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IndiVillage – Empowering Rural India

GISA 2021 Provider Award Winner

IndiVillage – Empowering Rural India

Women and entire families in India’s village of Yemmiganur once would make a hard-living earning low wages weaving cotton on handlooms. But the arrival of powerlooms and a lack of interest by the younger generation of continuing the tradition put this rural community’s way of life in jeopardy.

That’s until IndiVillage opened its first center here more than a decade ago, bringing digital jobs that have since changed the rural landscape with employment opportunities for the marginalized, better healthcare, access to clean drinking water, and standardized education.  

Before the arrival of the BPO provider, young people would have had to leave their homes to find meaningful employment in India’s cities to support their families. Now, hope has returned to the village.

IndiVillage offers cutting-edge solutions, including image and data annotation, natural language processing, and content optimization for some of the world’s leading technology and e-commerce companies including Amazon, Appen, Alegion, Swiggy, Mercato and Inkers.

Under a “business for good philosophy,” IndiVillage follows a “profit-for-all” model, reinvesting profits into the rural communities where its employees live and impacting more than 35,000 lives since its inception through its centers in the Raichur district in Karnataka and Yemmiganur in Andhra Pradesh.

In addition to sponsoring hundreds of low-income children to attend schools, it also has reinvested in the traditional trades of weaving and agriculture. IndiVillage is striving to honor Yemmigannur’s heritage and once again make weaving a sustainable livelihood.

IndiVillage has focused on creating opportunities, particularly for women and youth. Of the employees it has trained over the years, 70 percent have been women. Its centers have reduced gender inequalities by creating a safe workplace for women from the community, at times even counseling families and encouraging them to send women into the workforce.

For its achievements advancing impact sourcing, IndiVillage has been recognized by IAOP and the Rockefeller Foundation with the 2021 Global Impact Sourcing Provider Award at OWS21. It distinguished itself in 2020 by being named to the Impact Sourcing Champions Index. To hear the acceptance remarks, click here.

“This award recognizes a dream that has been built over the last decade,” said Smita Malipatil, CEO, IndiVillage. “When IndiVillage commenced operations in 2010, the model was untested, but, with our clients' support and the work ethic of our incredible team, IndiVillage has set the pace for the next wave of businesses that are embedding purpose and profit into their DNA. I want to thank IAOP for providing us an opportunity to savor our progress in our journey towards achieving our vision of a fair world built through ethical, inclusive, and transformative sourcing.”  

As the first Indian ITeS company to be a Certified B Corp, IndiVillage has a reputation for setting and meeting the highest ethical and moral standards, factoring in community impact and sustainable scale into the business’s growth. The GISA marks another milestone in its journey towards achieving a vision of a fair world built through ethical, inclusive, and transformative sourcing.

Mentoring Makes a Difference 

IndiVillage strengthened its impact by partnering with top corporate leaders from India Inc. in a rural mentoring initiative where senior executives from brands such as Tata Steel & Mining, TCS, Cisco Systems and EagleView provided personalized professional mentoring to IndiVillage’s budding rural workforce of nearly 300 employees located at its tech centers.

The six-month project helped IndiVillage employees develop the skills and competencies beyond those required for their daily tasks and empowered future leaders. The learning was divided into four distinct stages - Rapport, Purpose, Progress, and Evolution - with each milestone having specific outcomes.

Recently, a first-of-its-kind women mentorship program was launched in Yemmiganur. Titled “Real Women-Real Stories,” this initiative is part of IndiVillage Foundation’s #she4she women mentorship program, where women are empowered by mentoring from other women.

The unique program format pairs urban women mentors with rural women in formal employment looking for guidance in personal and professional development. Currently, 20 women from IndiVillage’s tech centers will receive context-based mentorship from 20 mentors from the India offices of NextGen Healthcare, a leading provider of ambulatory-focused technology solutions.

Over six months, the program will focus on readiness and goal-setting, followed by a systematic review process before distilling learning outcomes and creating a career roadmap. The partnership also has been an exciting opportunity to make a difference for NextGen, where diversity and inclusion are central to their community efforts.

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