Founded by Ahaan Aggarwal, a 17-year-old young entrepreneur, Junoon is a simple, instructional based online vocational training and job search platform that is focused on blue-collar jobs. Ahaan is passionate about helping unskilled workers to learn new skills and become upwardly mobile. Economic Independence for all is a long-term vision for Junoon.
Indian migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic have faced multiple hardships. With factories and workplaces shut down due to the lockdown imposed in the country, millions of migrant workers had to deal with the loss of income, food shortages, and uncertainty about their future. Following this, many of them and their families went hungry. Thousands of them then began walking back home, with no means of transport due to the lockdown. Junoon started in April 2020 and launched in August 2020 when Ahaan Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Junoon, witnessed the mass reverse migration of hundreds of millions of Indians within weeks after COVID led lockdown.
With a total of 450mn + blue-collared workers in India, 50% of them earn less than a 10k per month wage. “The market in India is massive. 93% of these workers haven’t received any vocational training, and we are trying all the aspects to reach out to the target audience,” points out Ahaan.
Because of personal circumstances and shifting market supply, unemployment spiked; many had no choice but to return to their hometowns—one of the biggest hit groups: blue-collar workers. Roughly 60% of the total blue-collar workforce in India left with no work due to COVID Pandemic. “During our research, we found that the biggest gap is numerous workers lack professional training and skills, and our priority is to deliver the right set of skill development training that helps them in their employment. So, I created Junoon to help the millions of Indians across the country that were struggling to find employment,” adds Ahaan.
Boosting Employment and Economy
Envisioning to help the people in the blue-collar economy, Ahaan found that unemployment in manual labour had spiked after offices, warehouses, and many workplaces were forced to shut down because of the lockdown. Junoon is working to help millions of unskilled or semi-skilled workers in India by cascading training and help them have the flexibility to seek jobs. “We provide English and Hindi focused vocational training content, a job portal, registration and profile for employers and candidates, and real-time matching. In many ways, we are creating digital community colleges for vocational training and placements,” points out Ahaan.
Passionate about helping the community, Ahaan found that creating opportunities for unskilled or semi-skilled workers to upskill and find financial stability for them. Drawing inspiration from his father, Sandeep Aggarwal, Ahaan says, “My father is a serial tech entrepreneur. He is always focused on sharing and educating on how to set goals and how to achieve them. I have watched his struggle, blood, sweat, and success. So, I have been adapting the lessons from my father to think with a business and entrepreneurial mindset.”
Recently, Junoon raised seed round led by Kunal Khattar of AdvantEdge and angel investor Viren Rana. Vishesh Tandon, Chaim Friedman of LionBird Ventures, and Serial Entrepreneur and angel investor Sandeep Aggarwal participated in the round. Although there haven’t been any major challenges while building Junoon, it was quite difficult to do deep research on blue-collar workers to understand their needs and hurdles in managing their careers and finances. “While the lockdown has hampered our ability to collaborate, thanks to the incredible effort and time poured in by the team, we have still been able to pull through”, says Ahaan.
With the launch of skill assessment test based on gender, age, knowledge, language, proficiency will tell the likelihood of finding the job in any of the categories keeping city and wages too into consideration, close to 2 million people will be getting jobs through Junoon. “We also plan to work on the KYC Verification, Background check, and reference for Blue collared workers for providing this facility to the employer partners. Junoon will launch the community college program in 10K villages which we have identified during our market research,” concludes Ahaan.