Upskilling women for a stronger business

Portea is a home healthcare company in India that operates across 16 different cities. Its network of caregivers offers services like physiotherapy, at-home doctor visits, lab testing, nursing and in-home prenatal & neonatal care. In 2018, BII invested $7 million in equity via the Manipal joint venture platform.

Since its founding in 2013, Portea has logged over two million patient visits and has grown to an employee base of 4,000. Fifty-eight per cent of its workforce, and 45 per cent of all leadership, are women.

However, during the due diligence process, the ESG I team noticed that female caregivers did not advance professionally within the company. Many of these women lacked formal secondary education, as acquiring these qualifications would have meant additional travel and time away from home. There was a perception that this would prevent them from developing within their selected career path.

BII backed Portea to provide professional development training to its caregivers, giving women the opportunity to improve their on-the-job skills, while also improving the quality of care provided to patients.

In total, 75 caregivers were upskilled through the training programme, and are now able to offer a broader suite of higher value caregiving services to Portea’s clients. Data from the control group shows that the employee attrition rate (14 per cent vs 19 per cent) and number of complaints is lower than the company-wide average.

BII’s involvement with the training programme for Portea’s female workforce demonstrates that it’s possible to have a positive influence on employee attrition and improve the level and quality of services within an investee company.

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