Solution Overview

Our Solution

My Skill Matters

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One-line solution summary:

A skills marketplace for blue-collared workers to upskill and secure their future.

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Pitch your solution.

We aim to create a marketplace for discoverability, upskilling, and financial security of the 300 million blue-collar workers in India. We envision an open network where their paid work across different digital and offline workstreams will be visible to them as well as potential employers. We will be mapping their skills in their respective fields and providing actionable insights, avenues and opportunities to upskill as per industry trends. Since their paid work will be recorded and skills certified, there will be opportunities for easy availability of credit, insurance, and job opportunities. We aim to integrate our systems with national identity and health systems KYCs to ensure that there is unique certification in users’ profiles. Our tailed insights would be in the direction of job availability and skills needed to do new jobs in the digital economy. We visualise 300 million financially secure and digitally empowered workers. 


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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Connect the skills of the Indian and Indonesian workforces to the demands of employers
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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Delhi, India
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Is your solution working in India and/or Indonesia?

My solution is being deployed or has plans to deploy in India
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What specific problem are you solving in India and/or Indonesia?

The blue-collar workers do different jobs applying varying levels of skills. They seek opportunities primarily through word of mouth. Due to this, they rely heavily on their prevalent skills and past work managers’ or clients’ networks. There are large scale information asymmetries as there is no record of their work or skills which can be updated as per the demands of employers. Also, in the meantime, there is no insurance for contingencies. In our solution, we try to formalise this informal marketplace by first recording their past work and mapping their skills, second, we aim to connect them to banking and insurance aggregators and finally, use their record of work and skill to connect with potential employers. In the subsequent step, we wish to connect them to skilling programmes with actionable insight on the larger macroeconomic movement and a pathway to gain specific skills in the appropriate growth industry. As per the BCG report, the gig economy or blue-collared jobs are going to be 90 million in number in the non-farm sector in India. These workers are younger, have lower educational attainment, primarily are women who want a secondary source for household income  and flexible working hours with low to moderate skills. Our solution aims to model these diverse factors and connect these workers to employment and upskilling opportunities keeping in mind the changing nature of work by fulfilling their respective skill gaps and securing their future by linking them to the skilling requirements of the new economy. 

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

In our solution, we are targeting young people, especially women who have limited access to educational opportunities, low to moderate skills and flexible hours. They have limited documentation of their past work experiences as they rely on contractual work from time to time. They are underpaid and do insecure jobs without any financial support. There is stark information asymmetry on the kinds of skills required for new digital jobs. In our solution, first of all, we are documenting the work done by these workers and making a skill map of their current skills. To do away with financial insecurity, we are going to onboard insurance and banking operators to look at their past work and provide them with instruments to ensure their financial security. Also, we aim to onboard local contractors and industry representatives to understand the changing nature of work in the next 5-10 years and provide them opportunities for upskilling. As soon as these workers attain the requisite skills, they can avail the access to employers who are in search of those specific skills. In this way, we solve the problem of a skills gap as well as financial security. One of the other problems is the lack of timely payments for the gig work. We aim to onboard only those employers who ensure a regular payment system. This can be done using a ratings framework and employers can be rated for their regularity accordingly. 


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How does the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge?

Our solution aims to connect the workers to potential employers by documenting the skills of the workers and connecting them to potential employers. Since most of the present skills of these workers are mechanical in nature, there is high probability that these jobs will disappear as and when AI related technologies gather pace. However, the pace of these technologies will also create new job opportunities. Therefore, in order to ensure that this marketplace is formalised by mapping the prevailing skills of these workers and securing their future with insurance and we can gain the confidence of these workers by showcasing the compounding value of gaining new skills as their prevailing skills can be modified with specific new skills which will be authorised by the contractors and industry players on our platform. It will become a skills marketplace where as soon as a gig worker enters the platform, they can do their skills and employment history mapping, avail skill programmes in tune with larger macroeconomic trends of automation and digital economy and new job opportunities by the industry players. In between seeking new jobs, our solution also offers insurance opportunities to secure the financial status of these workers. Also, we aim to ensure that the payment cycle is reviewed by o-workers and employers are rated accordingly. In this way, we formalise the marketplace and create solid documentation of work and skill history which can be updated to new realities. 


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In which Indian States and/or Union Territories is your solution operating?

  • Delhi
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Concept
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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Aakash Guglani

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful
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What makes your solution innovative?

We aim to create opportunities for sections of society that are traditionally underrepresented concerning access. The solution shall function as a comprehensive single source gateway for blue-collar workers encompassing e-KYC, health documents, insurance in addition to a comprehensive overview of the previous paid work carried out across platforms as well as skill insights visible to both prospective employers and users of the envisioned platform.

The solution’s focus on a bottom-up approach as well as the variety of use cases concerning expected utilization as a singular window for the vast majority of blue-collar workers innovates on the usage of APIs in the status quo thereby connecting multiple stakeholders on a single platform for ease of access.


