How Thane-based Globalskill is helping blue-collar workers upskill and find employment through its app
The coronavirus pandemic has uprooted the livelihoods for many individuals. In a matter of a few weeks into the lockdown, many companies furloughed several employees. This meant many skilled, as well as unskilled individuals, were out of jobs.
At a time like this, Thane-based edtech startupis helping many blue and grey collar employees, underprivileged job seekers, and students improve their skills.
Co-founder Rajan Gaonkar and Atul Shirwadkar
Founded in 2019 by Rajan Gaonkar and Atul Shirwadkar, the edtech startup aims to help one million underprivileged youth develop industry-oriented skills to find better employment opportunities.
The Globalskill app got positive traction during the lockdown, with over 10,000 downloads on Google Play Store.
App for the semi-educated population
After initial market research, co-founders Rajan and Atul wanted to provide an end-to-end solution to the underprivileged youth so that they can find a job, or register themselves as self-employed.
For that, they developed the GlobalSkill app specifically to provide skill development to the working class, as well as help them find a suitable job in the market.
On the skill front, the self-funded startup focusses on five key domain areas such as retail, ecommerce, insurance, security services, and housekeeping services, where the requirement of blue and grey collar workers is sizeable. On the other hand, the startup also identifies companies that employ these workers in bulk from these domains.
“The app we have created is user friendly and easy to operate for two reasons. Firstly, our target audience is the underprivileged and uneducated group that needs a simple interface and experience that they can comprehend. Another reason is that the employer needs to post the jobs easily, so we try to correlate the skill required by the employer, and connect them with the most suitable candidate through our automated AI technology,” Rajan tells SocialStory.
The platform has four kinds of users on it, such as people who are doing skill education courses, people seeking jobs, employers posting about their job requirements, and video course creators publishing their content.
The startup is also encouraging standalone skill educational institutions to upload skill-based video content on the platform, which can increase the reach of the courses beyond classrooms.
Amidst the pandemic, many users have benefitted from the video-interview feature on the app, wherein they can upload a video of themselves and a brief of what they do for potential employers. This accommodates for a face-to-face round, after which the employers can contact them for further online interaction.
“The courses are also converted into vernacular languages to reach our audiences in different states of India. While the content is written in English, the voice-overs and AI can be customised to the specific regional languages,” Atul says.
At present, the app is available in English, Hindi, as well as in regional languages like Gujarati, Marathi, and Kannada.
While the registration if free, each course has a nominal fee which helps content creators also get an additional income. The founders are also trying to put up certain courses up for free, which are made with the intention of helping others.
The startup is trying to put up these courses at an affordable rate so that they can optimise the reach of the app’s benefits, and also get more students to sign up. It has recommended prices anywhere between Rs 400 and Rs 1,500 for the courses, and creators can earn up to 75 percent of the royalties.
“The website is a backend platform for content creators and employers, where they can keep a track of their earnings on their dashboard. The app is the frontend aspect, primarily targeted at the students and job seekers, where one can get details about the various skill classes, as well as relevant job openings,” Atul explains.
Since its inception, more than 150 students have registered for the fine arts courses online, and are currently selling their work online. The startup provides various video courses for blue-collar workers to help them get a basic idea about their jobs, post which they can enroll for an apprenticeship.
Not just the users, but the employers also have been widely benefitted from the app. Ashok Bhandari, Director of Perks Facility Management Services, says, “We posted our requirement for housekeeping staff, and we got good enquiries from the candidates through the Globalskill app.”
“Moreover, the video interview feature is extremely useful during this pandemic period. It helped us to quickly identify the right candidate. It saved the time for us, as well as the candidate, as the first round of physical interview was not needed," he adds.
In fact, the video creators, too, found the app to be an effective way to reach out to the underprivileged or semi-educated individuals, who earlier had limited options.
One of the video course creators, Professor Yashpal says, "I found the initiative to develop the careers of underprivileged youth very commendable. Hence, I published my English language course in the vernacular language for the target segment."
Earlier, the edtech startup had a difficult time convincing people to use online courses. It was also challenging to understand the expectations of the end-users – the students and job seekers. Globalskill surveyed over 1000 people to understand the difficulties and came up with a plan to create an engaging platform.
“At first, when we were conducting our webinar-based online education, we found out that we could reach a limited audience. Moreover, the choice of timings for the classes varied for many students. To overcome these challenges, we launched video courses-based training, which gives students the flexibility to study as per their convenience,” Rajan explains.
While this was being resolved, the trainers on the platform were a little uncertain about posting their videos on the app, as they were worried that it would take away their customers, and impact their business.
“However, we are solving these challenges by conducting free webinars on how to make video content courses and market them,” Rajan says.
While initially, the startup had to face some roadblocks, the coronavirus pandemic changed things for better. “We are planning to add a minimum of 500 courses related to jobs and self-employment,” Rajan says.
These courses would include both technical, as well as soft skill courses for insurance agents, security guards, delivery boys, etc., such as housekeeping, English speaking, web designing, and more.
In the next year, Globalskill has planned to create 100 original video courses, catering to retail, logistics, insurance, hospitality, and facility management services. Additionally, it expects about 2,500 employers from the MSME segment will start posting their requirements on the app.
The startup is also in discussions with large ecommerce and retail companies to use the Globalskill app for their bulk manpower requirements.
“We plan to reach five million downloads by the end of five years, with three to four percent of these customers giving us recurring revenue. Our overall mission is to skill one million underprivileged youth in the next 10 years, and help them in getting employment,” Rajan says.