BetterPlace Co-founder Pravin Agarwala on why the blue-collar workforce management space needed disruption

In this episode of 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder and CEO of blue-collar workforce management platform BetterPlace, talks about starting up, the five problem categories, and their solutions.
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Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder, and CEO of Betterplace, says that his startup was launched to help blue-collar workers find the right opportunities.

Founded in 2015 by Pravin and Saurabh Tandan, Bengaluru-based Betterplace is delivering digital solutions for blue-collar workforce management throughout the value chain. Its data-driven tech platform fulfills the requirements of both enterprises and the workforce.

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“There were challenges for individuals in the blue-collar economy in terms of opportunities, jobs, access, living conditions, and so on, right. And these were alien to us, as white-collar employees, we always took them for granted. All the software that we used to develop earlier was designed towards the white collar, like the HRM and so on so forth. We decided that we need to do something around this space,” he says.

He explained that the idea was to help the 15-17 crore people who are part of the blue-collar economy. During their research, the duo realised that one of the major challenges was billing data about blue-collar workers.

“We provide a workforce management solution using which we build the data, and then we provide access to the platform to individuals to discover various opportunities,” Pravin adds.

Providing workforce management solutions  

Pravin explains that the startup works to solve five problem categories. Firstly, it addresses the issue of sourcing and onboarding workers through its digital solution. The company facilitates the entire process using a mobile app without the need for any physical or manual intervention.

“The second problem that the organisations face is about productivity, right? Now that I have hired the person, how do I increase productivity? So we created a bot-based mobile app. The bot takes care of upscaling the person based on their need. It could be learning something as simple as English words, to financial literacy, to how to manage your work, or learning something different that you would like to write.” he says.

Thirdly, the startup is catering to the time and attendance requirements through its auto rostering system. Fourthly, the solution also automates the salary calculation and disbursing process

Lastly, the solution helps users get access to benefits such as insurance, credit etc as the data about their work and finances gets recorded and stored.

“We provide individuals a mobile app where they can build their profile, they can learn things they can apply for loan, credit insurance, and all the other components that we offer,” he adds. 

In this episode of 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder and CEO of BetterPlace, talks about starting up and the workforce management solutions the startup offers.   

To know more, listen to the podcast here

Notes – 

01:26 – Coming from Dibrugarh (Northeast India), working with SAP India

03:15 – Backstory behind starting BetterPlace

05:20 – Defining a workforce management solution for blue-collar employees

07:04 – Solving for improving productivity, attrition, time, and attendance among other challenges. The first step in the product – onboarding solution with background verification

14:39 – Current key customers, metrics and milestones. Journey to $10M ARR, growing 100% year on year.

16:09 – Challenges while raising funding for a SaaS startup impacting blue-collar workers

19:58 – Global expansion plans for BetterPlace

23:28 – Approach behind the valuation of early-stage SaaS startups

26:35 – Focus on customer value, step-by-step approach, team building among other elements

30:18 – Bringing an angel investor within the company full-time to build on core principles

30:31 – Value addition from investors

34:01 – Things he would do differently if he got another shot at building BetterPlace

37:25 – Starting early in your startup journey as a founder

39:40 – Why a founder shouldn’t have a Plan B while starting up

Edited by Teja Lele