MBA grads and techie join hands to create a geo positioning mobile app for grey-collared workforceSindhu Kashyap
With the growing need to organise the disorganised services and grey and blue collared workforce, a group of MBA and technology graduates created an Android geo-positioning mobile app, WorkIndia. It makes it possible for potential employees to get all the information with a few clicks.
The operation team ensures that due diligence is followed in the screening process so that employers get candidates of good quality and who meet their requirements.
The idea of WorkIndia came to Kunal Patil when he was speaking to a few students for data entry jobs. He noticed that most students were already employed in part-time/full-time jobs. But what he found strange is that all of them found the information about jobs available via friends or relatives. He felt the need for a structured platform to connect people in the blue-grey collar segment to employers.
The blue or grey collar segment is different to the white collar one when it comes to recruiting. After spending close to four months on idea validation that included talking to close to 2,500 grey collared employees, college students and more than 100 employers, the team realised that there was a massive gap in terms of information and process and then started working on finding the solution. Thus, WorkIndia was born.
Building the core team
In his journey, Kunal first met Nilesh Dungarwal, who was working at Credit Suisse algorithm trading. He then met Ajay Kumar who was working at IDFC Private Equity. Nilesh brought in Moiz Arsiwala, his batchmate and a software engineer at ATM manufacturer Diebold.
"We have recently been joined in by Aashish Mittal who used to work in Morgan Stanley and Jatin Jakharia who has already co-founded two startups," says Kunal.
Aashish is a CS graduate from Mumbai University and has worked with Morgan Stanley, India where he was leading a technology team and heading their Operations Technology Mumbai Innovation division for a year. He has worked with likes of companies such as Code for America, City of Bloomington (Indiana), Sakai LMS, during his stints in Google Summer of Code.
Jatinis a BTech from IIT Bombay 2012 batch and has worked with Credit Suisse Mumbai and UBS, Hong Kong. Prior to joining WorkIndia he co-founded bonbons.in (chocolate making kit) and grubit.in (healthy meal delivery service).
Challenges and traction
Like any other startup, the team faced the usual challenges of product awareness, hiring a good team and finding a product market fit. They believe that they're still in the prelim stages of finding solutions to it but their four months of market research and initial traction makes them confident that they're on the right path.
Within six days of launch on July 1, 2014, their mobile app trended number oneon Android New free Apps in the business section category. They've received more than 10,000 job applications and currently have close to 2,000 jobs available on the app. The company recently got selected in the FB Startup programme as well.
Kunal says that the non-white collar workforce in India is approximately 23-crore strong amounting to a latent industry need of over USD four billion annually. "People in this segment did not have a digital footprint until awhile ago and the advent of the mobile phone has provided a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reach this segment digitally," he says. The team follows a pay-on-hire model of revenue.
Funding and future plans
"Our vision is to completely remove the information asymmetry and enable every employee to get his perfect job and not just any job. Currently, we are operating in Mumbai only but our plan is to move to other metro cities in next six to12 months and then finally go pan India," says Kunal.
The company raised a pre-Series A funding of USD half a million. Thisround was led by Satyen Kothari, Citrus Pay Founder, Keshav Sanghi, Venture Works India founder, Riddhesh Gandhi, Discovery Capital Founder and select partners/MDs from MNC banks. The funds will be utilised for enhancing the tech product and for customer penetration.
Kunal says that the blue/grey collar segment behaves differently from the white collar when it comes to recruiting. According to the team, the present blue/grey collar platforms in India are force-fitting white collar segment. It believes that the key is to provide the user with a ultra-simple, almost gamified experience.