Babajob: A mobile information hub for work seekers in India

During a recent study visit to India, we were privileged to visit a dynamic organisation called Babajob, based in Bangalore.  It connects about 1 000 blue-collar work seekers to employers who advertise on Babajob every working day, through mobile phones, a website and a call centre.  Over the past three years, 900 000 jobs have been advertised by companies.  To combat misuse, job seekers pay a subscription fee of 1 rupee (15c) per day.  Its success rate is difficult to track, but 42% of employers advertise more than once. Visit www.babajob.com.

DGMT is seeking to develop a similar information hub for young people, through its support for Career Planet.  In this regard, we were struck by Babajob’s ability to attract the interest of small and medium-size companies, because they are more likely than bigger corporations to employ unskilled and semi-skilled workers.  We were also encouraged to see that a relatively small call centre of 8 people could handle the roughly 1 000 connections and enquiries a day.  On the downside, we realised that the cost of mobile connections in South Africa – more than ten times that of India – undermines our ability to use new communication technologies for development.  Sure, almost every South African has a cell phone, but few South African firms would respond to a job-seeker’s ‘please call me’.

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