India Now - page 62

Creating Waves
RuralShores pioneered the rural BPO
model in India and its scale and success
today is a clinching evidence of the
country’s talent powerhouse residing in its
n 2003-04, Xansa Plc, a
British outsourcing and
technology company, later
acquired by Steria in 2007,
was on a rapid expansion
drive spearheaded by Murali Vul-
laganti, then MD of Xansa India
and Regional Director, EDS Asia
Pacific. The company needed to
scale up its employee base from
500 to 5,000. It was while scout-
ing for talent in India’s interiors
that Murali discovered the coun-
try’s immense wealth in small
towns and villages. He was con-
vinced that the youth in the hin-
terlands could be trained to match
their urban counterparts in skills
and service excellence. Many of
these young people joined Xansa
in Bangalore. However, despite
the better emoluments that they
earned in the city, the high cost of
living barely left any surplus to be
sent home or for better lifestyle.
This led many of the young BPO
workers to change jobs frequently
for moderately higher wages
which did not serve in any way.
Many eventually opted to return
back to their villages.
The plight of these youth set
Murali thinking. The only way, he
felt, to break this vicious circle
was to move jobs to the rural
areas instead of compelling the
youth to migrate to cities. In
2005, he set up a proof of concept
centre at Puttaparthi, a town in
the Ananthpur district in Andhra
Pradesh with a population of less
than 10,000, along with a fellow
devotee of Satya Sai Baba, Sujata
Raju. Soon enough the number of
employees at the centre grew to
100, as the volume of work built
up. Beginning with their first
client BASIX, a livelihood pro-
motion organisation in Andhra
Pradesh, their portfolio grew to
include more prestigious organ-
isations like HDFC Bank.
Emboldened by the success,
Murali was convinced that the
BPO model could be a viable
business proposition in rural
India. The idea inspired five
of his friends to join Murali in
this endeavour. The initial plan
was to develop 12 centres. How-
ever, encouraged by potential
investors, the team submitted
an initial plan for 500 centres
and made their presentation to
HDFC Bank. Deepak Parekh,
Chairman, HDFC Bank, agreed
to provide
10 million for a 26
per cent stake.
Envisaged as a social enterprise,
RuralShores, though incorporat-
ed as a private company, decided
to retain its social spirit with the
promoters agreeing not to utilise
any surplus accruing from the
company for personal gains, but
to pump it back in the company
to fund social projects. With
this noble mission, it formally
started operations in 2008, with
the founding team compris-
ing Sudhakar Ram (Chairman
Murali Vullaganti
was formerly MD
of Xansa India,
responsible for
IT and BPO
operations. Prior
to Xansa, he was
associated with
EDS Asia Pacific
as Regional
Director. He has
been a strategy
advisor to a
number of IT and
ITeS companies
in India. He is also
founding director
of Compassites
Software and
Vice Chairman,
NASE (National
of Social
1...,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61 63,64,65,66,67,68
Powered by FlippingBook