During the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s job market suffered a significant setback with the unemployment rates spiking up during the lockdown.
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), amidst lockdown and restrictions on mobility, the unemployment rate touched 14.5 percent in the week ended May 16, 2021, and rose further to 14.7 percent for the week ended May 23.
However, professional networking platforms are playing a pivotal role in improving the job scenario in India in the current times.
Bengaluru-based recruitment startup Apna.co — entirely dedicated to the blue and grey collar workforce — helps provide working opportunities to them according to their skillset.
In a recent interaction with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Nirmit Parikh, Founder and CEO, Apna.co, shares valuable insights on the current job scenario in India and how the platform is helping in the present situation.
“It has been a hard time for the country, and with COVID-19, we have seen many ups and downs in jobs, but I think the market is recovering now,” says Nirmit.
The startup aims to provide people with job opportunities by helping them build a digital professional identity, a solid network, and giving them access to the best local jobs.
At present, Apna has over nine million users and 1,00,000+ recruiters on the platform. It is operational in 14 cities across India, with Delhi and Mumbai leading among them.
Over the last six months, over 35 million interviews were conducted on the platform, and it has seen tremendous growth in terms of business.
“We are growing very rapidly. We had started as a challenger in the market, and now we are a market leader when it comes to hiring or professional networking for India’s rising workforce,” says Nirmit.
According to the CEO, the salary trends on the platform change from category to category, driven by demand and supply trends.
For instance, with jobs in the hospitality sector decreasing, the salaries for these jobs are going down, whereas, with the logistics and ecommerce sectors as jobs are rising, the salaries are increasing too.
While Apna aims to build multiple revenue products, at present, it has decided not to focus on monetisation.
The recruitment startup aims to expand its operations to 50 Indian cities and explore new territories, and hence, is looking forward to new partnerships. However, Nirmit says that Apna’s core focus is to do right by the users and the companies.
Currently, almost all the economies globally have taken a hit owing to the pandemic, and Apna wants to help the Indian economy revive by helping bring back India’s economy.
Therefore, it has kept all its services for free for both employers and candidates, allowing people to hire for free. For essential services such as medical and healthcare services or logistic services, Apna has provided a 24×7 helpline to help employers hire for free.
“The whole idea is to bring India’s economy back to its feet, and that’s what the focus is today,” says Nirmit.