Wipro and Infosys to Focus on Rural BPO Operations

by Muntazir Abbas    Jun 11, 2009

Wipro and Infosys are planning to start domestic BPO operations in smaller towns and rural areas to offer native language based capabilities and data entry services. Infosys is eyeing partnership with rural service providers, although Wipro offers technology support to some local service providers. The BPO sector has average billing rate for domestic clients, which is somewhere around $3-4 per hour for every employee, while it bills $8-12/hour to international clients. The rural shift may further generate job opportunities at a low costs.

"We are in consultation with few big companies for partnerships in rural areas," said Murali Vullaganti, CEO of RuralShores, a startup company that gets technical support from Wipro.

According to Amitabh Chaudhry, CEO and MD of Infosys BPO, it makes sense for rural BPOs to look at partnerships as they may not be able to bag large contracts on their own. "The idea is the same as moving jobs from the US to India - to cash in on cheaper talent and office space," said Chaudhry.

The tie-ups will be based on revenue-sharing between IT majors and locally based rural service providers. "Currently, there are about 10 rural BPO companies that include RuralShores, DesiCrew, Sai BPO and HOV Services. These centers do routine tasks like data entry, processing of utility bills, native-language help desk and e-mail response," said Avinash Vashistha, CEO of Bangalore-based advisory firm Tholons. However, he feels that there are various limitations, including availability of skilled manpower, broadband connectivity and frequent power cutouts.

Related links:

BPO Going Rural
Govt Stresses Rural Focus for ICT Industry