#SOTD 77: Show, don’t just tell (Sajith Pai article)

1. Make me Understand / 2. Make me Engaged / 5. General

#SOTD 77: Show, don’t just tell (Sajith Pai article)

This week we are covering storytelling techniques in an article by VC investor Sajith Pai, where he profiles the work done by a startup called Smartstaff. Yesterday we had looked at how you can start with a human story.

Today’s theme: Show, don’t just tell.

Consider the following statement, where Sajith continues with Samim’s story:

Samim joined as a tailor in Richa Global’s Jigani factory. The sprawling factory is one of the few apparel manufacturers in that area.

You read sprawling, you read factory and you might struggle to create an accurate mental image. But you don’t have to. Here’s the factory:

And here’s one more:

Sajith then describes one of the most pressing problems companies face to hire migrant workers – how to help them manage the higher costs of rent and travel in a big city (as compared to their villages/hometowns).

Smartstaff has the solution:

These gigworkers, who previously found last-mile delivery a lucrative profession are seeing their savings dip due to inflation and the cost of fuel. They thus prefer to work in their hometowns where despite lower wages, the living costs are low, resulting in a similar if not better savings rate and quality of life. Over time though we will see a correction in wages settling in higher to attract workers.

In the meantime, Smartstaff has attempted to solve for some of this by providing residential facilities for the workers it sources. The benefits are dual – it helps workers settle in faster, as they lose less time looking for a place, and the accommodation is also cheaper as Smartstaff aggregates this across all the workers it sources into that location. It also provides busing facility so that they don’t lose money on transport, or waste time.

Again, if you are wondering how the acco looks like, you get a sense:

Sajith also gets into details of how the workers mark their attendance – using technology:

The Smarstaff Scanner (essentially an Android smartphone with the proprietary software, in a case installed on the wall).

Scanning underway at the end of the day to mark attendance.

And then he shows three pictures that demonstrate how scanning is done using QR codes instead of facial recognition

Due to social distancing norms, another set of workers queue outside. In their case instead of facial recognition, QR codes are used.

QR code is scanned.

The attendance for the day is marked and the worker can leave.

You can see how much fight Sajith has put in during his visit to Smartstaff… He’s recognised the special work being done by them and ensured that he captured it all in pictures. Pictures that can add a ton of value to the story he wants to tell.

A story that he wants to show, not just tell.

#SOTD 77

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