29th December, 2022, National : OTU India (Organising The Unorganised India), a Bangalore-based startup founded in 2021 by Mr. Pratik Maheshwari, a computer engineer from BiTS Pilani and Mr. Akhilesh Kothari, an MBA and investment banker, announced that they have bagged around $1 mn in seed funding earlier. The startup is being mentored by Mr Vishal Mehta, CMD of Infibeam Avenue Ltd, in addition to a former IAS officer and an ex-IRS officer.
Harsh Jain (founder of Dream11), Rainmatter investments (a Zerodha Group company), Sangam Textile Group of Bhilwara, Mittal Steel Group of Bangalore and other prominent names participated in this round.
OTU is a blue and grey collar job platform that connects employers with employees. With a unique physical verification service – OTU which currently has 70,000 franchise partners claims to be different from the rest. Offering an interesting USP of a video feature to potential employers, the portal prepares profiles for candidates and connects them to organised employers across the country with the help of technology.
OTU is set to raise around $5 mn in pre series A in the next few months to meet technology, customer acquisition and other costs. It plans to reach the 1 million user milestone in 5-6 months and sees a great demand as there is no formal structured mechanism for connecting verified low income job seekers with potential employers.
The company is in the process of tie-up with the NCS portal (National Career Service) where more than 15 million candidates can directly apply to OTU jobs. It has also partnered with another government agency NSDC, where candidates trained through NSDC affiliated institutes shall be informed about OTU and will be given the option to register on it for getting relevant jobs.
Commenting on the developments, Pratik Maheshwari, CEO of OTU said: “Currently more than 100,000 candidates have already been registered on the OTU portal, and 100,000+ job vacancies are available. From those potential jobs, 40,000+ candidates have already been shortlisted, and 10,000+ have received job offers.”
“We have crossed the initial hurdle of the pilot test at Rajasthan, and after a significant portion of the user base obtained jobs, the team has geared up to serve every individual in the country. Our plan for the first phase of the coming year is to have a major presence in North India – the Hindi speaking belt in particular – and later to go PAN India”, said Akhilesh Kothari, the other co-founder who is handling operations and finance for the venture.
Mr Vishal Mehta CMD, Infibeam Avenue mentioned that “The scaling opportunity for OTU is immense, and tapping the overall 500 million blue-collar workforce space in India at a time when there is an emergent Gig Economy, makes it more relevant, which will not only benefit OTU to scale but also democratise and organise the blue-collar workforce in the country,”
Rainmatter Foundation, another investor, said: “We can only achieve sustainable and inclusive growth if there’s a focus on helping people create livelihoods. Supporting organisations like Otu India is something we focus on at Rainmatter Foundation, and we are excited to see how OTU can help workers in the unorganised sector.”
Some of the leading names of the industry like D-mart, Wonder Cement, Lemon Tree Hotel, Blue Dart, Google Pay, Paytm, Reliance Industries. Swiggy, Flipkart, etc. have posted jobs on OTU.
The OTU job portal has now been launched in places like Rajasthan, Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Uttar Pradesh. In addition to providing jobs for experienced people, jobs are also available for new entrants into the job market on the portal. Through the various videos in its skill section, users are helped in getting jobs by being taught about general knowledge and interview preparation.