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Emergence of Rural BPO Industry in India!

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Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is an industry that people relate with the operation of outsourcing business mostly based in Tier I and II cities of the country.

However, this thought has been rendered as a mythical view in the recent times. The actual ground fact remains that a majority of the computer engineers (almost 60%) working in the BPO industry hail from the rural areas and aspire to find job opportunities in the top tier cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru among other cities.

How opportunistic it could be if some of these deeply penetrated talent is tapped to be employed locally or in nearby rural or town areas?

rural bpo sector

The major constraints for building up such rural level BPO settings lay in creating infrastructure, prospects of scaling business growth above a certain hierarchy, funding requirements for the start-ups involved and pooling together the requisite talent from the nearby villages and towns as well as convincing them about the rural job opportunities as against shifting to bigger tier cities with higher pay potential.

Unfortunately, rural areas in India are plagued with lack of basic infrastructural amenities such as lack of high-speed broadband connectivity. In fact, a majority of the rural areas faces the hindrance of power connection and frequent black-outs for a large portion of the day.

If the above grass roots problems are addressed to a larger scale, the IT-enabled service sector has in itself the potential to bridge the employment gap existing in the rural areas while providing low-cost solutions to the urban and overseas clients. In fact, tapping rural workforce at local levels would also mean controlling overall attrition levels in the industry defined by talent crunch.

During this weekend, I was surfing net to explore how is rural BPO sector emerging and panning out more recently. One of such finding points out that there are about 200-odd BPOs (mostly run by NGOs) in the country serving the rural purpose.

In fact, most of the rural start-up firms involved in providing IT-enabled services also provide employment to under-graduate students but with good computer skills that fit their agenda and project requirements.

Such candidates are provided with adequate training to turn up productive for the respective companies with the passage of time. Initially, they are allotted low-skilled work such as data entry, typing, scanning, etc.

A report says that a Bangalore-based NextWealth Entrepreneurs has set up a rural BPO model in Mallasamudram employs 200 people (mostly engineers) while providing three types of services to the overseas customers – Online math tutoring, creating PowerPoint-based content to school students ,and writing articles on math topics.

In fact, some of these rural BPOs may not necessarily place as much emphasis on the accent and command of the employees on the English language, like that of their urban counterparts dealing mostly with international clients, as the thrust of the rural BPOs would revolve around servicing local clients and some even in vernacular languages.

Take, for instance, the government is expected to become the largest consumer of IT and BPO services, driven primarily by National E-Governance Plan, over the next few years, over taking the telecom sector as a consumer of such services.

Thus, accent and command over the language may not be the sole factor determining the BPO services, but the overall security and quality of services which gets added at the last count.

Can rural BPOs act as breeding ground for providing optimized low-cost outsourcing services?

image courtesy

  1. Deepak Mohitewar says

    This really an innovative concept.. I have been in this BPO field for last 8 yrs… started a small back office in my native village of 400 population..
    Things are quite tough here to run, however its working..
    Deepak….

  2. Sachin Hirani says

    We are interested to give work to Rural BPO in Gujarat, any suggestion on names ?

  3. pawan kumar says

    i want to start such a rural bpo which would be run by high school failed students.
    how to start rural bpo ,please guide.

  4. Rahul Anand says

    Hai,
    I m Rahul From Dist. Sitapur, I Complete my Hardware & Networking Course..
    And i m Intrested for doing a job in Rural BPO. Plese Tell me how can i do that..

  5. anupam raj says

    i am also intrested in it and want to setup a rural bpo.plesae give me direction to start.

  6. RAMAKRISHNA says

    hello sir i am Ramakrishna from Kondamallepally dist Nalgonda . I am very much intrested in rural bpo. Because from this i can give more job opportunity to my village peoples. Pls give a chance to open rural bpo in our village . I am able to do any work because i have lot of man power to complete any work.pls contact me. my Mail rkinternetcafe9@gmail.com, mob-9959573292

  7. Gargi says

    Hey guys! i work for an NGO and have 6 years of BPO experience. I wish to open a rural BPO in gujarat’s tribal block called KAWANT. can anyone help me please?

    1. vikram says

      Hello Gargi,

      any progress in your venture, I am curious to know

      Vikram

  8. ANANTA BORAH says

    HELLO sir,
    I am ananta, i want to set up a rural BPO in my village. i have also work experience in call centre. i worked in Aircel call centre. i think i can help the rural people by setting up a rural BPO. Please help me to set up a Rural BPO.

  9. swati says

    want to know more specific info on rural BPO like
    1)who are the entities giving biz to the rural BPO etc ??
    Pls guide ..

  10. m n nadaf says

    hello sir i am M.N.Nadaf from Bagalkot dist Jmakhandi . I am very much intrested in rural bpo. Because from this i can give more job opportunity to my village peoples. Pls give a chance to open rural bpo in our village . I am able to do any work because i have lot of man power to complete any work.pls contact me. my Mail mnnadaf87@gmail.com, Mobil: 9972369687, 9972454002

  11. pravin v. mutha says

    hello i’m a software engineer. i want to start the rural bpo at baramati,pune.please send me the details,how to start?,hurdles etc

  12. aashu says

    hello m a software engineer.. i would like to come up with rural bpo. please send me the details how to start???

