Hope for ‘employable rural youth’

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GREAT OPportunity: Employees working at the Atlas Facilitators Company in Tirupati.
GREAT OPportunity: Employees working at the Atlas Facilitators Company in Tirupati.

A.D. Rangarajan

After HDFC Bank sets up a rural BPO in Tirupati

TIRUPATI: The 500-odd rural youth would never have dreamt of working on a computer in an air-conditioned environment. The social and economic status of Lakshmi, daughter of a small farmer is now on a par with that of Uma, daughter of a village Purohit.

HDFC Bank’s social intervention in the form a rural BPO in Tirupati has given them access to what their ‘privileged urban counterparts’ enjoy.

First of its kind

Atlas Documentary Facilitators Company Private Limited (ADFC), the bank’s in-house BPO, is claimed to be the first of its kind to be established in a semi-urban area to employ rural graduates. The centre does the bank’s back-end operations such as data capture from the account application forms, verification and feeding the same into the bank’s Mumbai server. The centre handles 22, 000 applications a day at the rate of 100 applications a person in an eight-hour shift.

Enthused at the success of its pilot project undertaken in Nellore, the bank has established this BPO last July with the twin objectives of keeping down cost as well as reaching out to the qualified rural youth. State-run Employment Generation Marketing Mission helped in screening of the candidates.

All the beneficiaries hail from a predominantly rural background and are first generation employees, whose household monthly income shot up from Rs. 1,000 earlier to Rs. 3,700 now, that too without having to migrate to a city! “This definitely has a cost advantage, both to the employees and the company,” says A. Rajan, HDFC Bank’s Group Head – Operations. “As we get volumes, we plan to increase the number to 1800,” he told this correspondent from Mumbai, adding that the Maharashtra government had evinced interest in replicating the Tirupati initiative.

“Though poor at soft skills initially, our employees quickly learnt spoken English and the nuances of data entry,” M. Durga Prasad, Assistant Vice-President and Head (BPO Operations), said.



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