Good Businesses 2013

Bringing dignity to labour

Facilities management company Jack on Block helps un organised labour in Bengaluru climb the social ladder

Photographs by RA Chandroo

The name is misleading. On the block usually suggests something for sale but here’s Jack on Block, a startup that’s actually been very quick off the blocks to make a mark in the social entrepreneurship space. The facilities management company aims to plug the gap in small but everyday services usually provided by a local handyman, especially for homes and small offices, offering on-call services such as plumbing, carpentry, electrical repair, housekeeping etc. But that’s not why it stands apart from other companies operating in the same space. Jack on Block offers workers from the bottom of the pyramid an opportunity to be part of an organised workforce, bringing them into the formal sector with training and skills upgradation. “By providing handymen a steady salary and employment, I wanted to root out incentives for crime and restore the lost faith of customers in handymen,” says Sharath Vatsa, the 30-year-old founder of the Bengaluru-based firm.