[The Turning Point] Youngest unicorn Apna was created by serial entrepreneur Nirmit Parikh to help blue collar workers find jobs
Blue collar jobs platform based in Bengaluru, the youngest startup to enter the unicorn club after raising $ 100 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $ 1.1 billion led by Tiger Global, was started by Nirmit Parikh in 2019.
A serial entrepreneur, Nirmit, who liked to solve problems using technology, wanted to raise the unorganized workforce across the world.
Its startup Apna follows a technology-driven approach to harness the power of communities and enable access to better jobs for millions of its users. It includes over 60 communities for skilled professionals such as carpenters, painters, field sales agents and many more.
Many large Indian companies such as Zomato, Burger King, Bharti-AXA, Delhivery, TeamLease, G4S Global, Shadowfax and 1MG rely on Apna to meet their most urgent and critical recruiting needs. The platform has also partnered with some of India’s leading public and private organizations.
Apna supports National Skill DevelopmentCorporation, UNICEF Yuwaah, India’s Ministry of Minority Affairs, in their efforts to provide better skills and employment opportunities to applicants.
A 12-year journey
While Apna hit the sweet spot of becoming a unicorn in just two years of starting up, Nirmit’s journey as an entrepreneur dates back to 2009, when he was just 21, when he started Incone. . It specializes in the automation of dams to control floods and eliminate the ravages of flash floods in Gujarat. His work in this field led him to become a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.
He later founded Cruxbox, a web page summary platform which was acquired by Kno and later by Intel. As a result, he moved to Silicon Valley to work as Intel’s director of data analytics. Nirmit then joined Apple, where he worked in product and strategy at iPhone Ops.
But he always wanted to solve a major problem – to raise the unorganized workforce – blue collar workers.
Nirmit felt that there is a huge unemployment challenge in the country. He realized he could take advantage of technology to help frontline workers find work quickly and close to their homes. This led him to leave Apple and return to India in 2019 to launch a professional networking and development platform – Apna.
Apna’s journey began in 2019 with a mobile app, designed to increase family incomes and raise the standard of living of the unorganized workforce. It was even recognized by Google as one of the best apps of 2020.
“My vision is to bring about a radical cultural and social change in Indian society with ubiquitous technology,” says Nirmit.
But the turning point in his idea came when the first Apna user got his interview in a minute. It worked as a boost for the business, and Apna only grew more and more.
“We (Apna) mirror India’s transformational journey. We are a unique company operating in a niche market with a promising future. It is based on the notion of accomplishing a social objective and creating social value. Employment and skills upgrading are the most pressing issues for all countries. The Apna platform solves both in India with remarkable speed and impact, ”says Nirmit.
With over 16 million users from India’s emerging working class, Apna has grown into a very active professional social network, recruiting market and development platform.
In just two years, the startup claims to have grown 125 times. Apna said it has supported more than 150,000 Indian companies, increased its workforce and conducted more than 100 million job interviews.
It aims to reach more than 2.3 billion people around the world over the next two years.
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