Blue collar and grey collar jobs are not the focus area in the modern internet ecosystem, laments Atul Pratap Singh, the founder of Jobsgaar, a job search portal that connects employers with employees at the source location, enabling workforce to find district-level jobs. “However, localised jobs have gotten more relevance during the Covid-19 lockdown and the ensuing labour migration,” he says.
While there are local job portals such as BabaJob and AasaanJobs that focus on smaller towns, the major players such as Naukri and Monster primarily focus on jobs that are in big cities, he adds. “There are 6 crore MSMEs that operate out of smaller towns, and they require resources.”
Jobsgaar, which is a portmanteau of ‘jobs’ and ‘rozgaar’, has seen a significant jump in the number of people from smaller towns registering on the portal during the lockdown. “Before the Covid-19 lockdown, we had about 67% people from smaller towns on a platform, but now more than 92% of the people who are coming onto our platform are from those towns. And a little over 40% are those who have studied only till intermediate,” Singh adds. “Graduates and above still prefer to go to bigger cities to make a career.”
Due to the lockdown, a lot of people such as delivery boys, cab drivers, data entry operators and marketing executives lost their jobs in bigger cities, and these are the kind of people Jobsgaar aims to connect to employers, preferably near their hometowns. Therefore, it is focusing on connecting employers to employees in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam. These three states, Singh says, contribute to 46% of the migration happening in India. “We are active in 146 districts in these three states.”
In December 2019, Jobsgaar did a beta campaign and saw that there was a lot of interest in local jobs. “The lockdown just made everyone realise that. Now we know that if we can connect job-seekers to jobs within 100-150 kilometres of their hometown, a lot of migration challenges can be solved,” Singh says.
In addition, because the consumption of video platforms is significant in rural areas, Jobsgaar has created a mechanism where people can post video resumes on the portal. Going forward, it will focus on regional languages and underrepresented communities.
Jobsgaar has received seed funding from a couple of industry stalwarts, including Sunil Kamath who was recently with ShareChat. “We are in talks with some angel investors,” adds Singh.