[Pivot and Persist] Why a part-time job portal evolved into a B2B gig marketplace amid COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19, Bengaluru-based startup FeedMyPockets pivoted to Taskmo, a gig marketplace that uses tech to help companies find the right workers.

In 2016, Prashant Janadri and Naveen Ramachandra launched FeedMyPockets, a Bengaluru-based startup that helped students find the right part-time and temporary jobs, giving them exposure to new careers.

But, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo saw increasing layoffs, furloughs, funding crunches, and other job-related problems in the country. 

Prashant tells YourStory, “We took it as a golden time to rethink, re-innovate, re-transform, and rebrand the product by estimating the aftermath of COVID-19.” 

The team realised that businesses were going lean post-COVID-19. Even after the lockdown, with employees moving to their hometowns, companies were facing difficulties in their supply chain and fulfilment. 

“We figured out this problem and as soon as Lockdown 1.0 ended, we started building a framework on how to help enterprises and businesses in quick outsourcing and fulfilment of workers,” Prashant says. 

That’s why FeedMyPockets pivoted its business model, and renamed itself Taskmo. 

The pivot 

FeedMyPockets was solving the problem of how companies can manage their temp staff using the WhatsApp module to allocate locations and track workers. 

“It was more operation-driven, but it helped us in achieving successful case studies in the initial days,” Prashant says. 

On the other hand, Taskmo is a B2B gig marketplace that uses a digital-first approach in screening, training, deploying, and managing workers. It helps companies outsource on-ground, operational tasks to distributed gig workers in ‘pay-based-task’ modules and hire gig workers in hourly, monthly, and full-time roles in ‘pay-per-hire’ modules.

“We faced a lot of problems in building the product for remote work culture as we always used to work in an office environment and product build takes lots of R&D and iterations. In the initial days of lockdown, we had problems with resources, internet facility, and infrastructure but we always chased the deadline to bring the best B2B product and we did that in 45 days,” Prashant adds.

How Taskmo helps clients

The platform offers a skill matching algorithm that helps filter the task pool. The task team use digital KYC for background checks and AI-driven training modules and assessment. Geo-based algorithms have been used to track the workers demographically. 

Taskmo lets companies have a lean team by outsourcing work to gig workers.

Companies can pay based on tasks. They can also choose to hire for the long term without an interview and follow-up hurdles. In these cases too, companies can pay either based on the months for the task, or at one time

Taskmo helps gig workers avail instant jobs, as well as digital training. 

The market 

India’s gig economy is fast growing. An ASSOCHAM report in January 2020 said the Indian gig economy would grow at a CAGR of 17 percent touching $455 billion by 2023. Some of the players in the space include UpMate, Freelancer, and others, but they are focused on individual workers.  

Google is also reportedly testing its paid crowdsourcing app Task Mate in India, which will enable its users to do a task and earn money.

“At Taskmo, companies can submit their fulfilment request just in five minutes and our TAT (turn around time) is just five hours. We started working with enterprises like Wipro, Amazon, Jiomart, ITC, Udaan, Bigbasket, Yulu, Rapido Bike Taxi, Bounce, Dunzo, BlackBuck, Livspace, Grofers and many more,” says Prashant. 

He says nearly a million gig workers and more than 150 companies have signed up with Taskmo.

“We also started recovering our business to 70-80 percent by August and are expecting to reach more than 200 percent growth in next financial year as companies are opening up and they all need fulfilment and supply chain support,” says Prashant. 

YourStory’s Pivot and Persist series spotlights Indian startups that are pivoting to seize new business opportunities, transforming their business models, and offerings to navigate the current COVID-19 crisis.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta