Rural BPO 2.0: Impact Sourcing

At Letibunga, Uttarakhand, 30 kilometres from Nainital, business is booming for Bali, the local teawala. For years, he sold tea from a small stand, earning about Rs. 1,000 per month. Recently, he opened a full-fledged shop with seating capacity for 10. He is now making Rs. 8,000-10,000 per month!

What is the reason behind this significant growth, in the middle of nowhere? The answer is B2R Technologies, a small firm that has established a BPO centre in Letibunga. The organisation handles legal processes and publishing work. The result is employment for dozens of local residents and generation of money in the village economy. B2R itself is growing rapidly, having acquired 13 new clients in two years, and expanding from 5-11 centres.

The NASSCOM Foundation is working to address these issues with initiatives targeted at increasing long-term employment in the BPO sector for those with limited opportunities — basically, what is being termed as ‘impact sourcing’.

The Impact Sourcing opportunities identified so far are:

  • BPOs (typically 50-500 seaters) located in underserved locations where the purpose is to utilise local talent for running processes. These organisations are often called ‘Rural BPOs’, though a more accurate term is impact sourcing service Providers (ISSPs), that operate in non-urban areas and underserved urban areas.
  • Mainstream BPO organisations subcontracting work to ISSPs in alternate locations for cost effectiveness.
  • Mainstream BPOs setting up their own ISSPs in locations with limited opportunities for employment.
  • BPO organisations directly hiring the underserved (the excluded, the disabled, the less educated, and vocationally trained youth) who are capable of high performance.

To know more about Impact Sourcing, the opportunities, and business enablers, download a copy of the report.

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