Technology has permeated all strata of society and cut across boundaries like never before. We have multiple examples of this in the new-age ecosystem of consumer internet and commerce. Never before has there been such imagineering (if one were to borrow the phrase), and entrepreneurs are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to find solutions to the various problems that exist today.
We live in a world of abundant options and easy access. Technology is at our fingertips, and the world that it opens up for us is plenty and varied. Yet, there are people who haven’t discovered the revolution yet and the access it provides. The true challenge, perhaps, is to get them on board.
Krishna was one such person; he had been searching for a job for a few months, but was having a hard time finding one that fits his needs. He wanted to improve his life and that of the people around him. A smart, young man, Krishna knew that finding the right door to knock on was all that mattered.
CREATING A POSITIVE CHANGE
Digital technology is not only transforming the way we do business, but also the way we live. Leveraging technology would enable us to make a real impact on society and those at the bottom of the pyramid. It is about helping billions of aspiring individuals from the lower strata, who are joining the market economy for the first time. By bringing the digital revolution to the masses, the government, for one, could promote its projects and services electronically to its citizens. The Digital India Programme was initiated by the government for the same purpose.
And, it is not just the government that has jumped on the bandwagon. For example, Digital Green, an international non-profit development organisation, supports rural communities in India by using an innovative digital platform. It helps improve lives by connecting local, private and civil society members to share their knowledge about agricultural practices, health and nutrition so that it could be implemented across the country. Or, take for example, Skillveri, which provides skill training via simulators, making the process of learning difficult skills, like welding, easier, less expensive and more accessible.
Employment routes traditionally have been through word of mouth, village agents, family and social networks, and occasionally through newspaper ads. Babajob has built an innovative digital platform to enable people at the bottom of the pyramid to get a job, regardless of their location, distance or remoteness. Getting a job can be as easy as giving a missed call to 888 000 4444. Staff members at babajob.com help individuals create a resume/profile. Connecting to employers is made easy through mobile web, mobile app and the internet. The employers can also easily connect with our database of 3.5 million job seekers.
The numbers give a small indication of the impact that digital initiatives like babajob.com have had on the lives of the people. Seeing is believing. Krishna now works as a full-time driver for a family at Whitefield in Bengaluru. After creating a profile on Babajob, Krishna got a lot of job offers. He picked the one that fulfilled his criteria.
At babajob.com, we believe that in a developing nation like India, providing access to informal jobs is crucial to helping people escape poverty. Additionally, the quantity and quality of jobs being created are important. People who found jobs via babajob.com report an average increase in income of 24 per cent a year.
A country cannot develop without creating quality jobs for its citizens. As the digital revolution gathers steam, technology would empower the marginalised in society and propel the country’s skill development agenda, which is crucial for inclusive growth.
Technology is a great equaliser. It has the power to provide more jobs, opportunities and learning. It could make life easier, better and richer. And, I believe that we are just getting started.
Where does Babajob fit into the ecosystem? About 60 per cent of India's rural population lives on less than Rs35 a day and nearly as many in cities live on Rs66 a day, according to a government survey on income and expenditure. Understanding the employment ecosystem of the individuals is a complex challenge due to the influence of culture, poverty, poor education and political pressures. By providing a uniform, level playing platform to job seekers, technology could impact the social nature of our economy.
Blagsvedt is CEO of babajob.com.