BPOs use attractive perks to lure rural women
The extra benefits on offer include relaxation in night shifts, paying guest accommodation for women near office premises, flexible work hours, pick-up and drop facilities and subsidized food.
Realizing that the families of these women would be hesitant in sending them to work, the BPOs are even arranging for 'touch and feel' sessions for the family members. These sessions incorporate dialogs with families of women, to make them understand the benefits of working there and thus add to the family's income. The families are also encouraged to visit the women workers at office premises.
The salaries can go well over 72,000 per annum. And if you are an engineering graduate you are sure to earn more.
Some of the firms that employ women in a large scale in the rural areas include NextWealth Entrepreneurs in Mallasamudram, Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and Amargol near Hubli in Karnataka, British BPO firm Xchanging in Shimoga in Karnataka, Data Halli, run by JSW Foundation at Vijaynagar in Karnataka, Piramal Foundation's BPO 'Source for Change' in Bagar in Rajasthan.
Bigger BPOs are also exploring this option of 'hub (city) and spoke (villages)' model. Raj Patil, President, MphasiS' BPO division says the firm recently set up a 500-seat center at Raipur, where a quarter of the workforce is female.
Another trend that the BPOs are following is hiring elderly women aged 40 to 55. "Once they gain good experience working, they will go and spread the word. Their children are all in college and the strategy will eventually lead to more young people joining us," says Milind Godbole, President of Asia-Pacific operations at Minacs. Minacs recently hired elderly women at its latest center in Ranchi.
The BPOs are looking forward to start night shifts as well. Although there will be some resistance to this, the companies believe that with facilities like higher remuneration, better hygiene factors, insurance cover, pick-up and drop facilities, PF and other remunerations like subsidized food or meal vouchers for families will do the trick.