A mission to enrich livelihoods

Bandhu is on a mission to transform the unorganized labor sector in emerging markets like India, and to bring greater transparency and data-driven analytics to the ecosystem - enriching the livelihoods of millions of low-income workers in the process.

Why Bandhu?

We've been working in the problem space ....



Bandhu in Hindi translates to a friend, brother, or relative who may be a source of support. Many in rural India make seasonal migration decisions by trusting the opinion of a bandhu. A bandhu, who lives in an urban area, can offer a migrant access to a job or an initial place to stay. Others trust the verbal promises of a middleman, who can offer daily wage labor employment and assure them some kind of housing arrangement, like accommodation on the worksite itself.

Photo Credit: Reuters


Both of these arrangements have historically persisted worldwide, providing a bridge from rural to urban through the middlemen who build such bridges. Yet it is not fair to the vast majority of those in this system—the seasonal migrants themselves. A migrant may manage to secure a stable job—but dignified affordable housing in urban areas is incredibly hard to find and secure for the long term. Urban employers, too, constantly struggle to find and retain appropriately skilled blue-collar workers, who form as much as 60% of the workforce in India’s cities. And both employers and migrating workers rely on middlemen, who themselves face great risks and pressures procuring the right workers, for the right job, at the right time.

we value innovation, fairness and code quality

Our Solution

By providing the potential migrants with competing offers of bundled employment and housing, for similar wage differentials, the Bandhu platform can minimize risks for the worker while still leaving the final choice up to him or her. Thus, the entire process of choosing to migrate is full of blind turns for all involved, with no single stakeholder having a complete view. One wrong step for a low-wage worker can have serious lifelong consequences. The latest COVID-19 crisis has exposed how easily these migrants may find themselves stranded without support. Our mobile phone platform, Bandhu, puts information in the hands of these workers so that they can make more informed migration decisions. It does so by creating matches between employers looking for low/moderate skill workers, potential migrants/workers, and owners/occupants offering informal affordable housing on rent. It also shifts the contractor's private incentives in a way that benefits the entire system.

World class engineering backed by strong domain expertise and a passionate team

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Big Data

Domain experts in data science and machine learning from MIT

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Field Expertise

A strong field presence to best serve and listen to our users

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Intuitive Design

Careful attention to the needs of our users through intuitive app design

Meet the Team

Bandhu was initiated by a team of graduate students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with the support of MIT's robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Our team has expertise in urbanism, real estate, mega-infrastructure, planning and policy, emerging markets, international development, social program implementation, data science, computer science and artificial intelligence.

Co-Owner John Doe

Rushil Palavajjhala

Real Estate Finance & Tech | Urban Development

Co-Founder & CEO

Co-Owner Jane Doe

Jacob Kohn

Data Science | Urban Analytics

Co-Founder & COO



In a first of its kind, Bandhu connects employers with blue collar workers and helps them finds jobs and housing.


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