Category: Community Living

Is controlling domestic help rates in apartments becoming essential?

domestic-helpDomestic help/maids have now become a necessity for almost all households in India. Presently, with both men and women working in the 9-5 shift or more, the basic household chores need to be taken care of by the maids, cooks, nannies, drivers etc. It becomes essential that you hire the right person for all these activities that affect your day-to-day lives.

 Some of the cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad have several high-rise apartments with 700+ people residing in the same. The amount of domestic help available in such apartments should also be abundant? But this is not the case and the simple rule of economics that demand generates supply fails here. Finding domestic help is not as easy as earlier irrespective of where you stay or how much you can pay. Sooner or later you do go through the pain of finding the right domestic help and retaining the same.

 Essentially, the story remains the same whether you reside in a big apartment or small. The residents of an apartment always complain that how maids, cooks and drivers in general force residents to increase their salary. A lot of household help quit frequently to join new employers who pay them higher or just become very adamant and demand for immediate pay hikes/bonuses forcing their employers to reconsider their compensation.

 Almost all apartment associations have discussed these issues and attempt to come up with regulations to control the rates of maids in an apartment such as below:

  • Prepare a rate card for all the household activities and ask residents to pay only that much.

  • Every maid needs to carry a No-objection-certificate from her previous employer so that the prospective employer ensures she/he is not switching jobs for money.

  • Residents are requested not to deviate from the rate card.

  • Any domestic help asking for more than the agreed rates is penalized.

 The question that arises from the above pointers is that how easy is it to apply these rules to housing societies. A lot of residents were happy with the above mentioned resolutions, however some disagreed to the resolutions claiming that they were quite capitalist in nature and if doctors/engineers can demand their price, why can’t the domestic help do the same? The whole demand and supply economics lies in the scenario that if you can afford a maid for Rs. 8,000 and can very well afford it, it doesn’t matter to you if others in the apartment are paying Rs. 3,000. The others sooner or later will have to succumb to the so called “market rate” pressure and increase the salary bars.

 The resolutions mentioned above can only work if people living in an apartment work as a team with their associations and come to a common resolution wherein neither the domestic help is exploited nor are the employers blackmailed for sudden pay hikes.

 Until then people with maids/drivers working with you for more than an year, good luck in maintaining them. For people searching for a good domestic help, best of luck for your quest to find the right domestic help!


Apartment Complex Events – Tips for Planning Pongal Celebrations

In the rush and stress of urban life, we often forget about the ancient customs and traditions associated with our festivals. In fact, one of the common complaints of parents living in apartment complexes in cities is that their children are unaware of their roots and culture. Yet another complaint often heard is that city living has cut the links that develop between members of a community.

Have a communal Pongal celebration in the apartment complex is a good way to solve these problems. Children get to know more about their culture even as their parents learn to interact and develop friendships with their neighbors.

Tips for Planning Pongal Celebrations


(i) Pongal is a four day festival. While it might not be possible to evoke a good response to an event stretching out over four days – give the hectic pace of urban life – plan to have at least a two day celebrations to create a true impact.

(ii) The first day of Pongal, known as Bogi, is normally marked by a pooja and a bonfire. The bonfire in the evening can be made into a community event.

(iii) Make arrangements for the bonfire well in advance. Keep one person in charge of the entire event. Designate a safe area for the bonfire, which is away from parked cars and other fire traps. Involve children in the activity of building the bonfire. Also ensure that safety precautions are in place. Check that fire extinguishers are in working order.

(iv) On the second day of Pongal celebrations – the Surya Pongal – arrange for women in the apartment complex to draw kolams. Get children involved in the activity, so that they learn about this tradition. Some apartment complexes even arrange group kolam competitions.

Pongal Celebrations

(v) Cooking the pongal can also be an event where all the residents in the complex participate. This again adds to the excitement and fervor of the occasion.

(vi) A community lunch can be organized. The residents of the apartment complex should be encouraged to bring in one dish each for the lunch. This will again involve a lot of planning and interaction – which is the point of holding Pongal celebrations in your apartment complex!

(vii) Have special events for the children. A quiz competition regarding Pongal traditions, a exhibition of Pongal Panai pots painted and decorated by the residents and a cultural program are just some of the ways to get children involved more actively in the celebration. These activities will also build up a special atmosphere in the apartment complex and add to the sense of festivity.

(viii) The success of the Pongal celebrations in your apartment complex will depend on the degree of participation. It is therefore essential that the event is well planned taking everybody’s suggestions and ideas. Discussions should be held and responsibilities assigned to make sure that the event goes off smoothly.

Group celebrations can reduce the feeling of alienation that people living in apartment houses often experience – and Pongal is definitely a good reason to celebrate!


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trail as well so that you can try before you buy!


