IT Giants Moving Into Rural BPOs
Attrition rate at rural BPO centres is 3 to5 percent compared to 50 percent at urban centres and operational expenses are 30 to 40 percent lower. This has encouraged many companies to shift to rural areas. In three years of business, Rural Shores has set up 10 centres across 7 states with investments from HDFC and Lokpal Capital Venture Fund.
For a generation of young graduates in urban areas, the BPO sector had offered immense opportunities and stable pay. Many firms are now seeking ways to set up BPO centres in rural areas. In August this year, Wipro BPO, the BPO arm of Wipro Technologies had launched its first rural BPO centre at Manjakkudi Village in Tamil Nadu, where it has plans to employ 120 people and will begin with a 50-seat pilot project for an international client in the retail sector. Wipro plans to expand its rural BPO operations to 500 seats by March 2013, in Tamil Nadu.
In October, Infosys BPO had signed an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh government for rural BPO centres in 22 districts. Infosys BPO has five centers in India and seven centers internationally in countries such as Poland, China and the Philippines, which typically operate from large cities. Four years ago, the company established an office in Lodz, the third-largest city in Poland. Now the company wants to target rural areas in such countries.
For example, Infosys BPO launched the Kaup unit in Karnataka's Udupi district with Desicrew, while the Bagepally centre will be launched with RuralShores.
Infosys BPO embarked on its plans for rural BPOs around 18 months back and wanted to help people get jobs and more flexibility for itself.