projecthero, a construction tech start-up, has introduced a chat feature in its app with an aim to ensure that all communications between workers and contractors take place on the app. In addition to allowing workers to track their conversations, this in-app chat feature will enable projecthero to monitor all conversations and consequently, prevent fraudsters from duping unsuspecting construction workers with false promises and fabricated data.
The growing prevalence of job fraud in India’s labour supply chain is due to its extreme fragmentation. Over 50 million construction workers continue to find work through labour contractors or other informal means. These contractors, who take advantage of the lack of transparency to pay lower wages, prevent workers from evaluating their skill set and market value, stated projecthero, adding that construction sites do not formalise the workforce or keep employment records because the entire workforce is managed using outmoded methods.
projecthero highlighted that casual employment, ignorance and illiteracy, wage discrimination, irregular work, lack of social security, uncertain working hours, unsafe working conditions, occupational diseases and injuries, improper implementation of labour laws, lack of awareness and a host of other issues affect construction workers.
Further, it continued to explain that often, there is no record of the interactions held between the fraudsters and the workers. Therefore, projecthero’s chat feature serves as a one-stop solution that builds transparency and protects workers. The chat service is stored and monitored regularly. Additionally, there is a dedicated HR manager for the chat, which ensures that no monetary conversation or fraudulent activity happens. The manual HR partner will be replaced by AI tools, which are a work in progress at the moment, to make the chat feature more scalable and efficient.
projecthero will also be adding calling and video calling capabilities within the chat itself so that numbers do not change hands during the transaction.
“These fraudsters have been able to get away with this till now because of conversations happening over platforms such as Whatsapp and Telegram, where gullible workers don’t find any support or guidance and fall prey easily. Post the transaction, they are immediately blocked, and since the amount of money transferred is not very high on an absolute basis, they are not even able to report this crime. With our native chat, the conversations are strictly monitored and people are blacklisted and removed from the platform if any suspicious activity is observed. We will work with sharing this data with the relevant authorities as well,” observed
Satya Vyas, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) at projecthero.