ApnaSource: Apna

What you need to know

  • A former Apple employee is helping millions of Indians find jobs.
  • Nirmit Parikh has created Apna to help India's millions of low-skilled, migrant laborers.
  • 1.25 million have signed up for the app, and over 1 million interviews have been arranged as a result.

A new Bloomberg report has revealed how a former Apple employee has created Apna, a job app to connect millions of migrant laborers in India with work.

From the report:

Parikh, a 32-year-old Apple Inc. alum with an MBA from Stanford, has created Apna, which he envisions as a sort of LinkedIn for non-English-speaking, nonaffluent Indians. When these people move to the cities, they typically find work via small-time employment agencies or on street corners crowded with men and women waiting for someone to hire them for a few hundred rupees a day. With Apna, job seekers enter their name, age, and skills to generate a virtual "business card" that's passed out to employers in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune, with more cities on the way. "A digital business card is a confidence booster for many who've only seen their super bosses carry business cards," Parikh says. "We want to give millions of bottom-of-pyramid workers a career path."

Interestingly, despite Parikh's two-year stint at Apple in its Product & Strategy department for the iPhone, the app isn't currently available on the App Store, only Google Play. Despite this, 1.25 million people have signed up for the app, and its website says that it has helped arrange over a million interviews in the last 30 days alone.

As the report notes, millions of low-skilled workers in India "crowd into shantytowns and slums" after traveling to the cities from villages hundreds of miles away. The coronavirus pandemic has seen many of them left out of work.

The app was reportedly created out of Parikh's own experience trying to hire a welder decades ago, after which he realized "the system was broken."

You can read the full report here.