RuralShores:The BPO New Wave – Seminar Series

Date : 04/06/2010

Venue :L-21, IIM-Bangalore

Easily one of the best seminars we have had so far: judging by the number of queries and mixed emotions (the eternal conflict between social good and personal gain) on display during the seminar session with Mr.Murali, CEO of RuralShores (http://ruralshores.com/).

Ruralshores, a BPO outsourcing company, is unique for its value proposition of low cost outsourcing for its clients and employment opportunities to rural youth Founded by a group of passionate professionals and funded to a certain extent by HDFC Bank and Lokcapital LLC UK, Ruralshores now aspires to expand to 500 centres in 7 years.

A lot of thought has been put into undertaking a venture, which traditionally has been associated with English speaking skills. However, Ruralshores caters to the domestic market where knowledge of regional and national language would suffice to meet the demands of the transactional work from its clients. Post recruitment, the rural youth benefit from the extensive training that they receive from selected city/townships for about 6-8 weeks. The organization signs 2-3 year contracts with its clients Ruralshores provides the rural youth not only a living, but also a chance to acquire knowledge and experience which could pave the way for them to realize their aspirations. Ruralshores taps into experienced professionals and MBA grads by way of providing a chance to manage whole centres by themselves, which is in contrast to the normal experience of leading teams. Ruralshores infrastructure and security arrangements meet the standards required of such BPO centres, including the ISO 27001 Information security standards. While there are obvious challenges in retaining the local culture and scaling minimal resistance from the village leaders, Ruralshores has managed to tap into the goodwill of the local community to revolutionize the BPO industry. It comes at a right time, when there is an overwhelming perception of China stealing the BPO thunder from us.

Inspire of the eager hands going up seeking answers, the seminar committee had to intervene to provide a welcome break to our guests. But the queries continued outside the classroom over cups of steaming beverages and snacks, with few groups even identifying Ruralshores as the subject of their potential leadership term paper. It was good to be exposed to the world of social entrepreneurship in successive weeks as part of the seminar series and definitely would provide more impetus to our batch to explore the realm of social entrepreneurship: first as part of the electives and subsequently making a career out of it.

If one wants a taste of the efficiency of professionalism of Ruralshores, do drop an email to the customer contact email of iMINT reward program. (The email support services are provided by Ruralshores).

An article on “Ruralshores” : (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/world/asia/13india.html)

– Rajesh Kumar Gunasekaran

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