Google will venture into India’s entry level job search market with Kormo. It has been undertaking pilots in India since early this year through its next billion users(NBU) unit, said people familiar with the matter. These involved ground research on how entry level hirings were made in various sectors.
The app will be launched on Friday at the annual Google for India event in New Delhi, the company told ET.
Kormo helps users look for jobs rarely posted online and for which there is no structured, searchable repository. It was initially developed by Area 120 Labs, the company’s inhouse incubator and “workshop for experimental projects.” Kormo is now part of Google’s NBU unit.
The app debuted in its home market of Bangladesh, specifically Dhaka, in September last year, before it was launched in other key NBU markets. The Indonesia debut took place earlier this year. Kormo means work in Bengali. In Bangladesh and Indonesia, Kormo focuses on three sectors including retail, hospitality and logistics, according to its website.
However, it is worth noting that Google is an investor in Bengaluru-based personal concierge services company Dunzo, which also functions in the logistics space.
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“Since we launched Kormo in Bangladesh in 2018 and in Indonesia this year, we’ve connected over 50,000 job seekers to jobs from hundreds of employers who use Kormo for their hiring needs, specifically entry level jobs,” Bickey Russell, project lead, Next Billion Users, said in an email. “Because finding employment is a real need across different markets, we’re looking to bring the same service to countries like India.”
Data is scarce on entry level jobs. About 4.48 million graduate each year, according to the government’s All India Survey on Higher Education for 2017-18. This excludes degrees in engineering and medical sciences, where the number stands at nearly 1 million. According to the Indian Staffing Federation, 83.8% of the country’s total workforce is deemed as informal.
India’s unemployment rate hit a three-year high of 8.4% in August 2019, according to data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy earlier this month.
“Ever-increasing cost of hire on account of demand of labour not matching supply of labour is the biggest roadblock on human capital for employers,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice-president at Teamlease Services Ltd. “If technology by any means eases this challenge for candidates, employers and job market aggregators, it shall improve matching efficiencies – quicker, better, cheaper and at scale exponentially.”
Kormo is likely to run into competition from well-established online classified advertising companies such as Quikr and OLX, which have acquired blue collar job listing sites Babajob and Aasaanjobs, respectively, in recent years. Besides these, there are other large, deeppocketed companies such as Quess Corp., which has a people’s services vertical, and Tech Mahindra’s Saral Rozgar.
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