Today there is a huge gap between the educated workforce sitting with either no jobs or petty jobs primarily due to the perceived incapacity attached to their disability. Whether we talk about large or small corporates, the reason why a PwD would remotely get inducted in mainstream job would primarily be driven by reasons of compassion & a CSR obligation and not driven by the confidence they have in the ability and productivity they may bring to the job given.
While work is being done by NGOs and government bodies towards building confidence in the corporate world towards the capability of PwD in relevant fields identified; there is a need for entrepreneurs to start working with them exclusively. There is a huge need for PwD to be self-sufficient as well as be a value creator to the society. In this context we need social entrepreneurs to plunge into this area & become employment partners for training institutes & NGOs who train PwD in relevant vocation.
What does an Employment Partner do?
- Identifies relevant business opportunity: Based on the proven skills of the blind at work, identify opportunities which make business sense for the venture as well as a great livelihood option for the PwD
- Becomes a livelihood provider : Given the fact that the chosen fields will be relevant to blind & other PwD, it will become an exclusive work space for blind
- Drives SOCC (Social Capital Credits) program: Launch Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) program. It will have customized SoCCs menus as per PwD needs and capabilities. PwD attached to Saksham-Path in any capacity will automatically be registered into the SoCC program. They will have the opportunity to earn SoCCs for maintaining continuity of job, showing higher than threshold productivity at work, venturing into more than one skill. With the SoCCs earned, they will be able to encash it for ration, electricity bill, mobile bill & other utility items.
- Becomes Window to the world: Drive awareness of the work done through digital media & PR and corporate workshops. The objective being promotion of the concept of hiring blind & other PwD and displaying their capabilities at work.
Existing Business opportunities to tap & create
- BPO process (ITES sector): 10 people Blind/ 5 sighted/ 10 diff disability
- Customer support service
- Telemarketing support service
- Insurance processing
- Form processing services
- Online research
- Virtual Assistant (Outsource2India)
- E-tail for exclusive produce made by Blind
- Decorative Candles & Soaps
- Jewelry & house decorative
- NP intensive craftwork
- Gift Paper Bags
- Lack of skilled workforce confined to vanilla graduates who are English Speaking
- Cost of operation is relatively higher due to high churn rate
- Vanilla services being offered at high prices
- Literacy levels: Blind work force comes with minimum qualification of graduation as well as trained in computers. Their computer and English proficiency is at par with capacitated individuals
- Skill level: They are open to investing their time in learning the skill
- Cost of operation: Coming from non-urban belt their exposure to competitive salaries is near zero, so cost of hiring is not high. One doesn’t have to do any infrastructural changes to include blind in their fold, apart from installing JAWS in their computers.
- Low level of attrition: Attrition levels with blind are very low given the fact that they value the job and will put in all it takes to retain and maximize their productivity there.
- Etail & Retail
Demand for Indian BPO services had been growing at an annual growth rate of 50% but has declined to just about 10% in last financial year. It has a potential to employ a 1.1 million workforce which is 1500% growth from its current numbers. Close to 70% business for the BPO sector comes from contact centers.
However one of the major reasons for the growth to plummet is the challenge Indian BPO industry faces in its inability to be as competitive as it used to be in its pricing till a few years back. It currently faces stiff competition from emerging countries like Philippines who operate on extremely competitive rates. For this fear the Indian BPOs are migrating to Tier 2 & 3 belts to further economize their price offering. Also the need of the hour is to move ahead of the curve and add more value to its offering.
In a nutshell challenges faced:
Tapping the opportunity with the Blind & other PwD:
Ecommerce today sits at 12% of the total retail business in India. Its only likely to grow further with more and more people getting richer, offline retail becoming obsolete & digital penetration increasing. Its no more an urban phenomena alone, with rural India being connected digitally by telecom providers and logistically by Indian Postal Services, Ecommerce is becoming a part of daily life for rural India as well. While E-Marts today give us opportunity to shop commodities and apparels by brands, its also helping artisans and craftsmen from rural India to showcase their work online. A lot of NGOs and social entrepreneurs are already working in this direction. These are primarily with the intention of reviving the dying arts as well as uplift the poor craftsmen in rural India.
