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Plan for a rural call center in a northern Indian village

Plan for a rural call center in a northern Indian village

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  • 1. First, the Story..
  • 2. Age: 45, Illiterate, Stressed
      • Ramchand is a simple villager  living in Sahpur village, 45 km from Lucknow city
      • He was married early (21 actually), to Sarita, a potter's daughter who makes beautiful clay pots
      • Arjun, his unemployed son, has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and considers farming a waste of his intellect;
      • Neha, his loving daughter, is engaged to be married to Mohan, an ambitious young shopkeeper in their village
      • Ramchand’s mother passed away 3 years ago from not being able to reach a hospital in time while his father suffers from severe bronchitis
      • He owns a farm on which he sows wheat in the kharif season and rice before the rains, earning a modest livelihood of INR 5,000 every month
    Meet Ramchand Ramchand (a villager) Neha (daughter) Sarita (wife) Arjun (son)
  • 3.
        • Ramchand wants to open a bank account. But his last visit to the bank left him completely confused, with so much paperwork.
  • 4.
        • He wants to secure a low interest loan (bank interests are near 12% now and local money lenders charge close to 100%) for his daughter’s wedding;
  • 5.
        • He wants to sell a portion of his land and buy a tractor.
  • 6.
        • He also wants to find a decent job either in the village or in the city for his son but doesn’t know how to.
  • 7. Ramchand..
        • He wants to get some medical assistance for his ailing father either in the village or even in Lucknow but has no means to get there.
  • 8.
      • Mohan is Ramchand’s ambitious prospective son-in-law;
      • He has started a provision store in his village by borrowing money from his father and could arguably be the lowest priced store in the area;
      • Mohan also knows how to repair farm tractors
    Age: 24, B.A. , Ambitious Meet Mohan
  • 9.
      • What Mohan needs:
      • He wishes he could increase his sales by having people from surrounding villages come to him by giving them the lowest prices in the region
      • He could also have additional income if people heard about his skills as a tractor mechanic
      • He wants to find a fair-priced electrician who could light up his wedding party
    Age: 24, B.A. , Ambitious Meet Mohan
  • 10. Meet Mr. Sharma Age: 40, BE, MBA, Visionary
      • Mr. Sharma is the Marketing Head of a large FMCG company that understands that rural India will contribute a significant portion of the next level of growth in India;
      • The company has launched low priced shampoo packets specifically for villagers
      • Mr. Sharma wants to now work with local resellers of his products to create awareness of his new shampoo in the villages as well as gather market intelligence to determine strategies for marketing new products 
  • 11. Meet Mr. Sharma Age: 40, BE, MBA, Visionary
      • What Mr. Sharma needs:
        • A way to reach out to the villagers in Ramchand’s village and surrounding villages
        • A way to get Mohan to recommend and sell his products
        • A way to receive feedback from the villagers on their experience with the product and suggest improvements 
  • 12. Meet Mr. Naidu Age: 58, Government official
      • Mr. Naidu is the Block Development Officer for the area where Ramchand and Mohan live
      • Mr. Naidu is a forward thinking man and wishes to digitize all registers and files maintained in his office
      • Mr. Naidu also has a Polio Vaccination Drive coming up and wants to make the villagers aware of the date, time and location for receiving the vaccine.
  • 13. Meet Mr. Naidu Age: 58, Government official
      • What Mr. Naidu needs:
        • A permanent method to spread any government related information, schemes, policies to the community
        • A BPO or some low-cost, reliable data-entry operators who can digitize the data in his office
        • A way to reach out to the villagers in his region to make them aware of the polio vaccination drive
  • 14. Meet Rural Connect An initiative of the Bharatiya Gramin Vidyalaya   (Indian Village School)
  • 15. VISION
      • To create a scalable, demand-driven rural information and knowledge centre that will harness the power of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to provide a medium for the exchange of information and knowledge between rural communities as well as serve as a connect between rural and urban India for the economic and social empowerment of rural families.
  • 16. Our Approach
  • 17. APPROACH
  • 18. Phase 1: eNABLE
    • SMS Alert Services:
      • Demand driven information on entitlements, government schemes, agriculture, weather and markets, education, employment, health, etc
    • Missed Call Services :
      • Just a missed call away: In a region where every rupee counts, villagers need not spend on calls; they can give missed calls for any information required (EX: nearest vaccination center, teacher jobs, best place to buy pesticides, sell cattle or land, fill forms etc. etc.)
      • Computer Training to employees. As we build infrastructure, computer training to villagers at large.
      • Massive awareness drives for educating villagers on service
        • Get feedback, understand needs, educate villagers on benefits
      • Development of comprehensive database
        • Villagers data [mobile numbers, profile, trends, needs]
        • Commercial services within region [shops, mechanics, electricians etc]
      • Aligning center based on feedback and demand collected
  • 19. Phase 2: eMPOWER
      • Educate + Knowledge Transfer (possible collaboration with NGO’s and organizations):
        • Targeted training programs on Agriculture, health, nutrition, education, women's health, law at center and in villages
        • Incubate learning centers for vocational training, specialized training , computer literacy
        • Specialized training for Job Placements [call centers, data entry, government jobs, education services etc.]
        • Build library within center and platform for knowledge exchange
      • Microfinance
        • Low-interest loans and credit support from banks
      • Medical Services
        • Basic facilities and free ambulance to nearest hospital
      • Rural Radio or Newsletters to reach out to those without mobile connectivity
  • 20. Phase 3: eNGAGE
      • Engage with Governments and Private Companies to outsource work to the center to reduce costs
        • Private: Data Entry jobs; BPO support services, Local language call center;
        • Government: Census and Survey duties; Election duties; job card and BPL related duties
      • Engage villagers to communicate with each other using SMS and other mediums via the Center
        • Sell products and services to each other
        • Spread news and information
      • Companies can now use center database to study village needs and market their products / services to villagers via the Center
      • Attempt to bring center under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA) of Government of India
  • 21. How will we run it?
      • So Far:
        • Survey of 5000 houses completed.
        • 5 boys recruited and currently undergoing training
      • Center will be run completely by villagers , preferably the unemployed educated youth
        • Phase 1 : 10 Employees + 1 Manager + Volunteers
        • Phase 2 : 25-50 Employees + 2 Managers + Volunteers
        • Phase 3 : 50+ Employees + 5 Managers + Volunteers
      • Constant mentoring by Management and private organizations / NGOs via workshops and seminars
      • Active role of Panchayat in spreading awareness, building trust and supporting services
      • Eventually make self-sustainable by charging for specific services, subscriptions, commissions etc.
  • 23. SUPPORT US
      • Our pilot project is at:
      • Bharatiya Gramin Vidyalaya, Kunaura Village, Dist. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
      • Come join us in our enthusiasm and passion to change our world
      • OR send us:
        • Ideas, suggestions and criticisms
        • Monetary and non-monetary assistance
      • Contact: Karan Dalal
        • E: karan.dalal@gmail.com
        • T: +91-9833919882