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Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Application Programming Interfaces or APIs are software intermediaries that enable two or more applications to communicate with each other. MySkillsMatter is going to utilise API to connect the various services that the platform provides. Connecting with various companies in the gig economy space for access to employee ratings and the like, connecting with banking and insurance companies for the provision of services to the users of the platform, and for provision of services related to KYC documentation extending to a basic Optical Character Recognition(OCR) to start off, with possible extension to connecting directly to databases for verification.

APIs have been used extensively in both the private and public domains for their versatility and reconfigurability to a wide range of applications.


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Please select all the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • Software and Mobile Applications
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What is your theory of change?

Creation of a single-source platform for aggregation of gig economy worker data: MySkillMatters:

Extends to a uniform standard of accessibility of data to both workers and prospective employers;

Clearly defines parameters of work in respective roles held previously;

Provision of insurance/banking basics on a unified platform

Insurance is rarely accessible to the gig economy or informal economy workers due to a variety of constraints, easy access for insurance companies with clear metrics for provision of services in addition to a unified facilitating platform (MySkillsMatter) reduces the threshold for the provision of financial services to sections of society that generally do not have access to the same.

Creation of a repository for medical records for target populations.

Provides a comprehensive overview of the medical history and any complications which is rarely possible over an extended period of time.


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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • India
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What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Our next year's impact goal is to have 100,000 workers on our platform and reach a million workers in the next 2-3 years. Since all these workers are in the informal marketplace, it would be relatively easier to onboard them on our platform which would be a formalised set-up for them to get work. Before reaching this critical stage, we aim to onboard 25,000 local contractors in the Delhi/NCR region in 6 months as they are in a better position to identify the projects for these workers to deploy their skills. Another impact goal for this year is to create categories of skills already prevalent in these workers, certify them by these contractors as well as industry experts and create 50,000 workers’ profiles in the next 180-200 days. After fine-tuning this model in the Delhi/NCR region, we would like to deploy this model in all major capital cities of other states in India within the next 5 years. As a non-profit, our marketplace would like to partner with other gig workers aggregators to share workers’ job data in the next 2 years. We would like to partner with the skilling programmes of Govt. of India and various state governments to provide free of cost upskilling opportunities. Therefore, the first-year impact goal is to certify the skills of 100,000 workers and create consolidated profiles for industry players and expand this in other cities in the next five years. 


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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

We aim to measure our progress using five metrics: numbers of users onboarded on the platform (workers, contractors and industry representatives); a number of skills categories established (level of skills, prevalent skills etc.); certification of skills by contractors/govt programmes or gig work aggregators; numbers of workers upskilled using partner aggregators and insurance and banking status with KYC compliance of workers in their profiles. We would like to include the number of partnerships with aggregators, skilling programmes of state and central governments as well as workers employed in different sectors in the next 2-3 years. 


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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

In our understanding, the major impediment is the process of onboarding the workers on the platform and as well as contractors. Most of the work in our local neighbourhoods is controlled through the street level builders and contractors, workers are happy as they have been working with the contractors for long periods and they provide a regular supply of work. These contractors also know the skills of each worker and promote them accordingly. In this way, ensuring that contractors with an available network of workers are on board on our platforms is important. Also, we need to ensure that the platform is multilingual for ease of access. Since these workers work in different domains, the next barrier is to avail APIs from cab aggregators, hyperlocal delivery aggregators and e-commerce aggregators etc. to supply data. The other technical barrier is to certify the skills of each individual without any favouritism. Sometimes, in our study, we found that workers who are favoured by contractors are rated higher than other workers. To avail, multiple sources of certification are important and a major impediment. The certification process is important as this may create some issues with insurance aggregators for lack of work history.  


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More About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Nonprofit

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How many people work on your solution team?

5

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How long have you been working on your solution?

3 Months

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

The MySkillMatters team have diverse backgrounds and experiences which extend to individual skill sets. There are different fields of study, expertise and experience within the team including the sciences, gender studies, philosophy etc as well as extensive on-ground experience in the Indian heartland. The team is focused on a common objective, that of improving the accessibility and availability of services to sections of society generally lacking access to said services. This has allowed the team to pool in their experiences and expertise to solve a mutually relevant issue that exists in the country and beyond.

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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

We believe in a diverse multicultural equitable leadership team and the current team exemplifies the same. With people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives both from an academic background and from their experiences as part of the workforce. As the platform grows, we are also planning on a scaled expansion to include relevant stakeholders and primarily perspectives from blue-collar workers, gig economy workers and practitioners, major experts etc. This extends to a continual rigorous learning curve for the leadership team while inculcating the spirit of diversity and inclusion.


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What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

NA

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Your Model & Funding

What is your operational model?

Provision of access to sections of populace.

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Who is the primary stakeholder you will be targeting to execute and scale your solution?

Government
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Partnership & Growth Opportunities

Why are you applying to the Future of Work in India and Indonesia Challenge?

We believe that we have a solution that can holistically improve on the prospects of millions of workers. MIT Solve allows us both access in terms of the opportunity as well as the ability to scale the platform.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
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Solution Team

 
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