The only way to do great work, is to love what you do.-Steve Jobs
With the world’s second largest labour force of 516.3 million people, the latest World Bank report states that approximately 350 million people in India, still live below the poverty line. In 2006, Muhammad Yunus; Nobel Peace Prize awardee remarked during his Victory speech that, “…poverty is an artificial creation. It doesn’t belong to human civilisation, and we can change that, we can make people come out of poverty. The only thing we must do is to redesign our institutions and policies.”
Most people start businesses to improve the quality of their life after stumbling upon an opportunity they just can’t resist. However, many a times the desire to bring about a positive societal change also ignites the entrepreneurial spirit. These social entrepreneurs aim at making the world a better place and have a driving passion to make that happen by considering the affected people as part of the solution and not as passive beneficiaries.
NextWealth team, driven by a cause, works passionately and relentlessly towards transforming the nation through social upliftment of underprivileged sections in small towns. This is achieved by leveraging the availability of educated, talented youth in small towns and connecting them with the highly sought after Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning “Data Enrichment” jobs. These employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in small towns have a potential to transform the quality of life for thousands of families.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is disrupting every aspect of business. Highly intelligent machines are enabling sophisticated cognitive processes such as thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making. At the same time Artificial Intelligence presents opportunities to complement and supplement human intelligence, while enriching the way people live and work. With AI/ML, we in India with our IT skilled workforce can potentially guarantee shared prosperity for a lot of our citizens. India Inc. has a crucial role to play; not just in creating value by addressing key societal needs, but in supporting a vibrant entrepreneurial sector too.
While people understand that AI is the future, not many understand that for the AI models to reach their optimum efficiency/accuracy, “human touch” is irreplaceable. As a matter of fact, human touch is needed throughout the model development life-cycle. During the Model Training phase, data needs to be labelled and fed to the model. During the validation phase, it is the humans who provide the validation being the “gold standard” and during the production phase, humans need to intervene when the AI model can’t process a real life situation with an appropriate confidence score. All these human touch opportunities like data annotation, tagging, labelling, adding meta-data etc. are process-driven, requiring precision work and skills that can be imparted to young graduates. With the global market for AI/ML data enrichment solutions expected to reach $1.2 billion by the end of 2023, one gets a sense of the scale of this “human touch” opportunity which can be used to make a social impact while being part of a global revolution driven by “Digital Transformation”.
The NextWealth Approach
On a normal day, Rema sits at a desk in Salem, a city on the banks of the Thirumanimuthar river, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, working on some of CV (computer vision) project related images using the cutting-edge annotation tools. She is just one among 1000 others who are working to train AI and ML algorithms for NextWealth customers. From labelling images for catalogue enrichment and searchability; images and videos of vehicles, traffic lights, road signs and pedestrians for autonomous vehicles, to annotating all kinds of digital images, ranging from simple stop signs and pedestrians to precisely marking the complex data captured by LIDAR, people like Rema are engaged in labelling and preparing data to train AI algorithms.
NextWealth Model & Impact
NextWealth identifies clients in need of long- term data enrichment services and engages entrepreneurs from tier 2 and tier 3 cities to help deliver data annotation and data labelling services using local talent at an optimal cost, thus acting as a bridge between the customer and social entrepreneur.
About 57% of NextWealth’s employees are women, which is quite unusual for a tech company and by focussing on families with incomes less than $140 (Rs 10,000) a month NextWealth is on a mission to create employment among underprivileged communities and improving their general standard of living. Regular and sustainable income allows employees to save for a rainy day; to build homes that have decent sanitation systems and to enrich their villages by teaching skills relevant within the community they are a part of. The enthusiastic and passion driven entrepreneurs help scale up the team in a very cost-effective manner delivering world class quality work to clients.
With a mission to create 20,000 direct jobs and employ 70% women, the vision is clear and holistic. Increasing the number of women employed in organizations have shown to create sustainable socio-economic benefits for families, their communities, and the world as a whole as women tend to invest more than 80% of their pay back into their families, as compared to men. The yardstick for measuring success is not confined to just employment and that is where the passion of every team member at NextWealth comes into play. By paving the way for a liberal and diversified work force, NextWealth focusses on realizing a higher level of growth and development for India that is more inclusive and sustainable.