There have been frequent discussions in Indian blogosphere about the lack of quality Indian startups, which to a certain extent is true. However, every now and then, there is a startup that comes along that has a great idea with execution done equally well.
Babajob.com is one such startup, that has a great idea, has been executed well and is actually of great help to thousands of Indian people.
Babajob could be termed as a jobsite for poor people. Normally the jobs this startup caters to are for drivers, House maids, cooks, Caretaker, watchman, helper, delivery boys etc. But don’t take Babajob to be just a site for these job listing. It has a sister site Babalife that helps the employer and employee network as well.
In their own words,
Babajob.com and Babalife.com are a combined effort to provide the best social networking and job site in India and eventually worldwide. It’s based on the simple idea that everyone deserves to get a better job – even if you can’t read English and work in another’s home. Most people find jobs through people they know – namely their extended social network – and most employers – particularly when hiring employees that work in the home, would like to hire a person who someone they trust can vouch for.
Babajob and Babalife are an attempt to digitize this process to efficiently “get the word out” and importantly provide an incentive for the folks in between an employer and employee to connect people together.
One of the bottlenecks for such kind of job site is that, targeted employees are sometimes not even educated, forget knowledge of computers. How will they then put up resumes or search for job?
To deal with this problem, Babajob pays anyone, from charities to Internet cafe owners, to find job seekers and help them to put the profile online. (Babajob earns its keep from employers’ advertisements, diverting a portion of that to those who sign up job seekers.) Also, instead of creating an anonymous job bazaar, Babajob replicates online the process by which Indians hire in real life: using chains of personal connections.
The surprising part that I found was that in a short time since its launch it has garnered quite bit of profiles like the one shown above. There was a new profile every 5 minutes at an average.
Here is how they explain the Business model,
‘Let’s say A is looking for a cook and places an ad with us for Rs 799. After searching on babajob, he ultimately decides to hire his uncle’s driver’s sister. Assuming all these folks are on Babalife, the social networking site, both A’s uncle and his driver, will earn Rs 100 each.”
Right now babajob.com is limited to jobs in Bangalore that generally pay under Rs 10,000 per month. Babajob plans to expand to other cities and include additional job categories.
Currently, the listings are also free so that they can build up a good initial database of people, however in future they plan to have paid listings.
Here is a Podcast done by Kamla Bhatt with Babajob’s founder, Sean Blagsvedt.