Empowering the Blue Collar Workforce

Empowering the Blue Collar Workforce

Shekhar Sunuwar, born and brought up in Dharan, dreamt of coming to Kathmandu and carve a successful life for him and his family. After facing multiple hardships in Dubai, UAE and Kathmandu, like many other Nepali youth, he hit a roadblock. Then came Sajilo Marmat Sewa (SMS), where Shekhar found a workplace where his skills were valued and he felt appreciated. Shekhar is one of the hundred technicians that currently work with SMS who share a similar story. In a society where a white-collar job is equated to the measure of success, SMS is working towards empowering the blue-collar workforce.

Sajilo Marmat Sewa is a service marketplace that provides maintenance solution to the households and business houses with the highest quality work from experienced technicians. Three ambitious MBA graduates Kawish Shrestha, Pukar Acharya and Sujeet Regmi co-founded Sajilo Marmat in 2017, after discovering the gap that existed between technicians and people looking for maintenance services.

Sajilo, as the name suggests, is designed to ease the experience of business and household maintenance process. It is a one-stop shop for maintenance to everything from plumbing, electrical, carpentry, computer, and networking problems of houses and offices. They have managed to create a digital space that connects quality and transparent service to households and businesses.

Similar to thousands of businesses, SMS has also been gravely affected by the pandemic. Having to shut down their services, during the first lockdown, hundreds of technicians became jobless. However, the team swiftly jumped to action and started Sajilo Marmat Sewa Covid-19 Relief Fund and contributed Rs 200,000 in order to support those technicians. In addition to this commendable effort, the company has also initiated Sajilo Safe Campaign, that provides the technicians training to work safely during the pandemic and provided all the safety measures including PPEs, gloves, and masks.

With the recent prohibitory orders, SMS has scaled back its operations but is available for emergency plumbing, electrical, computer and home appliance repair services.

Through the One to Watch (OTW) managed COVID-19 MSME Fund supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC and FMO – Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, SMS was able to secure a loan from Laxmi Bank. OTW also seeks to provide technical assistance through tailored business development services (BDS).

According to co-founder Kawish Shrestha, “The Covid Fund by One to Watch came about at the perfect time. We at Sajilo Marmat Sewa are thankful not only for the support but for the sessions that we have been provided which has helped us immensely”.