Solution Spotlight: Kno Global extends factory worker community to India amidst COVID-19

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(THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY KNO GLOBAL– ONE OF THE SOLUTION PROVIDERS FEATURED IN GLOBAL FASHION AGENDA’S INNOVATION FORUM)

Amidst COVID-19 online social community has been a need for all of us. Especially for the people working in factories making our products. It’s traditionally been hard to measure and quantify the social impact of business activities, however Kno Global is helping retailers to do just that.

In May the second wave of COVID-19 hit India particularly hard, reaching the highest monthly death toll than any other country in the world. Factory workers were telling us they were limited in getting to work, and understandably facing a lot of fear and uncertainty about the future for themselves and their families.

KNO Global was employed by a global sports brand at a factory in Gujarat, where 1,200 workers were helping to manufacture much needed cotton. The obvious challenge was that 90% of workers didn’t have a smartphone, and even fewer of the female population would be allowed access to such a device. Despite these challenges there has been 74% consistent weekly engagement with all workers and the KNO Global solution.

So what was it that peaked the interest of these factory workers whilst suffering one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 on the planet? We believe it’s a fundamental human need all of us have been experiencing throughout this epidemic: the need for community.

KNO Global’s solution is not the typical ‘worker voice’. Rather, it’s a deep tech approach to humanising the supply chain, with it’s foundations rooted in building a community of trust between workers and factory managers. KNO Global’s approach starts from the grassroots level, with the initial team employed being responsible for setting up relationships and getting to know the unique needs of the particular workers at any given factory. This relationship building is facilitated by an online platform that not only builds community, but shares back regular improvements from management on a weekly basis.

It’s this combination of technology and human interaction, which made the workers feel genuinely listened to during a tough time. We interviewed Milap, a 29 year old worker from a rural village, who said “COVID-19 has given me the opportunity to practice being mentally strong”. KNO Global has also collected over 2,000 comments and 1,000 photos from the worker population of 1,200 people in the space of 3 months since launch.

This sets the path for the growth of online communities not just across factories in India, but also across the whole supply chain.

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