We received a nice surprise in our mailbox a few days ago – fashionable Babajob shirts, in customized male and female styles, sent to us by our good friends in Bangalore. Now we can show our Babajob pride all over Seattle.
Proudly sporting the latest fashions from Bangalore
In other Babajob news, CEO (and our good friend) Sean Blagsvedt was featured in a short spot in India Today magazine a couple of weeks ago. He’ll also be speaking at the SXSW Tech Summit in a few weeks.
We don’t watch much TV here, but when we do it’s usually the BBC or France24. One show we chanced upon a few weeks back is Alvin’s Guide to Good Business. Alvin Hall was in India talking with IDE about drip irrigation. It’s fun watching him talk to social entrepreneurs in the developing world, especially when we recognize the country or city. The structure of the episode is in two sections. For the first section Alvin visits, learns about the business and makes some suggestions. Then he comes back six months later to track their progress for the second part of the show.
This morning’s episode was about Friends International, the organization behind Makphet in Laos and a number of projects in their headquarters of Phnom Penh. We had visited their shop in Phnom Penh, but had no idea just how many (tens of thousands of) street kids benefitted from the project every day.
Alvin, if you’re listening, you should talk to Babajob. Sean offers a great example of a “pioneer of innovations that benefit humanity.”
We picked up a copy from a newsstand last night:
Tonight we are heading east to Tamil Nadu, for a long weekend in Puducherry (aka Pondicherry) and probably Mahabalipuram (aka Mamallapuram). One of the beautiful things about being a “volunteer consultant” (or “intern,” or whatever Sean wants to call us) is that it’s easy to take long weekends whenever we want. :) We’re taking an overnight sleeper bus out there — it was too late to get reserved train tickets — and we haven’t decided how (or exactly when) we’re coming back, but I think we’ll either fly or train from Chennai on Tuesday.
Sean and Freeman purchasing fireworks for the weekend’s festivities
A box of flower pots
Early Diwali festivities on the roof of the Babajob office
For most of our time in India, Kenny and I will be in Bangalore helping out at Babajob, a startup founded by a very good friend of ours from Seattle. Sean left Microsoft about 2 1/2 years ago to focus on Babajob full-time. Babajob’s mission is to help service industry workers rise up out of poverty by connecting them with better job opportunities. It’s basically monster.com for poor people who don’t necessarily have computers but rely heavily on their mobile phones and especially SMS.
Sean has a whole array of possible projects for us to choose from while we’re here; I think we’ll end up creating a mixture (a masala, if you will) of new feature work, some site redesign, some dev hiring, and some IT support while we’re here. One thing I’m excited about is the opportunity to learn a bit about how business gets done in India. And of course we’re both excited to work with Sean.