Housing Society Safety Measures During the Kite Festival Celebrations

Organizing kite festival celebrations in your housing society can be a lot of fun. However, mishaps and loss of lives during the kite flying festival have often been reported in the press. It therefore makes sense to draw up a list of safety precautions and ensure that these are strictly followed during the kite festival celebrations at your apartment complex.

Safety Measures During Kite Festival Celebrations


(i) Children love to fly kites from terraces and roof tops. While this may be exciting, the element of danger increases. There have been several reported instances when people flying kites from terraces and roof tops have lost their balance and toppled over. So before the festival gets off to a start, draw up some ground rules. One option is to ban flying kites from roof tops and terraces. The second option is to appoint two or three people to patrol the roof tops, especially the areas where children are flying kites. They can keep an eye to ensure that the kids do not venture too close to the edge of the terraces.

(ii) The second danger during the kite flying festival comes from the manja that is used. Every often, the manja is manufactured using plastic and ground glass in order to give it a cutting edge. Sadly enough, these manjas have been responsible for killing people as they are sharp enough even to slash throats. Given the danger involved, specify the kind of manjas that can be used during the kite festival. Circulate the specifications well in advance so that people can buy the right kind of manja.

Kite Festival

(i) One of the problems with the kite festival is that it causes havoc among birds. Several birds fly right into the path of the kites and are severely injured. One way to avoid this is to adjust the timings of the kite flying festival. Make sure that residents of the apartment complex do not fly kites early in the morning or at dusk as this is the time when birds are very active. Again, a bit of advance planning and sufficient notice will ensure the co-operation of all the residents.

(ii) The kite festival may see the influx of visitors to the apartment complex as residents may invite their friends and relatives. Make sure that all of them are bonafide guests and not trouble makers trying to sneak in. Alert the security and instruct them to get verification from the residents concerned before allowing any strangers into the complex. Make alternate parking arrangements to ensure that the visitors’ cars do not create a traffic jam in the locality.

(iii) Make arrangements to deal with any medical emergencies that may arise. Have a doctor on call and keep one vehicle and driver on standby at all times.

(iv) The end of the kite flying festival can leave your apartment complex littered with broken and torn kites. These are not just unseemly but can also be a fire hazard. Make a plan regarding garbage clearance and implement it as soon as the festivities are over.

With a few basic precautions, you can organize a safe kite festival in your apartment complex.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trail as well so that you can try before you buy!


Apartment Complex Events – Celebrating Colors with the Kite Festival

Makar Sankranti, which falls in mid January, is celebrated in several ways across apartment complex communities in India. Essentially a harvest festival, it is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Sankranti in Karnataka and Uttarayan in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Makar Sankranti celebrates the arrival of warmer days after a cold and dark winter. It is also supposed to be the day when the Gods awake from a long six-month long slumber. Gujaratis and Rajasthanis celebrate the arrival of the warmer days with a colorful kite flying festival.

Given that Makar Sankranti is celebrated in some form or the other all across India, it is a good idea to celebrate it in your apartment complex, and a kite flying festival is the best way to ensure that people from all age groups join enthusiastically in the celebrations. After all, who can resist flying a colorful kite?Celebrating Colours

Celebrating the Kite Festival in Your Apartment Complex


(i) A Day Long Affair: The kite flying festival can be converted into a day-long affair where residents of the complex mingle and socialize with each other. The day can be divided into three sessions – the morning kite flying session, a community lunch and then the night time kite flying session.  However, before organizing the festival, ensure that participation is high by giving people sufficient notice. Chalk out the program details well in advance and circulate it among the residents.

(ii) Buying The Kites: Your housing society can also look into placing bulk orders for the kites. It may be difficult for the busy residents to spare time to go shopping for kites. Senior, retired residents of the apartment complex can be given the responsibility of selecting and placing bulk orders for kites. This will make life easier for the busier residents and will ensure greater participation. Senior residents will also enjoy the responsibility. A donation drive can be launched well in advance in order to raise funds to buy the kites. Be sure to order the famous ‘lantern kites’ for the night session.

(iii) Kite Flying Competitions: Each kite flying session can be divided into two parts. The first part can be non-competitive, where residents fly kites for the sheer joy of seeing the sky fill up with a colorful collection of kites. After this, you can get started on the serious business of competitive kite flying, Arrange the residents into teams and have a faceoff between them.

(iv) A Community Lunch: Once the morning kite flying session is completed, most people will be ready for a hearty lunch. Given the occasion, it makes sense to have a traditional spread. Food is a major part of the Makar Sankranti celebrations and it would be ideal to have a dish from each part of the country.

(v) The Lantern Kites: The session at night where the glow of the lantern kites lights up the sky will be a fitting finale to the day.

