After the resounding success of the rural employment initiative from the youths of Khopoli and the adjoining areas, Tata Power, India's largest integrated private power utility, announced the expansion of its rural BPO.
The Rural BPO inaugurated in September 2009, under the aegis of Mannat Foundation - the community initiative arm of the company, initially employed 47 call agents; which further grew to a capacity of 230 call agents in the last 20 months.
Post the encouraging feedback on the standards set by the BPO, Tata Power will add another 100 more call agents to the existing team during the coming fiscal, thereby taking the total to 330 call agents by the end of the current financial year.
Situated in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Khopoli, and close to the Tata Power Hydro Generation facility; the 330 seat call centre lends itself to provide alternative employment to the youth of rural India with an aim of creating self sustained community development.
Speaking at the inauguration Mr. Mahesh Paranjpe, Head-Hydro stations, Tata Power said,“Tata Power strongly believes in empowering the community development through vocational training and opportunities. Our efforts have borne results and the expansion of this BPO is a testimony of this effort. The response of the locals is overwhelming and has also created a benchmark for others to follow."
The call agents for the BPO are selected and hired from Maval and Mulshi region and the adjoining catchment areas. Youths with minimum education ie 12th Standard (passed) with the ability to operate computer and understand English are considered eligible for employment.
The selected trainees undergo a month long pre-process training, comprising of basic communication and confidence building skills and post process training and which focuses on developing the capacity of youths as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operator. These trainees receive certification after the completion of their training and are employed for the BPO.
The Khopoli BPO is the first venture of Mannat Foundation and has tied up with Tata Business Support Services (TBSS). Mannat Foundation will be responsible for hiring and providing the infrastructure whereas The role of TBSS is to train the employees, maintain the infrastructure with good ambience, provide secured work environment and manage operations of the BPO.
Through Mannat Foundation, Tata Power intends to leverage information and communication technologies for BPO services on a pilot basis and generate employment for the local populace. This will in turn provide exposure to the rural youth to hi-tech industry and assist them to eventually grow and build their careers. At the same time, it will also help develop a sustainable business model that is scalable and replicable.