Bangladesh has registered strong economic growth, consistently exceeding 6% GDP growth over the last decade and is on a trajectory to reach middle-income status in a few years. With this has come the challenge of syncing job growth with the increase in economic activity.
Unemployment still hovers around the double digits, with underemployment estimated to be much higher. A lot of initiatives from both the government and private sectors are being executed to improve the scenario.
One of these initiatives is Kormo, a Job Matching and Career Development Platform by `Google’s Area 120 incubator that was launched in Bangladesh last September (It has since expanded to other markets like Indonesia and India).
Since 86 percent of the country’s labor force is employed in the informal sector, Kormo is targeting this TG for its starting point. Currently, there is no dedicated job marketplace or structured system for this segment. Employers regularly go through inefficient ad-hoc processes to hire people. And job seekers often miss out on opportunities that they were qualified for.
At this point, Kormo has managed to place thousands of jobs in Dhaka, helping job seekers get connected to the right jobs, while at the same time giving employers access to a large and always developing talent pool.
But the platform has been aided significantly by partners on the ground who have helped to take Kormo to the masses. One of these partners is Banglalink. The partnership began in October 2018, and involved Kormo members tagging along with Banglalink’s substantial presence on the ground to match clients who came to the Banglalink points with jobs that they were looking for with the motto -
The program focused on the “urban youth” segment of the population, who don’t have a set path to get into and develop a career. The partnership was designed to leverage 3 levels of Banglalink presence in the market.
These are Banglalink’s wholly owned and operated outlets where users get 360-degree service on all of its offered products. These are spread throughout Bangladesh - and Kormo has built up a presence at around 10 outlets in Dhaka to reach out to job seekers at key points.
A brand executive is dedicated to each of the stores to interact with customers about opportunities for jobs through the platform. This involves informing them about the following:
Kormo has received very positive feedback from seekers and employers alike who interacted with the brand executives at the Banglalink points. They are regularly shared, both offline and through Kormo’s Facebook Group called Kormo User Community.
Banglalink Sales and Service Points (BSSP) is a program that is designed to be more widespread than the Banglalink Customer Cares - and operates throughout Bangladesh. These are basically collaborative retail locations that act as hubs for Banglalink services in the country.
There is a Sales and Service Executive (SSE) who serves customers, providing services including, but not limited to - mobile recharge, connectivity support, and mobile accessory inventory.
A large segment of the urban youth come to these locations to avail services - and this allows Kormo to reach out to a large number of its TG very fast, throughout Dhaka. The method of interaction involves informing potential seekers among the urban youth about the benefits of signing up to Kormo, completing their profiles, getting a digital CV, learning through the “Learn Tab” and applying to - and eventually getting a chance to land a job.
At its peak, Kormo was operating at 60 BSSP outlets (out of hundreds of points in Dhaka alone). This partnership is now evolving to allow the program to reach out to a wider audience, faster to maximize impact.
Kormo also tagged along with Banglalink on digital activations, with Banglalink letting the platform tap into its user base - a large number of whom are urban youth to get the message across and helping it along its journey of becoming the go-to Job Matching and Career Development platform in the country and beyond.
For instance, the two platforms collaborated with each other with posts in Banglalink’s Facebook Page which has over 12 million followers. Additionally, Kormo was featured in Banglalink’s Website which sees a significant amount of traffic in the relevant target group, further enhancing the reach of the platform and enabling urban youth to find and get connected to jobs.
Kormo was started with a vision to give users looking to build meaningful career access to a platform that would help them achieve that goal. And by partnering with one of the leading telcos in the country that also has the wellbeing and human capital development of the country in its agenda, Kormo is working towards making a difference in the lives of job seekers by opening up opportunities that were otherwise unavailable to them and in the process, closing the gap between the talent Bangladesh needs to reach its next level and the actual availability of such talent.