Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Success story of Saloni Malhotra Founder & CEO of DesiCrew [Rural BPO]





Saloni Malhotra
Industry BPO/KPO
Founded in 2005
Education Bachelors
Head quarters Chennai, Tamilnadu, India




It’s a global village, as was being told for more than a decade so far. The birth of the internet has resulted in death of the distance. But, still businesses in the IT field are happening mostly in metros and not in villages where 70% of the Indian population lives. Even though villages have educated youth, dearth of a non-agricultural career opportunity have been forcing them to relocate to the congested metro for a career. Back at the metro, their winning bread is cut almost less than a half due to whopping living costs.




All of us know of this fact, some of the people think of doing something to change and very a few might have really tried. Saloni Malhotra has been one of that few to make the change.
DesiCrew Solutions is an Indian Business process outsourcing (BPO) company. It was started in 2005 by Saloni Malhotra as a test project sponsored by Ashok Jhunjhunwala's TeNet group from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. It was registered as a Limited Company in 2007. Its business model involves setting up delivery centres in rural areas and small towns of India and servicing the urban areas
Saloni had given up a job in Delhi and migrated to Chennai in 2005. With little local knowledge and even lesser business experience, it was a tough ride convincing corporates about a ‘rural’ back office meeting strict SLAs. Interacting with the people in the villages, understanding the culture and their mindset towards a job and making them share her same vision, took a lot of effort, but was overcome with a strong passion to make an impact. Saloni’s family was very accommodative to her aspirations, which was a major strength


Startup


The idea was to set up rural BPOs in Tier II towns and village, so that we can employ the unemployed youth, bring in the infrastructure, provide the necessary training and get projects and work for them from clients outside the state, across India. It differs from the urban BPOs by way of reduced costs (as much as 40% lesser), lesser attrition and free corporate social responsibility.




What was a tested as a project for 2 years was registered as DesiCrew Solutions Pvt Ltd in Feb 2007.




Our biggest challenge was creating infrastructure in a rural setting that was as good as our client’s office in a Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore and changing the perception in the minds of people in urban India that work could be done out of the hinterland and with the same quality.




Our other big challenge was to establish with our rural teams the concept of a BPO and that if work could travel to them. It could travel anywhere else in the world if they did not meet the quality and delivery parameters. People from the field were excited about the opportunity. Though skilled and hardworking, many were impatient.




Training started with computer operations, basic office management, HR practices, data entry and Internet usage. There were a lot of trial and error learning’s, which has helped us shape our system. People who have survived the initial hardships are at key positions in DesiCrew now.

Challenges


Our biggest challenge was creating infrastructure in a rural setting that was as good as our client’s office in a Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore and changing the perception in the minds of people in urban India that work could be done out of the hinterland and with the same quality.




Our other big challenge was to establish with our rural teams the concept of a BPO and that if work could travel to them. It could travel anywhere else in the world if they did not meet the quality and delivery parameters. People from the field were excited about the opportunity. Though skilled and hardworking, many were impatient.




Training started with computer operations, basic office management, HR practices, data entry and Internet usage. There were a lot of trial and error learning’s, which has helped us shape our system. People who have survived the initial hardships are at key positions in DesiCrew now.

The Impact


DesiCrew creates non-agricultural job opportunities in the villages for educated youth. We provide opportunities for educated youngsters to be in their village instead of migrating to cities. Working at DesiCrew’s Delivery Centers, our rural employees save 90% of their salaries as opposed to 10% in the city.




We have had incidents where some of our employees earn more than their parents who are farmers. There was an 18 yr girl whose parents decided to postpone her wedding, as she was a key earning member of the family. As women earn, their self esteem grows. A learning for us was that we could see issues like time management, ownership, eye for process details, suggestions for improvement rubbing on their personal lives. We have received feedback from our employee’s parents about positive difference we have made to their children.




At DeisCrew, we offer opportunities for a progressive career. Employees who prove their mettle are elevated to higher positions and increased scope of responsibility. Thus, one can start from an entry level operator and move upto a higher level of operations. Currently, our middle level management consists of several individuals from the field.

Words of advice


No job is difficult for qualified people, irrespective of whether they are from a city or a village. We have been pleasantly surprised by how much our people in the villages are capable of “. They have put their hands up and delivered well on several high-end tasks. Our business model is evolving to meet the client requirements and we have learnt to be embrace change without comprising on our fundamental values.


Honors and Awards
DesiCrew had won the Manthan for best e-content practices
2nd Runners-up in the BiD challenge in the established business category.
Saloni Malhotra was the Runners up as Asia’s best young entrepreneur, in an online competition conducted by Business week Asia.
Facilitated by the President of India, for its services in localization of educational content.
Featured by 'Business Today' magazine as 'India's 10 most wired companies'.
Chosen as Global readers' favorite Fast 50 2007 according to Fast Company magazine
She has been nominated for Business Week's Asia's Youngest Entrepreneurs, MTV Youth Icon 2008,
E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year 2008

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.









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