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Zenobia Moochhala MA ’98 of Care.com speaks at Entrepreneurs Forum

By Elianna Spitzer

Section: News

September 11, 2015

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, Zenobia Moochhala MA ’98 spoke at an Entrepreneurs Forum in Lee Hall. Moochhala, a Brandeis alumna who is a co-founder and vice president of consumer marketing at Care.com, gave a speech explaining the necessary components of starting an enterprise. Care.com, an online care marketplace platform that operates in 16 countries, matches over six million caregivers with families seeking care. The company’s services range from childcare to senior care.

In addressing the success of Care.com, Moochhala emphasized that she and her fellow founders have always felt committed to solving an issue that many families face: childcare. While the type of care may change as the child ages, the need for care does not.

“Every family in every part of the world grapples with this question of who is on point, who is going to take care of the kids?” Moochhala said.

Care.com was founded around the universal problem of reliable care. “Our mission is to connect families and caregivers, and we are a marketplace that facilitates that connection,” she said. According to Moochhala, the professionalization of the care industry gives caregivers access to weekly pay and benefits including Social Security. It also gives families access to a reliable network of care based on background checks and customer reviews. This brought Moochhala to her first piece of advice for the young entrepreneurs in the room: do something you care about.

She believes that having a vision for an enterprise is only one percent of the process; the other 99 percent is execution. “Be prepared, it’s going to take up a lot of your time and a lot of your life,” she said.

Moochhala founded Care.com over nine years ago with a team of three other entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurship is a team sport,” she said. She feels that when the company was in its early stages, the co-founders’ discussions, conflicts and arguments are what refined the company’s focus.

Moochhala also addressed the numbers required for starting up a company in terms of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. She pleaded with the young entrepreneurs, “Go to all of your economics classes.”

In the case of Care.com, Moochhala said that she and the other co-founders spent a large portion of time during the start-up process sorting out numbers. The market for care in the United States is enormous and fragmented. It has only recently begun shifting from a word-of-mouth operation to an online operation.

As a 1998 Brandeis graduate of the International Business School (IBS), Moochhala feels that her time at Brandeis contributed to her success. “Brandeis has been an invaluable part of everything I’ve done,” she said. She feels that skills such as managing a PNL (Profit and Loss), understanding balance sheets and grasping the heavy analytics that go into what drives a business came from a “good grounding in the Lemberg program.”

Care.com underwent an IPO (Initial Public Offering) in January of last year, a goal that Moochhala says felt very far off upon first starting the company. She feels that the IPO is only one milestone in the process of heading toward the company’s overall goal of professionalizing the care industry. “We haven’t even scratched the surface in bringing care to the world,” she assessed.

In the conclusion of her speech, Moochhala gave reassurance to the upcoming entrepreneurs, tieing it in with her company’s beliefs. “You can do it all,” she said, “just not all alone.”

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