goods due to greater application of 3Rs, result in lesser need of energy from burning of fossil fuels.  This point is well illustrated in the following diagram. (EPA)

Diagram: Life-cycle of a Product (EPA)

Further, even waste management practices like anaerobic decomposition result in GHG emissions. Traditional “waste” management represents 1 to 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.(EPA)

Conclusion – At our level, greater  application of 3Rs is a significant way to avoid waste and reduce emissions leading to Climate change.

Thanks for Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 3 – Climate Change Series – Paris Deal:Leaders of 187 countries stamping on the need to take action

Hello, before we go to the details of the Paris Climate Conference 2015, we may summarize its result as a first-ever confluence of global political will to acknowledge and tackle Climate Change.

If leaders of 187 countries are stamping on the importance to act on Climate Change, how can you and me still deny it?

This is quite significant…but action is more important.

Coming over to the details…Signed on December 12, 2015 with United Nations taking the charge, 187 countries came together to commit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius before Pre-industrial level in the Paris Climate Conference, (also called COP21)

A series of fund-raising pledges by countries and cutting down of global emissions have been agreed to. Salient points are as follows:

  1. Long-term global goal for ‘net-zero emissions’ – The time-frame agreed to for this global pledge is second half of this century. However, the significance of this lies in the fact that a clear economic message has been passed on to the markets, hopefully driving action.
  2. Pledges of cut in carbon emissions- Although not legally binding, 187 countries have submitted this pledge (Intended Nationally Defined Contributions, or INDCs)
  3. Stock-taking every five years – First global stock-taking in 2023, and then after every five years to stay firmly on track
  4. Funds – Members in a non-legal way, are required to mobilize funds to help developing countries to adapt to climate change and move on to cleaner economy.

(Source: Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/paris-climate-deal-key-points#img-2)

Well, no strict deadlines…no fixed fund flow from one country to another…but a clear realization that Climate Change is Real, and we need to act as One. Action of one not only affects that country but the world as a whole…and so the Paris Agreement…

A step in the right direction…!

In the next few blogs, discussion on the urgency to Act, several ways in which we as individuals can be a part of Solution, the Waste Connection to Climate change……..

……………Please come back for more…Thanks for reading!

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(Source: Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/paris-climate-deal-key-points#img-2)

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 2 – Climate Change Series – Relevant facts leading to Solutions

Hello,

Use lesser electricity and water, plant more trees…these are the most direct ways to reversing Climate change…!!!

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a long-term shift in weather conditions identified by changes in temperature, precipitation, winds, and other indicators…its long-term state and average temperature are regulated by the balance between incoming and outgoing energy, which determines the Earth’s energy balance.”(Govt. of Canada)

The change can be induced by natural factors as well as human factors. Natural factors comprise primarily volcanic eruption and solar activity. While the effect on climate of former is for a shorter period, the later can influence in a longer period; however its effect is much less in the past century as compared to that of human activity. Human factors mostly are related to burning of fossil fuel and change in the land-use pattern. This leads to increase in levels of carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. An enhanced ‘greenhouse effect’ results has resulted in warming of the Earth.  It is to be noted that carbon dioxide and nitrous dioxide are long-lived ‘climate forcers’, i.e. they stay in the atmosphere and  impact the climate change for a long time.

(Source: http://climatechange.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=65CD73F4-1)

So here comes the Solution – anything which reduces the carbon dioxide emission in the air, is the best way to fight Climate change!!! 

Do come back for more on Paris Climate Deal, more examples of Climate change around the World…and more facets of Climate Change…

Thanks for reading!