Interview with India’s Rural BPO Guru

Its been almost three years since Businessworld India published a feature on Rural BPO, writing about a company called Lason. Lason had just just set up its first rural BPO unit in Kizhanur village, 50 km from Chennai. The unit was the brainchild of Pradeep Nevatia, then managing director of Lason India, a subsidiary of the $167-million BPO firm Lason. The company’s efforts were arguably one of the first Rural BPO experiments in the country.

Since then, Pradeep has left Lason India to start his own company called Ninestars Information Technology. The Hindu just published an excellent interview with Pradeep, highlighting his vision for the distributed delivery model and rural BPO in India:

As soon as we recognise that BPO and manufacturing are essentially no different, the problem of ‘city vs village’ would vanish. I have personally experimented ‘village BPO’ including the first-ever ‘village BPO,’ and the results are extremely good.

The cost reduces by minimum 25 per cent owing to lower infrastructure cost and manpower cost. The employees stay with their family and spend negligible time and money on travel.
The other important advantages seen are in lower absenteeism, lower attrition and strong discipline leading to higher productivity, quality and employee retention cost.

It will be interesting to see if Ninestars can give much needed momentum to the Rural BPO space.