Updated: Apr 7
Outsourcing labor is not a new concept to business. It’s not surprising to hear about how a BPO (business process outsourcing) company can provide vital assistance in specialized departments for another enterprise halfway across the world. It is not surprising to place a call to an American Company and hear an Indian voice on the other end trying to sort out any of your concerns and queries. The reality is that the Indian BPO industry has, over the years, become cornerstones of the global business environment. As a whole, Indian BPOs have become one of the major drivers for the nation’s GDP, providing opportunity for many. Everyday Indians have found stable livelihood with BPOs in the bigger city centers where opportunities abound. BPOs however haven’t stretched out to more rural areas, away from the better developed city centers.
Their home base can be found in Yemmiganur, Andhra Pradesh in South India. To contextualize, Yemmiganur is about 743 kms away from the capital in Mumbai, and roughly 285 kms away from Hyderabad, one of the main IT hubs of India. Instead of heading into the big city, IndiVillage was established with the hope of bringing tech savvy skills to villages that might not be top of mind in the outsourced labor industry. IndiVillage takes it a step further, by taking a stand as a social enterprise, “focusing on the community’s educational needs, and economic opportunity for rural women and youth in India”, according to their website. The BPO side focuses on providing a “rural price structure for world-class outsourcing”, allowing their clients to save up to 70% in costs, compared to that of the major Mumbai-based BPOs. Where the social impact is shown most is in the 100% reinvestment of profits, a key tenet that makes IndiVillage an excellent example of how business can and should be done.
So, how is the impact felt? IndiVillage is a certified B Corporation. Certification like this is not something that you can buy, it is something earned, especially as the the first IT & ITeS (Information Technology Enabled Services) company in all of India. What makes IndiVillage so special is the way by which they nourish a community, in quite a literal sense. The village itself employed 111 people in 2017, with 70% of their employees being women, mostly housewives, who are handling their first desk job. The community supports close to 300 students with free education, with emphasis on technological literacy, and student empowerment. There are also 3232 families benefiting from clean drinking water as a result of the efforts of IndiVillage.
There is something to be said about the why behind IndiVillage. The way that the company reinvests into the community, especially by empowering women and children makes this corporation a fine case study in sustainable social enterprise. By focusing on those in the villages, those outside of the densely populated metropolises, and giving them a chance to enter the formal workforce is inspirational in itself. When a business not only give back, but gives a community opportunities that would probably not be possible without them, then you can truly see how purpose drives IndiVillage.
What a corporation like IndiVillage gives all of us is a fine template to emulate in terms of focus, community development, and empowerment. By using education, both for the young students and housewives, as a means to elevate their standard of living is something you cannot understate. Real impact has been realized through IndiVillage. Ten years after being founded, the work continues. IndiVillage’s impact continues, creating sustainable development that can be emulated and replicated across the planet.
For a full rundown of IndiVillage's metrics, read all about it on their website here.
All photos and videos taken from IndiVillage's official website.