  13. c r kumawat says

    i wanna know about rural bpo n i wanna be a part of ru7ral bpo

  14. Nethaji says

    sir,
    i am the Software Engineer in the organisation.i am interested to run a rural bpo in the Salem dist of Tamilnadu state.kindly,give me direction to start.
    yours faithhfully,
    V.Nethaji
    +91 – 9962070800
    nethaj.babu@gmail.com

  15. Rajgopal Medpur says

    Definately a good idea to start up such kind of firm in rural areas . But also we need to think about the infra structural things along with the power supply in the rural ares ,resource sustainabilty etc.

    Raju

    1. Viral says

      Agreed Rajgopal… we need more such initiatives to spur business opportunities for rural regions and employees.

  16. venkat says

    I would like to get business to run Rural BPO in Salem District – please reply.

  17. Viral says

    Hello guys,

    In deed, Rural BPO certainly seems to have the potential to augur a completely new sort of revolution to yet again place India across the world map as a ‘Low-cost’ destination for the outsourcing jobs.

    Possibly, what we need is a balanced support from the governmental side in building appropriate infrastructure for the sector and at the same time even a little bit of push & technical support from the bigger IT and BPO companies.

  18. sheetal says

    Very nice initiative by NGO’s Also if i am not wrong lots of call centers coming in small small cities like nasik, nagpur , and all which will give employment to locals.

    1. Faizul says

      Dear Sheetal and Friends,

      This Rural BPO should travel more interior than Nasik n Nagpur….

      Rural BPO is one nice concept that would help in an equitable growth of the economy. In such a case of all the Rural people packing and moving to the Urban centres, will only help in increasing the Living cost and an increased real estate prices in the Urban centres and a snail space growth at the rural end…

      The younger generation these days are planning to come back to their hometown only at their retirements. It would be nice if the tech savvy’s put their minds on a long term vision and help the culture maintain and people stay back at their Rural centres by helping interested people with their ideas and views….

      It would be very nice if the ladies could come forward. Today the technology also has reached the villages and people are well connected over mobiles and internet and there are alot of educated youth still available at the Rural fronts…. Pls provide ur views….

      Faizul
      (9840379353)

  19. Altaf Rahman says

    A nice concept article.
    In fact I think its in the favor of IT companies to spread to rural areas. In big cities, people are very smart and job attrition is more. If the IT industry is in a village, as the employees are local, they will not be influenced to change companies for a small increase as they have to consider family factors (comforts of own house, family support etc). Therefore they can have long term vision. Ofcourse every company in every sector can not operate from villages but as far as possible it is better.
    The benifits are many fold.
    1) To the company : Relatively low attrition and low salaried employees.
    2) To the employee : Jobs from teh comforts of home.
    3) To the nation : Relatively lesser urban migration to deal with.

    1. Madhav Shivpuri says

      Viral, Good info. Thanks.

      Altaf, agree with the 3 benefits you have listed.

      In fact I think lot of BPO work like data entry, localization to Indian languages, call centres, creative work (designing etc.) and much more could be done in rural areas. If the local governments can assist in the infrastructural issues then there is a lot of scope for inclusive growth. In fact, this could negatively put a pressure on city based employees to compete with their counterparts from rural areas in terms of skills and salary balance. With this kind of growth India could really move away from a agrarian country and help many thousands of people to raise above the poverty line.

      1. Altaf Rahman says

        Hello Madhav,
        I agree with most of what you said.
        However I difer in my view that Rural BPO should displace agriculture and bring IT or what ever else as main source of income.
        I strongly defend agriculture as the main stay or back bone of any country. Any technological advancement or any thing should only “suppliment” the main activity.

        Example 1: Technology in weather data should help farmers timing their activities like when to sow seeds, harvesting before rains etc.
        Example 2 : Minute to minute data about commodity prices should help farmers in deciding when to sell crop or when to buy inputs like fertillizer, pesticide etc.
        Example 3 : Technological advancement in banking should bring farmer closer to banks in their deposits or loans.
        Example 4 : Non conventional energy should make farmer harvest solar, wind energy so as to make him less dependent on grid network.

        Similarly this initiative of Rural BPO should bring additional revenue (during off peak time of farming) or to housewives.

        Similarly food processing industry should bring additional income to farmers.

        Similarly Retailers should bring more income to farmers (by cutting down on a long supply chain consisting of brokers)

        It should not disturb agriculture as main income. Otherwise the economy of India will go into the dustbin. Agriculture is a sector of national security.

        1. Madhav Shivpuri says

          Hi Altaf,

          I absolutely agree that agriculture is extremely important for our economy. When I said ‘move away from agrarian country…’, I didnt mean to say that people should stop farming. BPO gives the youth the option to work in something other than agriculture.

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