Tapping the opportunity with the blind & other PwD:
- Unique proposition – So far there is no online market governed by PwD. It will be a unique market proposition to be pitched.
- Promotes Self Employment under government scheme – Given the fact that this will work as an aggregator site, it gives huge opportunity as a self-employed individual to people across urban and rural domain.
- Ride on cause marketing – The E-Tail venture can ride on a cause marketing wave to establish itself initially while it promotes the cause.
- Scale up Model
- Cost of Operation
- Market Reality/ Competition
- Government Policy (regarding disability as well as BPO as a sector)
- Go to Market Strategy
- Technology innovation
- The 12 locations identified are spread across metro and non-metro locations to give us benefit of cost of operation as well as workforce reach
- As per current going rate…the cost per seat in Metro locations has been set at 25k and for non-metro 20k. This is on a higher side considering we will be hiring first time callers who will come at a fresh rate
- Social Sector – Outbound
- Insurance – Form Processing, Outbound
- Telecom – Inbound, Collection & Outbound
- Social Sector
- Current Landscape: Currently there is a huge dependency on tele-calling as a process of raising funds for all large and medium NGOs. However the cost of telecalling forms a huge component of the FR cost leading to donor skepticism. The payable cost is fixed, irrespective of productivity if outsourced, however if the process is kept in house, the quality and productivity suffers due to lack of technology intervention & specialized services. The tele-caller quality is no different from commercial process.
- Opportunity calling: With PwD in the process, the cost of operation is likely to drop from its current level. The productivity as per established case studies will go up. The dual tool of using one area of underprivileged people to raise funds for the other is likely to generate higher level of sympathy and donation. The NGO is likely to be looked at as a value creator rather than a cost center
- Insurance & Telecom
- Current Lanscape: Inbound calling as well as outbound calling is a huge process for both Insurance as well as Telecom. It forms the backbone of its customer care and sales process. Today it operates as a process with little innovation or imagination. People employed in the process come with basic qualification of a graduate or intermediate, and have little or no language proficiency. They lack pure skill and expertise to be a tele-agent. The productivities of the process have been dipping or have plattued with costs remaining the same. Additionally the industry is plagued by high attrition which further adds to cost.
- Opportunity calling: With PwD in the process, cost efficiencies will come about. Also the productivities are bound to go up, given the fact that they will come post acquisition of specific skill and training of a defined period. In addition to the increased productivities and cost efficiencies, this will create an opportunity for the organizations in the sector to play the CSR role or projecting these people as beneficiaries consciously chosen for the process due to its social impact.
- Tapping the Social Sector:
- Come up with a news-letter talking about the venture detailing out its dual purpose and reach out to all the NGOs
- Use social media presence & marketing to create an impact and detail out the plan for future and how it can work best when in partnership with like-minded partners as clients
- Create a hype by publishing blogs and articles on it
- Presell to identified set of 5 large NGOs through personal meeting and pitches
- Request for pilot with 10 seats each in the NCR region with a minimum productivity on ECS & OTD commitment to expand the seats to 50 each within 6 months of pilot success.
- Pitch seats in semi-urban locations to better optimize cost and offer better pricing
- Tapping Insurance & Telecom Sector:
- Tap into existing network of clients and sources
- Pilot for 50 seats before expanding to 100 for each process
- Offer vernacular seats to circles like UP, UK, Punjab & Haryana
BPO Business Case
Spread & Scope
Saksham-Path shall initiate its operations with 300 seats across 5 locations, 50 seater in each. The locations chosen are based on the spread and PwD penetration. By year 5 the operations would reach 12 locations spread across 7 states with a sum total of 1000 seats.
Critical Processes identified for the operation
Market landscape for the processes identified
Marketing the process