A startup incubated by Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI), a society established under IIT-Madras, plans to connect people living in rural areas with job opportunities presented by urban explosion – and make money out of it.
ejeevika HR Pvt Ltd, started by Richa Pandey Mishra, follows a simple business model:
Identify entrepreneurs through village council heads, non-profits and self-help groups(SHGs)
Offer them a franchise – a franchise requires one to invest on a couple of personal computers, a broadband connection and power backup – which entails an investment of around Rs 50000
Franchisees identify potential candidates who are trained by ejeevika as per clients’ requirements
Bridge the labor shortage in high growth industries by providing skills to rural youth, increasing employment opportunities in the rural space and thereby increasing individual and community income.
At present, ejeevika is imparting training on retail sailes to youth in the districts of Tirivallur and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. Going by its founder’s claims, ejeevika plans to train and find jobs for some 200,000 people in the next couple of years through a network of around 1,000 franchisees in the rural districts of India. An idea like ejeevika is a potent way to tap and channelise the potential of rural youth.
At the same time, there are a few questions we need to raise and find answers for. Last year was a landmark year for rural to urban migration – for the first time urban population overtook that in rural areas. What is and should be the ‘policy of the government’ and ‘our thinking as citizens’ – is such large scale urban migration desirable? Especially when most of our cities do not plan for such an inflow. Will urban migration have an affect on agricultural production? Will it lead to a reduction in our green cover?