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Is rural employability real?

Will India ever transform from a developing country to a developed country?

This is the most discussed question in India from a rural Chai dukhaan to an urbane coffee shop. Soon India is going to be the youngest country with majority of its population entering into their prime working age. All visionaries who envisioned India to be a superpower did so because of the large amount of employable manpower we are going to have. Human Resource is going to be our biggest resource.The larger question being: Is the Indian workforce really employable and the answer is a No and this is no secret.So why are these rather educated people not employable?This brings us to another flaw about the quality of Indian education especially in rural and Semi-Urban areas. As we all know, I can blatantly put the blame on the the Government of India and leave the entire responsibility of this very young nation on the oldest parliament of the world.I ask a very interesting question now to the so called young people of this nation .

How many of you are willing to compromise on your high paying corporate jobs and are willing to work in Rural India?

Forget compromising on the fat pay packages. How many doctors are actually doing their mandatory internships in rural areas seriously? There are exceptions but the numbers are very low and dwindling.  People who are willing to act, this is the right time to concentrate on skill development as most of the contemporary market trends predict this of being a potential business avenue which lots of entrepreneurs are already looking at.

Corporates and employability

Corporates and employability

From the perspective of Rural BPO’s:

The purpose of writing this article  is to present the employability scenario in Rural India . Let’s take an example, Ramu is a  fresh graduate from rural village in India. Ramu is like any other graduate from the city but the main difference lies in the exposure and guidance. Ramu does have a lot of commendable degrees because he still lives in the India of the 80’s were being a post graduate is a huge achievement. Unfortunately Ramu has missed the essence of his education, he neglected one important point. He failed to ask himself one very basic question “Do I have the required skills to be employed?”

In this world of globalization the need of the hour to get a good white collared job is to either have good knowledge of computers or have good communication skills. But unfortunately many a person like Ramu is not aware of this and they blindly do degrees without even thinking about the return on Investment.  Doing a degree for the sake of doing it and that too from a college which doesn’t even have the right set of teachers & Infrastructure is not the need of the hour and this is the message that I would like to convey to the rural students  who are busy in gathering  degrees  for the sake of a good paying job. The other problem is that he doesn’t think big he limits himself to the jobs available in his village and doesn’t think out of his small town/village.

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

How do we bridge the Gap?

We at SourcePilani, a Rural BPO based in Pilani, Rajasthan are trying to bridge the gap by taking BPO to the Rural Hinterlands. The employability situation (shown below) in Rural India gives an outlook for entrepreneurs who are willing to enter into Human Resource Intensive ventures like the Rural BPO.

Assessment

(Source: SerWizSol a Rural BPO by the TATA group)

The Situation in Rural BPO’s

The major problem in Rural India is the language barrier. The Rural folks are on par with the urban students at Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability, but the problem lies in the Communication Barrier or English speaking/writing capability. This is a reality which all the Rural BPO’s accept and that’s the reason why the jobs in most of the Rural BPO’s are limited to Low skilled jobs like Data digitalization and vernacular call centers. The language barrier is much larger than what the figures suggest, in fact in Rajasthan the language skills can be rated to be a 40%. Thanks to the Rural BPO conferences that were organized by GramIT, today all the Rural BPO’s have a uniform training model and they are able to tackle the Language issue to a major extent.

What makes Rural BPO’s commercially viable?

As per one of the previous articles in the Employabilityfirst the major problem which most of the companies especially Urban BPO’s face is hiring right employees and retaining them for a long time. (Read here) . This is the USP on which the Rural BPO model is based on. The attrition rate faced in most of the Rural BPO’s today is less than 10% when compared to attrition rate of around 50-60% in the Urban scenario.

The development in Pilani, Rajasthan,India and the way forward.

Rural BPO’s being a nascent industry today are not just providing more employment options for the community but they are providing a holistic approach to the development of the society. Learning English is slowly becoming a priority in Pilani. Parents are gradually moving  their kids to move into an English medium school. I have seen many schools changing from Hindi Medium to English Medium . This is what we call empowering rural India.  Though schools are changing into English Medium the lack of skilled English teachers is still haunting Rural India. The use of Technology to teach language (either by video streaming or by using computer adaptive games) should be the way forward.

About the Author:

Bongu Bharat

Head of Operations, SourcePilani

Bharat is a BITSian of the 2008 batch. He has been working with SourcePilani since his graduation and was instrumental in building the Social Media Vertical in the company which according to him was a challenge which involves dealing with the language barrier that he mentioned in the article above. Today he is proud to say that SourcePilani is catering to high end verticals like Medical Transcription and Social Media Outsourcing and are all set to move into Vernacular Call centre capability soon. Bharat also brings to the table a thorough understanding of the rural markets that SourcePilani operates in, having extensively interned with another BITSian startup, MobileMedics.

You can contact him on : http://www.twitter.com/bongubharat

Resources:

A Slideshare on Managing people in a rural BPO

Posted in Careers & Employability.

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