This team is looking for
Many women in India are employed in private homes performing housekeeping, running errands, shopping, doing handyman/repair work, and doing yard work. This employment is without benefits or time off. There are no guarantees in this employment and the power is very much balanced in the employer's favor. To find this work the workers either rely on referrals or go door-to-door to seek work. The workers are expected to work at the convenience of the employers. These workers have limited economic opportunity and are some of the most vulnerable workers in Indian society. Women who seek daily employment this way often risk their safety, knocking on the doors of strangers. In many cases these women have limited literacy or even complete illiteracy. It is typical for these women live in households without a computer. But they almost uniformly have cell phones. This project seeks to improve the economic opportunity for these women by shifting control a bit more to their favor. Bai will leverage on the wide availability of cell phones, providing a mobile workforce marketplace that will help women to seek daily work assignments on their terms. Where today a worker is expected to show up to work per the employer’s convenience, with no time off, Bai would allow all workers to cover work assignments in a manner that allows them to balance work with family needs. Bai, provides a trustworthy source of reviews of employers. Workers will also be reviewed allowing them to establish a reputation of good work habits. These reviews will be the basis for an online reputation. Reliable identification of individuals, both Employers and Workers, will be accomplished for both Employers and Workers as the are required to provide their PAN (Personal Account Number) in their registration. This PAN is a government issued national identification number in India. And, finally, Bai will provide for payment for work completed through electronic payment systems. This is particularly important at this time when India's government works to limit cash transactions, in their efforts to limit criminal activity. Bai will be provided in two forms. As a smartphone application which will be the primary means for employers to list work requests. And while a smartphone application will be available for workers to manage their profile and accept work requests, in the future Bai will be offered to workers as an SMS based system that uses texting for workers to register and respond to work requests. This system will included numeric responses for those that have limited literacy but can read texts well enough to respond with numbers. In the future, in order to reach workers that cannot read at all, Bai will be equipped with an automated phone system that will call workers that cannot read, with work opportunities. These workers will be able to register and accept work assignments through automated phone messaging and voice recognition. Though the use of Bai, Indian women will feel safer and more secure in their work. The application will improve working conditions as employers work to maintain a good reputation. And the application will help facilitate and ensure payment through electronic transactions facilitated by Bai. While the application is specifically designed for the above described labor market in India, it can easily be adaptable to other cultures where similar work arrangements exist. Improving the economics and work conditions for a growing share of women throughout the world.