It was just one of those speeches that Prof Ashok Jhunjhunwala of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras made in Delhi to 'inspire' India's youth. He was speaking about the big employment opportunities that the business process outsourcing industry has created in urban India. His poser: Why not have such BPOs in rural India, too?
Among the 400 people who listened to him in rapt attention was Saloni Malhotra, a 23-year-old engineer who 'always wanted to do something for rural India.'
She got so 'inspired' that she wrote to him asking for an opportunity to work with him. Initially, he was not sure whether she was serious about taking up such a huge challenge. But she persisted.
She quit her well-paying job in Delhi and came to Tamil Nadu to take up the challenge. That was two years ago. Impressed by her persistence, the Rural Technology & Business Incubator, IIT Madras finally decided to take Saloni serioulsy.
IIT Madras then incubated her company -- DesiCrew -- and she got anointed the chief executive of the start-up, which takes work from urban to rural India using information and communications technology.
Prof Jhunjhunwala "wanted small decentralised BPOs in the rural areas where a maximum of 15 to 20 people work, and those who work should belong to that village," and that is what DesiCrew has managed to achieve.
Read on to check out the story of a young woman who shows how young Indians can contribute to reducing the urban-rural divide...
Text: Shobha Warrier in Chennai
Above: Saloni Malhotra, CEO, DesiCrew Solutions who is making her dream of creating employment in rural areas come alive.
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj
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