Uber-Like Service Works Without A Smartphone And Calls You A Rickshaw
Friday, April 25, 2014
If you’re a talented web designer from, say, Bangalore, there are plenty of places online where you can pick up work. The “gig economy” is good for you, because you can sell your skills in markets offering higher prices, like the U.S. The same isn’t necessarily true for carpenters or gardeners, at least not in places like Pakistan. They can’t arbitrage their worth abroad, and the Internet isn’t really set up to their benefit.
Adnan Khawaja, an entrepreneur from Lahore, is a big fan of oDesk, a freelance platform that helps people he knows. But he wondered if he could build something for people who aren’t web-savvy and don’t have smartphones. What he came up with is Oddjobber, which caters to the needs of rickshaw drivers and manual workers.
“The idea was inspired by how low-income workers struggle to meet their basic needs on a daily basis,” he says. “The problem is that there is a lot of inefficiency. People waste a lot of time looking for work, and they don’t have access to technology.”