SINGAPORE (July 23): As a vice-president of the technology division at US investment bank Morgan Stanley, Krish Sridhar built complex applications for equities and fixed-income trading on Wall Street. Little did he expect that, more than a decade later, he would lend his skills to build tools for blue-collar workers in heavy industries.

When Sridhar arrived in Singapore a few years ago, he would walk past construction sites, where dozens of foreign workers sat on the pavement curbs. Most of them would be glued to their smartphones, either Skyping with their loved ones back home or watching YouTube videos as they waited for transport to return to their dormitories or during breaks. “That was my ‘Aha!’ moment. If they used their phones so actively at rest, why not [make use of that] at work?” Sridhar tells The Edge Singapore.

In 2016, he formed a company called LocToc Labs and developed a mobile application called KNOW — a Swiss Army knife of sorts for workers and their employers. It helps companies track and manage thousands of frontline and worksite employees. Its range of functions include taking attendance, virtual training sessions and assigning tasks. Launched in February last year, the app is used by workers in Singapore, Indonesia and India who are mostly employed in the construction, logistics and retail sectors.

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