Upaya exits its investment in Justrojgar, will recycle 100% of funds for future LiftUP Project partnerships

In March 2015, Upaya exited its investment in Delhi-based Justrojgar after its shares were bought back by the entrepreneur, Ajaya Mohapatra.

This is the first full exit of a partner from Upaya's LiftUP Project. The organization will re-invest 100% the returns from the transaction into a future LiftUP Project partner in a manner consistent with its Pioneering Capital model.

Upaya initially invested in the Delhi-based skilling company in 2012.

Upaya's Sreejith Nedumpully Joined By Several LiftUP Project Partners at 3rd Annual Action for India Forum


This January Upaya's Director, Business Development Sreejith Nedumpully travelled to Delhi to participate in the 3rd Annual Action for India forum. The two-day, invitation-only national conference brought together 100 leading social innovators with an equal number of donors, technology leaders, impact investors, and senior government officials.

At the event Sreejith was joined by many of Upaya's LiftUP Project partners including Dr. Ravi Chandra of Eco Kargha, Swapnil Chaturvedi of Samagra, and Ajaya Mohapatra of Justrojgar.

"The forum was a wonderful opportunity for Upaya to meet the best of India's emerging and established social entrepreneurs, and to introduce our current LiftUP Project partners to the country's leading supporters of social innovation," said Nedumpully.

This year's forum was headlined by leaders from across the spectrum of Indian innovation and industry including Mr. Sam Pitroda, Mr. Desh Deshpande, and Mr. R Chandrasekaran.

Upaya Transitions Out of its LiftUP Project Partnership with Justrojgar

Upaya has decided to wind down its LiftUP Project partnership with Delhi-based Justrojgar following a difference with management about operating practices. With this change, Upaya will continue to hold its equity position in the company, however, the Upaya team will no longer provide technical support that is central to its LiftUP Project partnerships.

“While we are altering the structure of our partnership with Justrojgar, we maintain our fundamental belief that the facilities management sector - both commercial and residential - represents a tremendous opportunity to create large-scale employment for ultra poor slumdwellers” said Upaya Director, Business Development Sreejith Nedumpully.

Justrojgar Awarded First Runner-Up in "Power to Empower" Competition


Upaya proudly congratulates Ajaya Mohapatra and the Justrojgar team for being named First Runner-up in the non-student category of the Power to Empower business plan competition. A partnership between the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and India@75, Power to Empower "[encourages] innovative and implementable business solutions that contribute to the development of a sustainable vocational skills ecosystem in India." This year's competition received 234 nominations and over 100 applications.

"We are extremely excited to see Justrojgar recognized by the NSDC for its potential to transform the lives of the urban poor," said Sriram Gutta, Upaya's Director of Business Development. "By training slum-dwellers on needed skills and ensuring they get social benefits, Justrojgar is creating job opportunities in a market with enormous potential," Gutta said.

As First Runner-up, Justrojgar will receive a free delegate pass to the Sankalp Unconvention Summit 2013 courtesy of the Villgro Innovations Foundation,  the opportunity to participate in the Deakin University’s (Australia) Sponsored Entrepreneurship program, a Complimentary TiE Annual Associate Membership, and a bundle of classes and mentorning courtesy of the Sunstone Business School.

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Judges Saurabh Srivastava, Rajan Navani (both left) and MV Subbiah (far right) congratulate Ajaya Mohapatra (center) and Ashish Gupta

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Ashish Gupta (left) and Ajaya Mohapatra present to the judges in the competition's final round.

Justrojgar Joins With Upaya to Create Service Sector Jobs for the Very Poorest


Committed to skilling and securing employment for the millions of potential service industry workers currently living in ultra poverty, Delhi-based Justrojgar is proud to announce that it has secured an initial equity investment from Upaya Social Ventures. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This strategic partnership will afford Justrojgar the resources and expertise needed to connect those living in extreme poverty with an ever-expanding array of opportunities in service sector,” said Ajaya Mohapatra, Managing Director of Techpeople, the parent company of Justrojgar. “Together we are working to ensure rojgar (jobs) for the poor in a way that is just and equitable for all,” said Mohapatra.

Justrojgar was designed as a social venture to bridge the demand-supply gap in the service industry by creating a comprehensive ecosystem to train job seekers and link them with potential employers. For corporate clients, service employees can fill roles such as janitors, security guards, and porters, while in a domestic setting these positions can include full- and part-time housekeepers, cooks, doormen, and caretakers. Through its partnership with Upaya, Justrojgar will build on its pilot National Capital Region operations to establish a national footprint for skilling and placing the manpower needed to fill the massive national labor market shortage for formalized service work.

“By allowing a variety of corporate and domestic employers to confidently source capable and reliable employees, Justrojgar is making it possible for those living in the furthest depths of poverty to directly benefit from the country’s economic growth,” said Sachi Shenoy, Upaya’s Executive Director. “Upaya has been impressed by what the Justojgar team has accomplished so far and see great potential in this model,” she said.

The partnership coincides with the launch of www.justrojgar.com, India’s first-ever integrated online employment exchange for the service sector. The company envisions the website as a complement to its other efforts to recruit, train, place, and support service sector employees. Justrojgar is also fostering on-the-ground partnerships with the government, NGOs, corporates, industries, microfinance institutions and microfinance associations to fully realize the potential of its platform.


on 2012-12-04 23:55 by Upaya

20 November 2012


on 2012-12-04 23:55 by Upaya


21 November 2012


on 2012-12-04 23:55 by Upaya

24 November 2012


on 2012-12-04 23:55 by Upaya

28 November 2012