There has been a huge rise in demand for frontline workers. In the BetterPlace frontline Index report for FY 2022, we see that 8 million new frontline jobs were created in the country. It is imperative for businesses to have agility, the ability to streamline the hiring process, and the right technology stack in order to meet this demand.
The emerging India Stack infrastructure has enabled the formalisation of the frontline workforce. There have been opportunities for training and access to on-the-job information to ensure they have the information and knowledge they need to hit the ground running.
A panel comprising Komal Prajapati, Chief Technology Officer, Betterplace; Kannan Murali, Head of Product and Engineering, M2P; Sudarshan Ravi, Co-founder, and CPO, Let’s Transport; Vikram Verma, Senior Vice President – Technology and Head of Bangalore Technology Centre, Yubi; and Akash Goyal, Lead Product Manager, Rapido, came together for a virtual panel discussion to dwell on how to build a more robust and more efficient frontline workforce, what the industry should focus on and how innovations and technological advances can be leveraged to create a more powerful and optimised frontline workforce using India stack.
Technology is the enabler and driver.
Technology has created an ecosystem that touches all aspects of frontline life, says Komal of BetterPlace. With a focus on frontline workers, the company has generated meaningful impacts and expanded opportunities for frontline workers. The program enabled them to obtain financial assistance and address concerns regarding their personal development, career paths, and previous employment history.
He spoke about BetterPlace Rocket, a product that provides guided scaling solutions based on where people want to move in their career and the type of job they are seeking. Therefore, it benefits both employers and applicants through pre-training and pre-skilling of candidates, resulting in a high success rate.
The platform protects frontline workers’ rights. It also enables end-to-end digitization of processes, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity. As a result, the workforce’s interests are taken care of and attrition is reduced.
Employers may offer benefits such as affordable insurance, early salaries, or payslips that provide full transparency regarding earnings. Using the platform, employers can ensure compliance requirements are met. In addition to enhancing a worker’s skill set, the system also reflects their experience for future employment opportunities and their credit score if they pay off their loans in time.
The goal is to promote visibility between enterprises and employees and to create a verifiable profile of workers in order to facilitate the introduction of better opportunities to front-line workers, thus improving both their personal and professional lives.
It is a new dawn for frontline workers
The India Stack allows frontline workers to be onboarded using advanced technologies like biometric verification or retina scans, says Kannan of M2P. For frontline employees to be motivated, companies are now encouraging flexible work schedules and offering opportunities for them to pursue additional gig work. As a result, frontline workers will have the chance to upskill or even become entrepreneurs in the future.
India Stack helps retain frontline workers who are now part of the digital ecosystem. Sudarshan believes companies today focus on transactions and continue to grow, while very few pay attention to their frontline employees. As long as they are growing professionally, providing them with a sense of progress and belonging can benefit companies.
Vikram of Yubi discussed how fintech companies such as Yubi, an online debt market, indirectly assist companies that engage with frontline employees to assist them in their success, and directly with the help of India Stack that assists with credit evaluation, KYC integration, and payment reminders through UPI.
At Rapido, technology has enabled a new-age workplace that is inclusive and caters to the workforce who wish to work from anywhere at any time. Akash observes that students typically work beyond college hours to earn a living. In addition, he shared examples of women who worked as captains (riders) and bouncers. Thanks to India Stack, digital onboarding is possible in less than five minutes.
Efforts on the right track
Sudarshan believes fostering frontline workers’ careers is critical in placing the right talent in the right place and at the right time. At the same time, Vikram mentions that technology is crucial for India Stack as it is still evolving but believes that the startup ecosystems will essentially enable formalising workforce management with the help of technology.
Akash stated that if it is utilised correctly, it will help save costs. Rapido manages 1 lakh daily rides across 80+ cities without any offices with India Stack’s help, which has significantly lowered their prices. Also, by partnering with food tech companies, their riders double up as food delivery people, increasing productivity and the earnings of their workers.
Komal concluded that through an integrated platform approach, employers could easily automate the entire lifecycle of their frontline workers, enabling them to focus on scaling their business rather than managing the size of their workforce. Managing frontline workers involves hiring, sourcing, onboarding, background checks, attendance and payroll management, compliance management in different modules, and scaling and activating a workforce.
As an employer, a platform will help create significant harmony with employees by providing the right tools, benefits, and technology that are explicitly tailored to the needs of frontline workers.