Upskilling To Finding Right Platform: The Unerring Way To Seek Jobs Around 21 million salaried employees lost their jobs to COVID-19 between April and August

By Debarghya Sil

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world down to its knees. From taking lives of millions to impacting livelihoods of billions, this invisible virus has affected in some or the other way each and every human existing on this planet. Economy-wise, the virus seems to have reversed time as the GDP graph of most of the countries headed south. Multiple businesses/shops were forced to pack their bags, as the world gradually passed through this tumultuous time.

The fear of unemployment hung like a sword of damocles on every adult as companies—to stay afloat and continue their operations—started letting go of their employees. Thousands and thousands stared at a bleak future as getting a job during this turmoil was a far fetched imagination. According to a CMIE report in April, around 121 million Indians lost their jobs. Around 21 millions salaried jobs were lost between April and August due to the pandemic.

Globally, though Indian companies are among the most downbeat on employment outlook, there are few companies who are continuing to make employment opportunities.

Upskilling & Placement

We are currently living in the 21st century, wherein everything is spontaneous. In this cut-throat era of competition, a slight hesitation can snatch your dream job away. To be ready for any challenge related to work, one has to have a required set of skills. With months-long lockdown, students and young professionals have realized the importance to hone their skills to increase their chances of getting a job.

One of the major global IT firms HCL Technologies with its new Vistas program is training those who have completed Class XII or are engineering graduates and non-engineering graduates and later offer them a job at one of their operations centres. The new Vistas programme includes various training programs like Techbee, First Careers and iBelieve.

According to Srimathi Shivashankar, corporate vice-president of HCL Technologies, the new Vistas program is a strategic initiative undertaken by the HCL with a focus to identify fresh talents and explore new operation centres.

Interestingly, the new Vistas programme, unlike other IT companies, is reaching out to tier II towns and cities of the country. Under the program, world-class delivery centers have been set up in tier 2 cities in India such as Lucknow, Nagpur, Vijayawada and Madurai. Stressing on exploring the new centre locations and citing an example of its centre in Madurai, Shivashankar said that most of the IT workforce in Chennai come from southern part of the state i.e., in around Madurai, a city which is a home to prestigious engineering institutes. However, she noted that in order to get better job opportunities, these pools of talent either migrate to Chennai or flock to other corners of the countries after bidding farewell to their hometowns. Instead of stepping out of native place to find a job, Shivashankar said, "We take jobs to where the talent is." Over the last few years over 15,000 candidates have undergone the training programme and most of them continue to be part of the HCL's growing team.

Computer coding over the years has managed to steer its way from the "additional skills' section to the main highlight of a resume. Computer coding is an essential skill that the interviewers stress upon while looking for a tech-related job role. Understanding this and to bridge the knowledge gap between colleges and Industry Ankush Singla, Kannu Mittal and Dhawal Parate founded Coding Ninjas. This company not only provides coding lessons to students, but also helps them get jobs under their Career Camp module where students undergo rigorous online training to upskill and reskill their skillset with in-demand courses like machine learning, web development, data science and Android. The distinctive characteristic of this module is that students will pay after they have secured a job.

Apart from these, there are various other companies such as Great Learning and Udemy where one can enroll to inherit skills that are in demand.

Connector or Facilitator

Despite having an industry standard skill set, a person will continue to remain unemployed if he/she is not connected to the employer. There needs to be a connector who will show the job opportunities to a job seeker or navigate him to the right employer. One such company helping connect both the ends is Bangalore-based Vahan, which uses artificial intelligence to match job seekers with employers inside messaging apps.

The company has been working overtime to provide jobs particularly to the blue collar workers in the post lockdown phase. The startup uses WhatsApp-based virtual assistants to automate hiring of blue-collar workforce, recently witnessed a rapid surge in uptake of its technology solution by both job seekers and job providers looking to get connected.

Stressing on how the company is facilitating in the job hunt, Madhav Krishna, co-founder and chief operating officer of Vahan, said, "At Vahan, we are leveraging the power of technology to create India's employment exchange 2.0 that seamlessly connects employers and job seekers effectively, with speed and at an unprecedented scale."

The company is working with clients from various sectors and currently has over 4 million users from over 1,200 cities on its product and has already placed around 70,000 people across India.

Another new-age company, Awign has been fighting against the rising unemployment in this country since its inception in 2016. The job tech startup aims to create 500 million gig job opportunities in the next one year. The company boasts of helping enterprises fulfill on-the-ground as well as digital core functions through its over 6,50,000 distributed, highly trained gig workers. The startup which has made its presence in over 450 Indian cities and more than 15,000 PIN codes, has now successfully executed more than 5 million tasks over the last three years.

The company to provide flexible job positions in the wake of the pandemic had run a 10-day fest called "Great Indian Job Fest "20.

The virtual job fest claimed to bring around 30,000 flexible positions from Awign's varied lines of businesses. Salary of these flexible job roles range from INR 12,000-25,000/month.

Another platform,, provides communities for skilled professionals such as carpenters, painters and field sales agents, among others. On the platform, a user can find job opportunities, connect with their peers and learn new skills. The platform has attracted 1.2 million users and boasts to facilitate more than one million job interviews in August. The platform has managed to register 3 million professional conversations during the same period.

Debarghya Sil

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Correspondent

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