(by Saptarishi Dutta and Nikhil Pahwa)
Back in 2009, on an earnings conference call, we asked then Info Edge COO (now CEO) Hitesh Oberoi about whether it intends to bid for a government job portal, and whether they would see it as competition for their mainstay, Naukri.com. Oberoi was emphatic in his response, saying that Naukri addresses “a very different segment of the market, which is a white collar market. Employment exchanges are more relevant to blue collar workers.” Fast forward almost seven years, and Info Edge has now picked up 28.5% stake for Rs 4 crore in a job portal for unskilled workers called unnatihelpers.com, valuing Unnati Online Pvt Ltd at Rs 14 crore.
This is the first external investment from Info Edge in jobs space, and but it’s not their first niche. We’re not sure of how their products FirstNaukri and Naukri Premium are doing, but suffice to say they don’t appear to even get a mention on Info Edge’s earnings conference calls.
Unnatihelpers is a marketplace that connects households or businesses seeking to hire blue collar workers such as office boys, delivery boys, drivers and household help. It competes with players like Babajobs, Aasaanjobs and even the government’s own portal National Career Service, which was launched in December 2015. Aasanjobs has raised $5 million from Aspada Ventures, IDG Ventures India and Inventus Capital Partners, while Babajobs raised $10 million a year before that.
How Unnati Works
Unnati takes a fee from employers – both business as well as household employers.
- Businesses have to pay Unnati Rs 1000 for each person they hire. It also offers customised pricing packages for bulk hiring, or multiple hires. Remember that Info Edge’s business is similar in a sense: it is used by IT services companies for hiring hundreds of people in a year, and typically does annual deals.
- Household employers need to pay Unnati Rs 100 for every person they interview and a one-time fee once they hire a person.
According to Unnatihelpers’ website, the platform charges Rs 5000 in search fees for a 24-hour maid while hiring a driver or a security guard will only cost Rs 2000 to the employer. Additionally, Unnatihelpers allows household employers to hire workers on a trial basis for a fee of Rs 200 a day and also gives a 50% discount on a replacement hire if the original worker quits the job within three months of joining. This isn’t something that Naukri.com does for white collar workers.