BabaJob: Bringing Jobs to People at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Jun 28, 2010
BabaJob: Bringing Jobs to People at the Bottom of the Pyramid data sheet 4554 Views

Finding a job is hard but in India, BabaJob is making the process a bit easier for job seekers at the bottom of the pyramid.

Started in Bangalore in March of 2007, BabaJob is a matching resource for blue-collar workers looking for jobs. Sean Blagsvedt, co-founder of BabaJob, explains that the inspiration came from Anirudh Krishna’s research paper “Escaping Poverty and Becoming Poor: Who Gains, Who Loses, and Why?” Blagsvedt learned that most people moved out of poverty through job diversification. However, he noticed that most job-finding resources in India were designed for people seeking white collar jobs. Blue-collar workers and those at the bottom of the economic pyramid had to rely on word of mouth or luck in order to find the jobs that could help them move out of poverty. He decided to create a resource that would allow workers in India to find jobs in their fields and born was Babajob.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The goal of BabaJob is to create a job-finding resource for blue-collar workers in India. The company allows users to sign up via mobile or the web, and find jobs in their industry based on proximity, salary, and type of work. Information is accessible for job seekers via mobile. The goal is to help workers at the bottom of the pyramid move out of poverty by providing job diversification. 

Brief description of the project: 

Babajob is a job-finding service that works over mobile phones and as a website. The company helps blue collar workers find new jobs by pairing them with employers who are seeking new employees. 

Target audience: 

The target audience is blue-collar workers in India who are seeking new jobs. 

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

Several things that went well:

  • Scaling the project; although Babajob started in Bangalore, it has scaled to be a fully national program and is now expanding to Indonesia
  • Large pick-up among user; more than 80,000 job seekers have used the site and nearly 400,000 jobs have been posted
  • Pairing with telecommunications companies allowed the organization to reach new clients over mobiles
What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

Some challenges:

  • BabaJob was originally designed to work in tandem with the BabaLife social network. The group decided that the job search site was more useful than the social network once other social networks began to become popular.
  • The company focused more on web-based visitors originally, but realized that scaling would be easier through mobile.



Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 02, 2009
Souktel data sheet 3506 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Jacob Korenblum
Problem or Need: 

In many developing countries, labor markets are in chaos--not because there’s a lack of job opportunities, but because there are no good information networks to help job-seekers and employers find each other: Web access is low, public/private resources are few, and infrastructure is poor. As a result, many skilled workers get trapped in cycles of joblessness and hardship. However, a huge number of people in developing countries have basic cell phone access, even in rural areas. Recognizing this reality, Souktel has created a simple, phone-based JobMatch service--a software application that reduces unemployment and poverty by helping ordinary job-seekers get key job information on their phones.

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

Our solution is simple: from any phone, job-seekers create SMS "mini-CVs" that include basic data on their skills, location, etc. These are then sent by mobile to our central database--which hundreds of employers search daily, via web or phone. From their side, employers create similar “mini job ads” and post them on the same database—so that job-seekers can search these jobs from their own phones. The database also matches job-seekers/employers who have similar profiles, sending them SMS alerts with each other’s data.

Tool Category: 
App resides and runs on a server
Key Features : 
  • SMS-based querying of information databases
  • SMS-based user profile creation
  • SMS-based matching of similar user profiles


Main Services: 
Bulk SMS
Voting, Data Collection, Surveys, and Polling
Mobile Social Network/Peer-to-peer
Information Resources/Information Databases
Tool Maturity: 
Currently deployed
Windows Mobile
All phones -- SMS
Current Version: 
Program/Code Language: 
.NET Compact Framework
Organizations Using the Tool: 

Employers - Middle East:

  • Ernst and Young
  • Red Cross/Red Crescent
  • CARE International
  • Deloitte
  • YMCA of East Jerusalem
  • Education Development Center, Inc.

Institutional/Funding Partners - Middle East

  • US Agency for International Development
  • World Bank - Quality Improvement Fund for Higher Education
  • King Abdullah Fund for Development
  • Birzeit University (Palestine)
  • Najah University (Palestine)
  • Arab-American University of Jenin (Palestine)
  • Al-Quds Abu Dis University (Palestine)
Number of Current End Users: 
Number of current beneficiaries: 
Languages supported: 
Arabic, Kurdish, English, French, Somali, Spanish
Handsets/devices supported: 
Any handset.
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 


Posted by CorinneRamey on Aug 31, 2009
Souktel data sheet 8397 Views

Souktel, an SMS service based in the Middle East and East Africa, is all about connections. The service, launched in 2006, uses SMS to connect users to everything from jobs and internships to humanitarian aid and youth leadership programs.

The name comes from "souk," the Arabic word for "marketplace," and "tel," or "telephone. Although at least 80 percent of people in Palestine have access to mobile phones, most people have Internet access only in cafés or public places, said Jacob Korenblum, co-founder of Souktel. "Getting information about medical care, jobs, and food bank services can be difficult," he said. And even at Internet cafes, Korenblum said that many people, especially women, lack access to these services. "We wanted to develop a very simple service," he said. "That's how Souktel started."

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

Souktel works to connect job seekers with employers and to connect humanitarian groups with people that are seeking aid.

Brief description of the project: 

Using Souktels' JobMatch, users can create mini-resumes, which are then accessible by employers. Employers can post job listings, which users can search by factors like job or location. With AidMatch, humanitarian agencies can send messages to field staff, or send create mailing lists and let recipients know when aid is available.

Target audience: 

youth, aidworkers, general public

Detailed Information
What worked well? : 

Matching people with jobs has been one of Souktel’s biggest successes, said Korenblum. “When a woman who can't go to Internet cafes finds a job through Souktel, that’s a huge success,” he said. Souktel has also been successful in partnering with other organizations, like universities and humanitarian organizations such as Mercy Corp, UN-OCHA and the Red Cross/Red Crescent. For the university partners, this is the first time that they have used mobile technology and none of them have job centers.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

Challenges have included working with the different mobile carriers. The cost of SMS, which averages about $.05 US in Palestine, is also a challenge.