Its a good week for India (ie Oscars too). Mobile Monday MoMo Global Peer Awards are a particularly impressive accolade for a mobile application developer or service, as it is judged by the peers who truly are doing mobile in markets all around the world, not only reporting on it, or selling some tech for it, etc. The annual MoMo Global Peer Awards were held again at MWC in Barcelona last week, and the winner is Babajob.com from India.
I really like this idea, its simple, its powerful and it meets a very strong need. Also I like the fact that this innovative service came out of a Developing World market, rather than the "usual suspects" for mobile innovation like Finland, Japan and South Korea..
So what is Babajob? It was described by our friend Russell Buckley at MobHappy like this:
The big idea is that many people are trapped in poverty as they don't know the right people to get better jobs. As an example, they presented two nannies, one of whom earned 120 dollars per month because her sister knew some rich people, and the other who earned 20 dollars a month because she was born and worked in a slum - despite both doing essentially the same job.
A further issue is that over time in urban areas, people can travel shorter and shorter distances to work, due to congestion. This means that the number of jobs they could do, gets smaller and smaller.
Babajob's solution is use the mobile as a tool to merchandise new jobs to Bangalore's poor, via the mobile and it works via IVR, SMS up to a mobile web portal. This is a fantastic use of the mobile as the poor often have no access to other media, such as newspapers or a PC. They also provide incentives to mentors to help illiterate people or those who don't have mobiles themselves.
To post a job costs 999 rupees ie 20 US dollars and the service has 30,000 registered users already. Gotta love it. Very nice, simple, elegant solution, that addresses a real problem and once again highlights the point about mobile as the 7th mass media channel, that while it is powerful in the Industrialized World, yes, it is far more powerful in the Developing World, where the mobile so often is not one of the seven mass media, it is the only mass media (the first mass media for the third world, one might say ha-ha, although I do recognize the "third world" term is archaic and is not the preferred way to describe the Developing World today).
(my apologies to Babajob.com for originally mistyping their name. And thank you to Rudy de Waele for mentioning it. At least the original link did go to the right guys ha-ha.. Sorry about that. I wonder if there is also a baHAjob ?)