Updated: Mar 27
Informal workers in the country lack a structured approach towards their growth and development in the Indian growth story, notwithstanding the fact that they form the majority of the workforce. To structuralize their well-being is an idea that can not remain ignored any longer.
I still remember it was early March 2020, when I had a call with my friends to tell them about my idea of creating, “A unified platform which enables each Individual to get job and Businesses to Hire on demand”, all of them got really excited to check and see how is it being done currently, and what fundamental changes can we bring using technology.
We started by checking the whole market (Formal & Informal) but quickly understood that while the formal workforce (White Collar) currently has too many options to find jobs, the REAL problem is with Informal workforce (Blue & Grey Collar).
So we started digging in and found some fascinating facts –
India has one of the largest demographic dividends of the world and almost 93% of our total workforce works informally*
Total number of Informal Workers is 42 Crore**
India has 73 districts with high net-out migration (people moving from these cities) and 23 districts with high net-in migration***(people are moving to these cities, mostly metros)
While this data did help us analyze the vastness of Informal workforce. We wanted to dig further and see what are the core issues which irks workers and found –
No transparency while applying for jobs via middlemen/agencies
A big chunk of actual earning ends up going to middlemen/agencies.
Lack of legal structure
No flexibility of working hours
No way of validating skills as there is lack of social/credit profiles
In absence of credit profiles they no way out when there is a financial stress
No Upskilling opportunities
Low market awareness
So one side of the coin is clear, but what about the other side, Employers?
We observed that currently the informal workforce is employed in different industries like Manufacturing, Construction, Household services, Trade, Transport, Communication, Real estate, and others.
There are 6.3 crore MSMEs, and they all face similar issues pertaining to Informal workforce like –
Managing seasonal hiring
Incorrect skill-job matching with the current mechanism
Poor or no background verification (identity, skill)
High attrition rate
Manual Attendance and Pay management
The costly and tedious process of hiring
The recent democratization of technology which happened due to JAM (JanDhan – Aadhaar – Mobile) has created a baseline infrastructure to digitize this space.
India is one of the largest and fast-growing markets for digital consumers, with 65 crore mobile internet users in 2020 and is expected to reach 90 crores by 2025^.
Jio Wave 1 (2017) saw a lot of traditional Informal jobs become smartphone-enabled. The second wave of Jio (5G rollout) is set to change this again, as a lot more people will get access to smartphones now.
The convergence of these factors creates a unique position for India and its informal workforce as a lot of traditional Labour Chowk jobs will become smartphone-enabled.
So, What solution we think is apt?
A marketplace where the workforce can connect with employers directly, having trust & transparency at the core. A working culture, where workers have the flexibility to work on their terms and get the true worth of their work.
Workers can easily register, verify their identity & skills, and create unique digital resumes' for themselves. Employers can onboard by verifying themselves and creating a self-service account.
It will also have key advantages like –
Faster on-demand hiring
Intelligent skill-job matching mechanism
Easy attendance tracking mechanism
Auto payment directly to worker according to actual hours worked
Workers set their own wage and payout schedule for each job
Promote per hour wages
Workers get to maintain verified digital resumes' with automatic updates from their jobs
Our vision is to empower people with an autonomous and trusted ecosystem to work or hire.
Bringing Dream to reality now.
It has been a fascinating journey since we formed our company, and we had our fair share of learnings. We had a prototype shown to a few early users, and we got great interest from them. Our Private Beta will be out late this month in Jaipur.
We also got ourselves recognized by StartUpIndia, iStart Rajasthan, FICCI for startups & others. We also became an authorized requestor with Digilocker to seamlessly enable identity, skill, education & vaccination verification.
Click here to download our app -
* - Economic Survey 2018-19 by Government of India
** - Economic Survey 2019-20 by Government of India
*** - Economic Survey 2016-17 by Government of India
^ - IAMAI-Kantar ICUBE 2020