Equalising growth in outsourcing : Saloni Malhotra, Head – Operations, DesiCrew Solutions

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DesiCrew, a socially motivated BPO service provider, leverages cutting-edge technology and flexible business process knowledge to set-up delivery centres in rural areas. Their decentralised outsourcing model leverages the power of ICTs in providing quality and cost effective solutions to urban clients while opening up new income generating opportunities in ‘Rural India’.

How do you operationalise these rural BPO centres?

Currently, we are running 10 rural BPO centres in different districts of Tamil Nadu. Each centre employs approximately 10 to 15 people and most of them are from rural areas. We follow a three phase interview system. After their selection, we provide them rigorous training on various skills necessary for their efficient functioning. Our base office at Chennai then gets jobs for these centres, and distribute amongst them equally. Currently, we are having two shifts spanning over 7 am to 7 pm.

What is the socio-economic profile of your employees?

Our employees are from different religions and socially backward communities like, OBCs and other scheduled categories. Their household income is equivalent to their individual income, so, you can imagine that these people are coming from economically disadvantaged communities. Most interestingly, 85 to 90 per cent of our total workforce are women.

What are the services you are offering and who are your clients?

Our data services division offers high quality, cost effective services ideally suited to digitisation of high volume data such as a data base and a mailing list compilation, key from images, data extraction from web, electronic publication, file conversion, etc. We have worked with leading corporates, institutions, trade associations and SMEs from across India. We have worked with leaders in technology, publishing, BPO companies, education, and development sectors. Some of the clients include: Microsoft, MIH Web, IL&FS, and we also have a US-based client.

What are the key challenges you are facing in running these centres?

The frequent power failure and training employees to meet the international requirements are the key challenges in front of us. But, we are very much hopeful, that these are short term challenges , and can be overcome easily.

What is your vision?

Our vision is to build a new outsourcing model to provide employment in rural India with the following objectives:

New sources of skill enhancement – currently the opportunities available in rural areas are either related to agriculture or skills like masonry. Such opportunities will introduce the rural workforce to a new set of skills.

Increasing the purchasing power – new sources of income from the rural BPOs will ensure greater purchasing capability and help improve the quality of life in rural areas.

Increasing the income earning capacity of rural Internet kiosks – Additional revenue from DesiCrew would also make the existing Internet based businesses more viable.

Reducing the gender divide – Educated young girls and housewives who cannot traverse distances can be brought into the workforce, hence enabling the enhancement in existing household income levels.  

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