WorkIndia, a geo-positioning based product company in the blue/grey collar segment, has raised $500,000 in pre-Series A funding led by Citrus Pay founder Satyen Kothari, Venture Works India founder Keshav Sanghi, and Discovery Capital founder Riddhesh Gandhi.
A few senior executives at multinational banks too participated in the round.
The funds will be used by WorkIndia, owned by Mumbai-based Eloquent Info Solutions Pvt Ltd, to enhance its tech product offerings and increase customer penetration, the company said in a statement.
Nilesh Dungarwal, tech co-lead and founder of two tech start-ups before WorkIndia says, “Today, the blue/grey collar segment is increasingly using the smartphone for many of their needs. It’s only a matter of time that they will use the smartphone for their recruiting needs too, provided they are given a highly simple and customised interface to use”.
Founded by a team of IIT and IIM alumni with past work experience in MNC banks, WorkIndia help job seekers in the blue/grey collar segment find jobs based on their skills. Its founding members include Kunal Patil, Ajay Kumar, Nilesh Dungarwal, Moiz Arsiwala, Aashish Mittal and Jatin Jakharia.
“The blue/grey collar segment behaves extremely differently from the white collar when it comes to recruiting. Our team spent 3-4 months at bus stops, paan shops, etc. to gain deeper customer insights and understand this segment’s behaviour,” says Kunal Patil and Ajay Kumar, co-founders at WorkIndia.
The non-white collar workforce in India is Rs 23 crores strong amounting to a latent industry need of over $4 billion annually. Earlier, people in this segment did not have a digital footprint. However, the advent of the mobile phone has provided a once in a lifetime chance to reach out to this segment digitally, they added.
According to the company, current blue/grey collar platforms in India are force-fitting white collar solutions to the blue/grey collar segment. For instance, this segment is highly averse to text-based or a listing interface but most blue/grey collar mobile apps still insist in providing this interface.
“The key is to provide the user with a ultra-simple, almost gamified experience,” say co-founders Aashish Mittal and Jatin Jakharia.