Benjemen Elengovan: From gig-worker to start-up founder

27 July 2022

It’s a tough gig moving to a new country — just ask Benjemen Elengovan.

In 2015, Benjemen, a biomedical engineer by trade, migrated from Chennai in India to Australia.

Initially relying on the gig economy to help him find his feet, he’s now giving back to fellow gig workers through his groundbreaking financial management app, My Gigsters.

“I started my life in Australia as an international student, working a number of different odd jobs as a gig worker…rideshare, delivery, home tutoring just to keep paying the bills,” Benjemen said.

“Around that time, a few food delivery drivers lost their lives on the road, which cast a national spotlight on gig workers.

“I’ve always wanted to solve problems that impact lives, which is where the inspiration for My Gigsters came from.”

In 2020, with a clear purpose and vision, Benjemen made his move to South Australia to launch My Gigsters from Lot Fourteen — a global precinct focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in Adelaide’s CBD.

“My Gigsters started right here in Adelaide at Lot Fourteen, one of the most exciting hubs for startups in Adelaide.

“What Lot Fourteen is helping us to do is actually accelerate and grow…it’s so easy to find early adopters and set up your company.

“And that gives a new platform for early stage startups like mine to actually move forward, faster while getting access to all this digital talent that’s available.”

While still a member of the gig-worker community, Benjemen is now also part of a collaborative and purpose-driven community of entrepreneurs at Lot Fourteen.

“The community within Adelaide and the startup ecosystem here is closely connected.

“Nobody’s trying to compete with you…everybody wants to work with you because we want to do the right thing…and what I find across other startups in South Australia is that you’ll find there is a strong purpose and mission-driven activity.

“They’re not looking to raise millions of dollars or become a unicorn, rather, they actually want to do something good.”

For Benjemen, living in South Australia has enabled him to extend community beyond Lot Fourteen and My Gigsters — something that’s particularly important to him as the father of two young children.

“Moving to South Australia wasn’t just for me and my businesses, but also for my family,” he said.

“I come from a country that’s brimming with different cultures, people, languages and food…that’s the beauty of India.

“The good thing is you can still experience the ‘Indian-ness’ in South Australia.

“There’s a lot of communities, there’s activities and festivals and markets…and in many ways, my kids — while they are growing in a multicultural and diverse environment — they can still experience some of their root culture.”

Benjemen feels connected to his purpose, community, and culture in South Australia.

“South Australia makes me feel safe, connected, and peaceful.

“Many of my friends living interstate and back home often feel that they’re always in a hurry, like they live a busy lifestyle.

“You don’t need to be in a fast moving world.

“Because fast-moving doesn’t mean a life of harmony.”