Finding labourers for odd jobs at one’s house has never been an easy task in the capital. But with an android phone and the “Fori Mazdoori” application, it has now come just a few clicks away.
Fori Mazdoori (FM) is a digital service that helps connect labourers with an employer, besides bringing the workers onto the social media. It will also solve the constant problem of labourers not finding work and employers having a tough time finding labourers. The best part is that workers do not need smart phones to become a part of FM.
“Creating sustainable and smarter cities through service design ideas in a bottom-up-way approach is the idea behind FM,” said Dr Musstanser Tinauli, the CEO of Fori Mazdoori. Tinauli, who holds a PhD in Design and Innovation from the Polytechnic Unicersity of Milan, Italy, said he quit his job in the private sector to do something which has a positive impact on people. Simula Research Laboratory, Norway, helped in launching the project, he informed.
Tinauli said a rough estimate reveals that around 60 million labourers were presently working in Pakistan, adding that his application would just help them find work.
Over 1,000 labourers, including drivers, loaders, tailors, electricians, cooks and maids, among others, have so far been registered, he revealed, adding that the labourers were not reluctant to share their CNIC numbers and other details needed for registration during their registration drives at Peshawar Morr, sectors I-10/4 and G-6, among other areas.
Sharing details about the project, Tinauli said the theme of the entire operation is “Naam, Kaam, Tajarba”, adding that FM empowers the labourer by allowing him or her to pitch who they are, what they can do and how long they have been doing it. “With a 10-second video, one can check the Naam, Kaam and Tajarba of the labourer.” He said the application can also validate any labourer through NADRA for a small charge.
For the first time, we are bringing scores of labourers on the social media, he said, adding that “This will be the labourers’ Facebook.”
Tinauli was of the view that using social media was the best approach to reach out to the upper class and that the much-needed outcome of the project will be the assembly of a ‘history of labourers’ in the country.
Talking about the revenue aspect of the project, he said the venture does not generate revenue right now but two years down the road, that will hopefully change.
He believes the project has a strong business model and revenue can be generated by targeting advertisers, paid subscription and SMS-based system. The SMS system will also enable labourers to register themselves and the system will put him/her in top searches on the day of registration which will help in them getting a job.
Atif Khan, a gardener and cook, said he once got a call from the FM folk but the deal could not be finalised. Khan added he has a bicycle and could reach anywhere in the city for providing services if hired. An electrician, Waseem, was hopeful that soon everyone would start using the application and they would become more accessible.
FM has been registered with the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan since January this year and has also obtained a short SMS code – 9899 – from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
The beta version of the application is available on Google play store. The application allows users to rate any labourer and comment about them which would enable others to judge their work ethic.
International and national recognition
Fori Mazdoori was recently selected as the top 15 startups of Europe and Asia combined at an event titled Startup Istanbul. In Pakistan, it was also the runner-up of a challenge focusing on poverty alleviation at the National Innovation Grands Challenge.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2014.