Quality staff elude rural BPOs

Scheme flounders as only 16 of 20 BPOs approved are working

That is the main finding of a study conducted by five students of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B). The findings and recommendations of the viability report done at the behest of the Department of Information Technology and Biotechnology will be formally presented to the department officials next week.

The scheme, which was launched in 2008, invites business proposals from entrepreneurs to set up BPOs in rural area with one lakh population. “The idea is to make jobs available for even Class 12 pass with basic computer knowledge. We also wanted to create awareness about IT," said an official from the department.

Some of the criteria that these entrepreneurs should meet include finding infrastructure, employ at least 100 people from that area and train them. In return, the department would give funding of Rs 40 lakh - 20 lakh for infrastructure, Rs 10 lakh for manpower training and Rs 10 lakh for building rent and internet connection - spread over  three years. Eventually, the company should start getting Rs 1.5-2 lakh turnover per annum. As the BPOs would employ youth from the villages, most are trained in data entry and digitalising data, background check on employees to be recruited by IT companies, etc. However, of the 20 proposals sanctioned, only 16 are currently operational.

“One of the major problems the entrepreneurs faced that we found was that the manpower resource pool was not up to the mark. As a result, it took more than the required time to train the local people,” said Ashis Nayak, one of the team members.

He added that another issue was that while some BPOs got business easily, others took a lot of time. The talent and ability of manpower in some places were also a limitation. Some of the recommendations that the team has suggested are: flexibility in subsidy depending on the performance of the BPO, flexibility in in-take of manpower from 100 to about 75, centralisied body that coordinates with all the BPOs.

“The department should also help BPOs in getting one or two projects initially. For instance, the government could make use of these BPOs in transferring 2011 census and UID data into digital format,” he said. The group visited three BPOs and sent questionnaires to the others.

BPOs sanctioned

* Baburayana Koppal, Mandya
* Salagame, Hassan
* Gundlupet, Chamrajanagar
* Shiggaon, Haveri
* Nanjangud, Mysore
* Devadurga, Raichur
* Pavagad, Tumkur
* Chikkaballapur
* Sirsi, Uttara Kannada
* Huliyar, Tumkur
* Jagalur, Davanagere
* Muddenahalli
* Lakshmeshwar, Gadag
* Hunsur, Mysore
* Tirthahalli, Shimoga
* Ilkal, Bagalkote
* Sankeshwar, Belgaum
* Chintamani, Chikkaballapur
* Harohalli hobli, Ramanagara
* Banikuppe, Ramanagara

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