Celebrating the kite festival in the apartment complex is a good way to de-stress and to make children understand our customs and traditions.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trail as well so that you can try before you buy!


Slides from Waste Management in Apartments Awareness and Best Practices Sessions

Below are the presentations from the Waste Management and Awareness Sessions” held on Nov 24th 2012 by ApnaComplex.

Waste Segregation for Dummies – Presentation by Ragpicker


SAAHAS – Nothing is Waste presentation by Wilma R


Solid Waste Management at Ferns Paradise – A Villa Community(340 Plots)


Waste Management in Sobha Aster, a 49 flat complex


Youth for Seva Presentation at Waste Management in Apartments event by ApnaComplex



Bookmark – Waste Management in Apartments for all these resources and more!


Want to manage your Apartment Complex or Housing Society in a Better Way? Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We even offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Waste Management in Apartments: Awareness and Best Practice Sessions Updates

ApnaComplex with support from Bannerghatta Neighborhood Association, conducted Waste Management Awareness and Best Practices Sharing Sessions on Saturday, 24th November, 2012.

After a warm welcome from Mr. Sanjeev Bansal of Vithola Apartments, the event kick-started off with a small video on the WHY of Waste Management – the current status of Bangalore’s garbage dumps, BBMP’s diktats and securing the future for our children.

The Waste Management expert speaker sessions started with Waste Management for Dummies by Mr. Vijay Krishnan of RagPicker who gave a simplified, practical, down-to-earth explanation of WHATs of waste management. What were the different categories of waste, What are the composting options? What garbage goes into what bucket/bin/bag for disposal? What’s done with the garbage after it leaves our homes?

Wilma Rodrigues, the guru of Waste Management from way back in 2001, from Saahas group next presented some practical HOWs of Waste Management. She explained about various tailored and customized options for apartments and gated communities in terms of services offered by Saahas. She explained how we can contribute back to not just environment by significantly reducing the output generated to landfills, but also giving back to the society in terms of employment for people manning the composting and segregation units right in the apartment/complex premises. The women and men employed with Saahas are given training, proper protection equipment and ergonomic tools and techniques to go about their mundane work. The services while being a big boon for societies who are always pressed for time and resources – is also very economical with charges only for covering the basic expenses.

Up next was Ms Poonam of Daily Dump, another veteran in this area. Daily Dump, popular for providing eye-catching, colourful and beautiful composting units – be it for individual homes, society or office, was ubiquitously mentioned by almost everyone in the following Best Practices sessions. She gave some sharp, hard-hitting and thought provoking perspectives straight from the field – how to think of the bigger picture beyond just my home, my apartment, my backyard. For example how there was no CFL recycling plant in Bangalore and it needs to be transported several miles outside the city just for that.

The Best Practices sessions generated the maximum question/answers from the audience with practical issues & tips shared by passionate committee members – Savitha from Sobha Azalea and Althea, Babita Saxena and Radhika from Ferns Paradise, Asia from Purva Panorama, and Anoop of Sobha Aster.


Practical questions on how to change the mind set of maids, cooks and housekeeping (use incentives scheme, talk to them in the language they understand, use visuals instead of charts), how to practically collect wet garbage ( keep it newspaper lined buckets/bins outside your door and have the housekeeping staff empty it into larger trolley-bins), contacts of alternate conscientious waste collectors who actually don’t mix up after you have taken all the pains to segregate, how to mobilize the residents from indifference to active participants (go door to door, involve children, have fests, make garbage interesting!). This was the section that generated the maximum laughter and interaction too! What struck the audience was the professional presentation by these green champions. “Phased-implementation”, “Early Adopters”, “100% compliance”, “Soft Launch”, “Post Pilot” were some of the terms used by the presenters – which showed the corporate style commitment and execution towards making Bangalore a better place to live.

The event ended with an inspiring note from Ms. Lavanya of Youth For Seva. The finale session was most appropriate as she urged people to not just recycle – but also reduce. Take a moment before buying – do you really need it, can you get by with something more simpler option that we actually knew and used 10 years ago (do we really need that e-waste generating sensor activated liquid soap dropper?!, Do we really need black plastic refuse bags?). Once you buy it – take another moment before throwing it away – has it been used to fullest extent? Can you not repair instead of replace? Don’t fall for the consumerist marketing is the message she asked people to think about. YFS also has other areas of service such as health, education where volunteers can register and give back to society at large.

A copy of Solid Waste Management Template for Apartment Complexes and an attractive Waste Segregation Poster have been distributed to the participants. There was a crossword puzzle on Waste Management that was handed over to all participants and Mr. Manish from Klassik Benchmark has won the lucky draw for the same.

