Task24: A Social Market Place For Freelance Projects In Nepal

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Shekhar Khadka, his sister and company cofounder Sarala Khadka and his team have developed an app to help simplify the job recruitment process. The app “Task24” was designed to be simple, user-friendly and effective. The latest version of the app can be found on the google play store & app store. He claims the idea isn’t revolutionary but it fulfills a need in our current economy. We can relate to the problem of having to look for someone for a fairly simple task and don’t have the time or resources for formally recruiting someone. The app also has a rating system so you can be sure that you’re getting someone with a lot of good recommendations. Here is what Khadka had to say about their product. 

1. Could you give us a general introduction to your organization and idea?
Task24 is an app for a social marketplace where we connect “task-creators” with “taskers.” We named it Task24 because you could potentially post a task at any given time, 24 hours a day, and if people are available they can help you with it immediately. You could say it is similar to other applications such as Upwork or Freelancer but with this application, you can request a variety of different services. The application has a location-based feature where users can see the task nearby, filter out the task by price amount and apply if they are interested. We have a registered company with a small number of members. We take the user’s mobile phone verification, personal PAN number, citizenship, and passport number to make sure their identification is valid. Then there is a rating system as well, where task creators and taskers have to rate each other when a task gets done. The probability of getting a featured badge increases when the user maintains his work above average. After the task gets completed, we charge a small portion of the commission from the taskers. The latest version of the app, available on both the App Store and Playstore, is available here.

2. Do you think this is social entrepreneurship? Is your app going to be creating a social impact? 
Yes, I think I am a social entrepreneur in some way. There was a report produced in Nepal in March this year which showed that our unemployment rate was quite high, as much as 64-65%. At the same time, there is a huge demand for a workforce for small task-based work in urban and remote areas. Another issue is that the service providers we end up with aren’t up to the standard we need them to be. 
I believe this app will connect these people more efficiently. Eventually, we would like to connect with the government as well because they have a technical education department called CTEVT (Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training) that would allow us to connect more technical people to our app. We are trying to put good technical manpower towards good work. Eventually, we would like to facilitate courses for certain fields as well. But personally, I don’t think this is anything new or revolutionary like other ideas out there; it’s a simple idea that fulfills a need in our society.

3. What are the needs and future plans of your company?
Capital investment and human resources are our major needs right now. It is difficult to find candidates for managing positions with relevant experience in this field. And we could better develop this app with a financial investment. 

I want it to work in Nepal first and then maybe in India and the United States later. As the business grows the data grows and our understanding of the system will grow as well. It is hard to run a business here and if we can make it past all the hurdles here, things could run relatively easily in other places.

4. How has your experience with entrepreneurship been thus far?
It is quite easy to start something and tag oneself as an entrepreneur, but consistency for a long period is difficult. I have already worked with three startups and all of them have failed. I would like to advise most people not to jump into entrepreneurship without gathering as many resources as possible because it is a rigorous and exhausting process, especially during the initial stages when you find yourself doing everything by yourself. It helps to have mentors and family support, but from what I have seen, most people give up after a year or so. If you have a good idea, I think it is best to consult with a few experts to find out if it is feasible. Get help from other people.

5. What did you do before you started your company?
I worked with Oxfam, they had a project called Urban Disaster Management and I worked there as a volunteer for four years. We learned how to provide disaster relief and after the 2015 earthquake, I continued working on that project. Under the overarching idea of public health, we learned a lot so I can say I have a good understanding of public health issues and the public health needs in Nepal. However, I eventually decided to get into business instead. 

6. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I just want to request people to use Task24, we will have the app available in the Nepali language too soon. It is a practical idea and I encourage people to try it out and see what they think. Perhaps I will have more to say in a couple of years when the app is out there and in use.
I also want to tell people that being an entrepreneur is difficult and I believe I had it easier than most other people. A lot of people helped me get this far and I’m very thankful to all of them.

For more information about Task 24, please connect with Shekhar Khadka at task24app@gmail.com.

Interviewed and article by Jyotika Shah.