TOPICS > World > Social Entrepreneurship

Expatriate entrepreneur uses tech to help Indians find jobs

BY Sam Weber  February 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM EDT

For decades, India’s technology sector has been dominated by service companies, which have made the country the outsourcing capital of the world.

But today, we’re seeing an uptick of entrepreneurship in India, driven by start-ups focused on software and applications for both the domestic market in India, as well as for global markets.

But creating a profitable business is not the only goal of many entrepreneurs. Some have founded start-ups with an underlying social mission: from a video hub service that helps rural farmers to a company that matches unconnected Indians with better jobs.

The latter is the work of Sean Blagsvedt, who originally moved to Bangalore, India in 2004 to set up Microsoft’s research center. But in 2007, Blagsvedt started Babajob, a platform to help workers in India’s informal workforce find better jobs.

Indians who have no access to computers, but looking for work as drivers, nannies, or cooks, for instance, can use their cell phones to text or call Babajob and connect with potential employers.

“We’re at about two million people thus far that are using us to try to find a better job and hire others,” he said.

“Now we just have the other 998 million [to go].”

NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan reports from Bangalore and Mumbai on the high-tech entrepreneurs who are building companies to serve the enormous potential market in India and the world.