Pravasi Rojgar

Actor Sonu Sood’s initiative for the blue collared workers has received a sum of ₹250 crore from Temasek Holdings backed Good Worker. The initiative is named Pravasirojgar, and was launched to make lives easier for the laborers and other blue-collar workers of the country.

Good Worker is a job matching platform that helps workers in the areas of employment and empowerment. With this investment, the company will form a joint venture with Sood and Schoolnet for the next 18 months. As part of the deal, Good Worker will bring decentralized technology built by another Temasek-founded company Affinidi along with the investment. This will provide the workers with their digital identity with verifiable credentials.

Ekam Advisors, an investment banking firm out of Mumbai, has been effective in bringing all the parties together and also advised on the strategy for this initiative.

The Economic Times reported comments of Pradyumna Agrawal, founding team member and GM, GoodWorker and director at Temasek, who said, “The cutting-edge technology that GoodWorker brings will allow businesses in India to effectively expand their operations by finding the right talent, and also allow workers to have control over their data while widening access to digital products and services. With digital transformation accelerating against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, this investment reflects our optimism towards trends in India that are underpinned by technology and digitalization.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sood came to the forefront to help migrant workers. As the government of India imposed lockdowns across the country to flatten the curve of coronavirus, the actor helped about 7.5 lakh migrant workers to reach their homes. Thereafter, Sood joined hands with education and vocational skills provider firm Schoolnet India to launch in July.

The website of Pravasirojgar says that as the country slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic situation, a new problem has emerged. Lack of jobs in this weak financial situation is making lives difficult for millions of workers. On the other hand, employers also face a lack of skilled workers as many traveled back to their home villages from the cities during the lockdown. The website informs that sectors such as Construction, Healthcare, Logistics, Security, etc are facing a serious shortage of skilled manpower.

Therefore, comes the need for Pravasirojgar- a platform that is developed to provide job linkages and career progression support for migrant workers. Its main role is to link employers with skilled workers and in the process make as many lives as better for both of them.

Sonu Sood’s initiative says that many young workers contacted them to get jobs in several sectors. Their team conducted a survey and also contacted other organizations that are involved in skill development and support to migrants. It was found that although some wanted jobs near to their homes, a substantial portion of workers showed interest in returning to towns and cities in search of work.

Through its website, the platform has tried to provide a solution for this complex problem. It says that the problem requires a solution that can only be provided by a “phygital” ecosystem. A phygital ecosystem is a “combination of physical and digital with multi-stakeholders partnerships in the ecosystem”. They require Community based organizations, leading skill development organizations, NSDC, Common Services Centres (CSCs), Philanthropic Organisations, Government Bodies, Strategy Consultants, Technology Startups & others to reach out and identify the youth who need jobs.

They claim that they already have managed to get demand of more than 1 lakh jobs from 450+ employers from various industries who are constantly in need of skilled workforce for their businesses and also claim that these numbers are increasing each day.

Sonu Sood told the Economic Times, “I came in touch with a lot of migrant workers during the lockdown and they all had one concern, how to get a job after the lockdown and support their families. With the blessing of these workers and their families and other well-wishers, I tried to get the right-minded people and partner with Schoolnet for”