Above: Bal Agrawal
Bal Agrawal founded LifeWorx in 2005 to provide families and professionals with highly skilled personal assistance in child care and eldercare, housekeeping, cooking, organizing and pet care. Today, Dr. Agrawal oversees four offices in the greater New York metropolitan area, including one in Westport. Recently, he spoke with Westport magazine about founding the company, the increased need for highly skilled help and his vision for the future.
Q: What inspired you to offer skilled home services to your clients?
A: When my wife was ill and suffering from breast cancer, the care providers who came to our home were often good but sometimes terrible. After my wife passed away and when my son was thirteen, I came home early one day from work to be with him and saw the roof leaking, my son depressed in bed and the housekeeper/care provider for him disappeared with our silverware. I will never forget that moment. I wanted to eradicate such experiences for those in need of help at home.
Q. Is there an increasing need for help today?
A. The pace of life is causing people to want everything they want instantaneously. But they also want languages for their children and certain skills. They don’t want people to come just to make sure the children are playing safely; they want them to grow. They want elders to be entertained and to have a better quality of life. They want pets to be better taken care of.
Q. LifeWorx is nearly a decade old. Has it fulfilled your vision?
A. It’s halfway there. I don’t think you can ever fulfill the desire to have trust and skills and personality in the house 100 percent. There are so many components to it. I don’t think I can fulfill my ultimate wish, but I think I’m going to continue to make progress toward that goal. If I can put in another five years, I think we will at least know that anyone looking for somebody fully trustworthy, fully skilled, they should be able to find that within a few minutes.
With a nanny, eldercare, a housekeeper or a personal assistant from LifeWorx, you might find time for yourself—and your family. Bal Agrawal, founder of LifeWorx, offers tips for cherishing it. First, carve out family time, then turn off distracting phones and TVs and make sure the office knows not to interrupt. Eat breakfast together or share a mutually agreeable hobby. Play games! “Neel and I played G.I. Joe, his favorite game,” says Agrawal of his son.“We also played a lot of cards, Mastermind, Chutes and Ladders and backgammon. In one game of Life, one of the [pegs] fell off his vehicle, and he gently put it back, saying,‘I’ll need you on the day of reckoning.’” Agrawal adds that a spare room had been reserved for Ping-Pong—and jokes that he never won: “I love the time and memories.” So, let your kids help you with your work, help with their homework, cook a meal together or debate an issue. It’s all good bonding.