Those who work in Human Resources understand that there are challenges that come with hiring differently abled people. Giving a PWD the opportunity to come into your company can mean the world to them, a chance to belong. No matter what their experience, a deaf, mute, or wheelchair-bound person may not receive the same treatment. They’re never truly going to be like every other “normal” employee; they will always stand out. One company in India is looking to change that by only hiring the differently abled: Vindhya e-Infomedia.
Headed by Ms. Pavithra Y.S., Vindhya is a unique enterprise in two parts: they are a 100% for profit outfit, and only hire differently abled people for their production staff. This unique endeavor started as a socio-economic venture, hiring three people on day one, and later growing to a force of 1,500 differently abled employees. Vindhya has benefited greatly from the work they’ve earned through their various clients after more than a decade of exclusively employing PWDs.
Driving the success of Vindhya is Pavithra YS’s personal vision: helping those on the fringes of society earn their dignity. This vision has steered the company from the get go, giving Vindhya employees a platform to succeed in an empathetic environment. Her approach is, as she mentions in an interview with YourStory, is simple: “Our focus was straight – to work with people who lack mainstream options and provide a life of dignity. And along the way, I have learnt that embracing positivity and perseverance made all the difference.” The day-to-day work that goes on at Vindhya is like that of any BPO. The major differentiator though is how their founder is such a big part of the company’s identity.
Pavithra’s philosophy of going the extra mile for her employees shows how much empathy is part of making this dream work. Amazingly, she went as far as taking up sign language to better communicate with her employees, something you might not expect from a founding partner. This approach of caring for each individual fully, and not solely on just the work, makes Vindhya such a uniquely nurturing environment. Pavithra makes it a point to get to know her employees, giving them the chance to establish real connections, not just professional ones. In a monthly roundtable-type session, she sits down with a mix of her differently abled employees to learn about their personal journeys, hopes, and aspirations. Imagine the kind of insight that can be gained from those connections. Imagine what that can do for employees that have such diverse backgrounds. Monthly events like this may seem so ordinary in a corporate setting, but at Vindhya, breakthroughs are made over coffee with Pavithra.
Over their first 12 years, Vindhya has become renowned in Indian tech circles, receiving dozens of awards for their inclusive efforts and excellent service. It is however their identity as an organization with heart that drives their uniquely situated workforce, some of whom are working a desk job for the first time in their careers. Pavithra and her team at Vindhya have brought meaning into the work, showing that human potential can be fully realized for anyone, especially PWDs. The dignity that Vindhya works so hard to establish means the world for their employees, all of whom have their respective disabilities, all of whom are striving to be productive members of society. Pavithra’s philosophy parallels that of the Japanese concept Ikigai, a meeting point of what someone loves, cares about, can get paid for, and the world needs. Through Vindhya, we see that work and wellbeing meet so seamlessly here for employees who are given a shot. After the first twelve years, it seems as though the revolutionary groundwork has been set for what PWDs can achieve, regardless of industry. It is incredibly exciting to imagine the heights that Pavithra and everyone Vindyha can achieve over the next decade for the differently abled.