Waste Management Puzzle from ApnaComplex

“The sessions were very very useful. I have had lot of takeaways. Although we were practicing Waste Management to some extent in our apartment, I have got lots of new ideas now and I am going to spread the word to not just my apartment but my entire neighbourhood” – words from the happy and satisfied member from the audience – Ms. Meeakshi of Ittina Abby sums it all.

The sessions were attended by more than 60 participants from various housing societies. All presentations are available on ApnaComplex Slideshare.

Update: Some of hyperlinks given above were broken earlier. The broken links have been corrected to point to correct urls


Want to manage your Apartment Complex or Housing Society in a Better Way? Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We even offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Waste Management for Apartment Complexes – Awareness and Best Practice Sharing Sessions by ApnaComplex

ApnaComplex with active support of Bannerghatta Neighborhood Association (BANA) is conducting Awareness and Best Practice Sharing Sessions on Waste Management for Apartments in Bangalore.

Waste ManagementDate & Time: Event is scheduled to happen on Nov 24th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Venue: Club House, Vithola Apartments, Off Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore (Google Map of the Venue)

Agenda: 

Event will include presentations by Daily Dump, Ragpicker, Saahas, Youth for Seva – organizations dealing in Waste Management and Best Practices from Apartment Complexes who have successfully implemented Waste Management in their respective societies.

  • Introductions & Welcome
  • Need of Waste Management & the options available – Video Presentation
  • Waste Management for Dummies by RagPicker – Mr. Vijay Krishnan
  • Saahas Presentation – Ms. Wilma R
  • Daily Dump Presentation – Ms. Poonam Kasturi
  • Tea Break
  • Best Practice Sharing from BANA
  • Best Practice Sharing from Sobha Azalea & Althea
  • Best Practice Sharing from Ferns Paradise
  • Youth for Seva Presentation on their services
  • Vote of Thanks

Who can attend:
Any one in and around Bangalore who is part of a gated community (Managing Committee Members, Green Committee Members, Facility Managers, Residents of Apartment Complexes, Villa Layouts)

Does it cost?
The event is free for ApnaComplex paid customers and for BANA members.
For others, Rs. 100/- shall be collected at the venue on the event day to cover the incidentals.

Please register your details at http://bit.ly/VZkCUd

Please check out the event on Facebook as well.

Please drop a comment below if you want to know more information or mail to support at apnacomplex.com


Waste Management Process in Purva Panorama Apartments, Bangalore

One of ApnaComplex‘s premium customers, Purva Panorama Apartments, on Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore is ensuring waste generated in their apartments is efficiently managed and disposed, reducing the damage to environment.

Below is TV-9 coverage of the waste management process in Purva Panorama under the Hasiru City feature:

Purva Panorama not only leads in Waste Management, but also in adopting best Apartment Management Software, to manage their apartment efficiently and transparently!


Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


ApnaComplex Enhancement: Staff can now be part of Groups in your Society!

In ApnaComplex, you are aware that every society can have unlimited number of mailing lists or sub-groups as a part of the Community Collaboration Tools. All along you were able to add owners or residents of the society to these sub-groups. We now have enhanced this feature so that you can add Staff to any of the groups!

This key enhancement opens up lots of new possibilities – such as ability to create a staff only mailing list, ability to include your estate manager on a cultural event discussions, or the accountant on NEFT notifications!

The staff can initiate or respond to the discussions over email and the same gets recorded in the portal similar to what happens when a owner/resident posts.

Bring your residents and staff together, with ApnaComplex!


Want to improve community life in your Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and community collaboration software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners way lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a Free Edition which you can use free of cost forever.


ApnaComplex really changed the environment in a very positive manner

When we started ApnaComplex, our objective was simple – Help create Happy Communities. We are proud and super excited today when we received the following testimonial from Mr. Praveen, Hon. Secretary of Ferns Habitat Owners Association, a gated community near Doddanekundi, Bangalore who have been using ApnaComplex now close to an year.

ApnaComplex is really an efficient tool for Association management activities and effective communication, and it really makes life easy for all the management committee Members in all areas including treasury management.

The Ferns Habitat Portal built on ApnaComplex really changed the environment in a very positive manner and created credibility among the members about treasury and all the Association related areas.

It has helped in bringing in transparency effectively in whatever the Association do. Many members who were detached from the community were brought back on board in the system and we see many smiling faces around.

The society environment has improved drastically and there is no match to the feature rich experience we have with this amazing software suite. You think of a feature and let them know, to your surprise, you will get a reply that either they are doing a beta testing or the feature is under development. Man, these guys are so close to the customers and market.

I think I enjoyed my tenure as a Gen.Secretary largely by bringing this software into practice in Ferns Habitat and making it as the backbone of the community today. Long Live ApnaComplex !!

Thank you Mr. Praveen for your words!! We are glad to have helped you create a happier society.


Want to create a happy society? Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners way lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!