JSW Steel: Rural women and business process outsourcing
Women in rural India face major challenges due to lack of access to education and opportunities. Early marriage, family responsibilities, and dropping out of school deprives women of opportunities for higher education and employment.
A secure source of income through employment helps improve rural women’s social and economic status, standards of living, self confidence and courage to face their many challenges.
Information technology (IT) has transformed the world in many ways. The IT industry in India has taken the lead in providing value added services to its customers. Business process outsourcing (BPO) has rapidly evolved. However, these opportunities it provides have largely been for youth in the cities and not available to rural areas, due to infrastructural limitations.
JSW Steel recognised the potential of the BPO sector for various applications and the vast opportunities that it can provide for empowering women in the villages surrounding its operations.
A training centre was set up to train rural women who had completed their higher secondary education. They were also provided with transport and a stipend for six months.
J-Soft, a software subsidiary of JSW Steel set up the necessary communication facilities for the BPO business in Vidyanagar, next to the steel plant. J-Soft identifies projects and supervises the BPO operations.
More than 1,000 women have been trained. Currently, 150 women are involved as business associates. With their experience, many have subsequently found jobs in JSW steel and other companies in the area.
Also, providing skills-based employment opportunities reduces migration to other areas. This helps to provide skilled human resources to the new industries coming up in Vijayanagar, a still emerging industrial complex.
Last updated: June 2010