[Culture Series] A peek inside Babajob, a tech company creating jobs for the informal sector

15th Apr 2013
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This article is a part of the Culture Series we’ll be carrying as a run up to the Startup Jobs Fair, India’s first exclusive campaign to connect the most promising talent with the most exciting startups. This series will bring out the culture of some of the most dynamic startups that have managed to scale and make a mark… Here, we talk about Babajob...

Sean Blagsvedt
Sean Blagsvedt

Ever had trouble getting a maid or hiring a plumber? Well, that’s because you didn't know where to look for these people. Babajob.com is a site that specializes in helping you find all kind of help -- either for home or office. Similarly the site also provides a platform for many blue-collar job seekers to find the right employment for the right money.

Founded by Sean Blagsvedt in 2007, Babajob provides jobs for people in the informal sector. The company has raised a Series A from Gray Ghost Ventures and Khosla Impact Fund in 2012 and has seen impressive growth. Before starting up, Sean had a stint in program management and advanced prototyping at Microsoft Research India.

The Present

Today the Babajob team comprises 25 members, spread across its offices in Bangalore & Patna, and is one of the respected names in the space it operates. This respect comes with the active use of technology, that has differentiated Babajob from other such service providers in the market. Babajob effectively uses technology to connect employers and bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) informal sector workers (i.e. maids, cooks, drivers, etc.) with the goal to creating a scalable, replicable and profitable solution.

A day at Babajob office

The engineering team works out of the office in Richmond Town, Bangalore. It’s in the center of the city and is well connected to all parts of the city by public transport. The office also boasts of three rooms for the tech team, and a special one for the brainstorming cum refreshing sessions. It also houses large 30” monitors for the hackers, and bean bags and couches to fall into when feeling lazy.

The tech team comes to the office by 11 and everyone has clarity about their daily goals, this saves any time wastage on distractions. The company provides free lunch for the team. Lunch is followed by a daily standup meeting that lasts for 10 minutes where a review of the work done, pending tasks, and top priorities are done.

Team Babajob
Team Babajob

Flexibility: The icing on the cake?

The productivity levels of a startup needs to maintained, and the team at Babajob agrees on this aspect. Working from office is primarily encouraged but the option of working-from-home is not ruled out completely. If you have a work on hand, and you can complete it from your home, the team actually doesn’t mind it. Also, working on holidays and weekends is not a part of the internal policy, one might have to stretch a night or two, in accordance with the workload.

Babajob team celebrating Holi
Babajob team celebrating Holi

Babajob is currently looking for two Dev/DevOps, one front end engineer, and one UI/UX geek. All these are full-time positions and individuals who have liked what they’ve read so far are welcome to apply. Besides the necessary qualifications to do the jobs, the candidate has to be excited about Babajob’s mission and the impact it leaves on real world users. Self-motivated, driven individuals who can align themselves to Babajob’s vision should surely apply.

A fresher joining Babajob is in for a treat as s/he shall be able to deploy code on the live site from day one, thus making the learning curve steep and high. The motivation is nearly similar for any experienced candidate, who gets a lot more freedom to pour in his/ her thoughts and can make a significant contribution to the company.

“You will get an opportunity to completely own parts of the product and learn about other aspects of building business based on your interests. We have a flat organization structure where you pitch in, identify problems and proactively fix them, you won’t have to wait for months to try an experiment or see your code being shipped! Ours is a small team at the moment and anybody who joins, irrespective of their experience will make a significant impact,” says Shashi Singh, head of engineering at Babajob.

A cool team, eh?

Occasions like birthdays are celebrated on the office terrace, and mostly on Fridays, so you are fresh to get back to work on Monday ;)

They even did a Harlem Shake! Here’s the video:

Challenges, their remedies, and the grand vision

The primary challenge that team members face on a daily basis is developing features rapidly, making them live and ensuring that it works at scale. Also, as they’re a small team currently, sometimes there is a lot of context switching required. The team feels that the expanded team size post their stint at the Startup Jobs Fair, shall help address these issues, and maintain their speed towards achieving their vision: to help 10 million Indians find better jobs and be the best tech startup in India!

A grand vision by a great team. So if you share the vision and want to be part of the Babajob team, then make sure you come to Startup Jobs Fair and meet the team in person!

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