How an auto-ride inspired two IT professionals to start a jobs platform for students
Bengaluru-based FeedMyPockets helps students find the right part-time and temporary jobs, and also gives them exposure to new careers.
Founders: Prashant Janadri and Naveen Ramachandra
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it based: Bengaluru
The problem it solves: Unemployment
Sector: HR Tech
Last year, Prashant Janadri (27) and Naveen Ramachandra (26) were taking an auto to their workplace in a tech park. During the journey, the aged auto driver received a call, which seemed to disturb him and he broke down in tears.
While consoling the driver and in the course of a conversation, they came to know that he was short of Rs 3,500 to pay his son’s college fees. The duo offered the auto driver money, but also came to realise that lack of funds for education was a major problem for many from low-income families.
Prashant states a well-known fact – India has one of the largest student populations in the world. But unfortunately, quality education is still out of reach because of the lack of finances.
The duo organised a market study and understood for a large part of the audience earning played an important role in helping students study and grow. This let Prashant and Naveen decided to build and launch the platform, FeedMyPockets.
A simple concept
FeedMyPockets is a student engagement platform that provides part-time jobs with flexible working hours and is targeted towards students.
“Money is an important factor in every student’s life and will help him fulfill his dreams and passions. A part-time job helps him earn and also gain requisite experience. As a team of professionals that combine the qualities of ‘a thinker, geek and entrepreneur’, we aim to work together towards the growth of every aspiring youth in the country,” says Prashant.
FeedMyPockets kicked off with a Facebook campaign - ‘Part-time job seekers in Bengaluru - Students.’ The campaign garnered over 1,000 forms in one month, and the duo was overwhelmed by the response.
The idea was to ensure students with genuine part-time jobs and trustworthy employees for the clients. Unfortunately, the duo encountered several fake profiles and promises on both sides.
They began using their connections and different groups to get references to genuine jobs. They realised that part-time and temporary workforce was important to startups, branding agencies, marketing agencies, event management, and market research companies.
How the platform works
Students can apply for jobs or internships based on location and different criteria. They are then screened and selected by FeedMyPockets. The final list is shared with the employer.
Employers looking for temporary and part-time staff post their requirements. FeedMyPockets verifies the job and posts it on the platform.
“The time-driven algorithm is keenly structured to notify students of part-time and temporary jobs through an app based on their availability, which automates the process right from applying for the job till its completion and payment. This creates trust among the students as the entire process is online,” says Prashant.
HR tech space in India
Currently, there is a strong and growing market for HR tech in India with over $69 million being pumped into the space between 2015 and 2016. Among the prominent companies in the space are GreyHR, Better Place, Niyo Solutions, and Quikr-acquired Hiree. In the video interviewing space, globally, there are key players like Montage Interview, InterviewStream, Interview Air, Talocity, and Jobvite, to name a few. There also is Intern Theory, that is focused on student jobs.
The focus of FeedMyPockets does not stop at ensuring students get part-time or temporary support. If the student is a good performer, the platform also facilitates financial aid. The idea is to groom and help the students financially, socially, and academically.
“Every student who joins FeedMyPockets is verified with a background check. Our onboarding method involves screening students based on presentation, communication, and basic soft skills. We also groom them in skill development and provide exposure to a competitive ecosystem,” says Prashant.
The focus is to bring innovation in youth empowerment and employment. The team takes a 15 to 20 percent margin from the employer.
“With a social initiative of youth empowerment and employment, FeedMyPockets is targeting to generate/provide 10,000 jobs by this financial year and support students, graduates, and dropouts to complete their education and course without financial barriers,” concludes Prashant.