The unprecedented outbreak of the coronavirus followed by the enforcement of a nationwide-lockdown brought to the fore the life led by a large segment of India’s most vulnerable population – migrant workers. In a nutshell, migrant workers are mostly laborers who travel from India’s remote villages to metropolitan cities or small towns to earn a livelihood based on daily wages. ‘Apna’ app by Apple Alum came to their rescue during this situation where they can learn new skills and connect with one another and eventually find jobs to earn a living.
The only way to lift migrants from the lowest rungs of suffering caused by the pandemic is to provide a means by which they can upskill themselves. By empowering them to go from low-skilled work to skilled labor is the answer to the migrant crisis. Technology is the enabler, and Nirmit Parikh, an Apple Inc alumni, rightly recognized and also raised $8 million from Lightspeed India and Sequoia Capital India.
They are daily-wage workers and they rely on their friends to find jobs. This makes the prospects of them finding a job very difficult. If only they had access to upskilling courses and just knew how beneficial it could be to them, they could stand to broaden their scope of work and significantly increase their earnings. – said Nirmit Parikh, Founder of Apna
Nirmit Parikh created the ‘Apna App’ through his start-up. The ‘Apna’ app by Apple Alum works like LinkedIn, where workers who are considered ‘bottom of the pyramid’ and ‘financially weak’ can directly connect with employers looking for skilled labor. What’s more, the ‘ease-of-use’ of the app is adapted to suit first-time internet users.
The app comes at a crucial time when millions of Indians are affected. With an overburdened healthcare system unable to cope with migrant workers flocking back to their home states, there is a need for job opportunities to become instantly available.
The most powerful thing for me about Apna is its communities — I’ve seen people help each other start a business, learn a new language or find a gig! Communities harbinger trust and make the model infinitely scalable – said Vaibhav Agrawal, a partner at Lightspeed India
The ‘Apna’ App by Apple Alum has been highly successful since its inception. Since its launch in December 2019, the ‘Apna’ App by Apple Alum has amassed over 1.2 million users who can use the platform to connect with potential employers and job interviews by generating their very own ‘virtual business cards’. This business card displays the job aspirant’s vital information, including name, age, and skills, which employers can view at a glance and schedule interviews rapidly.
In just a month, 1 million job interviews were conducted through Apna. Big companies, including Amazon, Big Basket, and HDFC Bank, have successfully hired candidates. The other facet of the app currently under development is that low-skilled job seekers will be able to learn new skills, earn new credentials, and even launch their businesses. Plans are underway to eventually establish a community of less privileged job seekers through the platform.