Rural BPOs Become The Next Tech Hub

Not being able to find work after studies is not the worst nightmare for India’s rural youth: most of them have experienced it. But when 21-year-old Rajagopal finished his BCom in Anatapur, Andhra Pradesh, he didn’t give up hopes of finding a full-time job and go back to farming like his elder brothers. Without a fixed income, he wasn’t going to be able to support his family or pay back his education loan.

That’s when he contacted Rural Shores, a firmthat had just set up a business process outsourcing (BPO) centre in Bagepalli district of Karnataka -- two hours from his home in AP. After an interview and a basic English test, Rajagopal was asked to join work the next day. “It was unbelievable. I didn’t know they were going to give me job”, says Rajagopal who now earns Rs 4,000 a month. “All of us were trained to speak English and work on computers. We sit here and sort out the payrolls of HDFC’s employees. We don’t need to go to Bangalore or Hyderabad for a job now.”

Founded in 2008, Rural Shores Business Services is one of the largest providers of BPO services out of rural areas, offering jobs to 1,000 educated youth. Brainchild of former Ernst & Young partner VV Ranganathan, Mastek MD Sudhakar Ram, former MD of Xansa India Murali Vullaganti and CN Ram, president and group CIO of Essar Group, Rural Shores today serves over 20 clients including HDFC, Infosys, Wipro Technologies and Genpact. It aims to employ over 10,000 youth by 2014.

“There is a lot of energy here. After offshoring, we are now moving towards ruralshoring. It offers great opportunity to the youth in rural areas, improves their skills and gives them a fixed salary”, says Vullaganti, CEO of Rural Shores. “Attrition rate at rural BPO centres is a measly 3-5% compared to 50% at urban centres and operational expenses are 30 to 40% lower. This has encouraged many companies to shift to rural areas. The idea has become bigger than any of us ever imagined.”.......Read More



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