Desi start-up for blue-collar workers ‘hits’ Nasdaq Tower
Incubated by IIT Kanpur’s Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), WUS was incorporated on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for the ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat App Challenge’.
Workers Union Support (WUS), a start-up incubated by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and dedicated to the global blue-collar workers’ community, has been featured on the Nasdaq Tower, New York, USA.
Nasdaq, the world's first electronic stock exchange, is a global electronic marketplace for buying and trading securities.
WUS was the only one from India selected among the global cohort of 13 start-ups. Incubated by IIT Kanpur’s Start-up Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), WUS was incorporated on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for the ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat App Challenge’.
“WUS aims to improve the lives of 500 million workers in India and 3.3 billion workers globally by building a unified digital community for workers and unions,” according to IIT Kanpur.
NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center has selected WUS, founded by Prasoon Sharma, for the Milestone Makers Spring Cohort 2021, which supports start-ups working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) - Reducing inequalities (SDG 10).
WUS is a start-up recognised by the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
SIIC professor-in-charge Amitabha Bandyopadhyay said, “WUS has brought a digital platform to cater to the financial, healthcare, legal support, insurance coverage needs of the blue-collar workers with utmost caution and care. As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, innovators must readily focus on providing solutions to the underserved communities.”
WUS has collaborated with the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet (GASP). Under the mentorship of Erik Solheim, ex-Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Dr Satya, ex-Assistant General Secretary, United Nations (UN), GASP and WUS will work jointly to deliver transformative Environmental and Social Impact with a special focus on enhancing the ‘GDP of the low-income workers’.
Now, WUS would solicit support from international organisations such as International Labour Organisation (ILO) to bring global resources and support for the Indian blue- and grey-collar workers.
Considering the social impact WUS is creating, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) extended support for WUS under the TIDE 2.0 (Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs) programme.
“SIIC aims to foster an incredible, indigenous ecosystem of change-makers driven to create global impact. Being the only Indian start-up in the Nasdaq Milestone Makers Cohort is the first step in a series of upcoming achievements for WUS,” SIIC & C3i Hub CEO Nikhil Agrawal noted.
With path-breaking innovation in start-ups, SIIC IIT Kanpur aims to create impact at the bottom of the pyramid. Established in 2000, SIIC is one of the oldest technology business incubators in India with many successes and firsts under its belt.
(Virendra Singh Rawat is a Lucknow-based financial and economic journalist.)