Wednesday, February 09, 2005

BPO and the rise in opportunities 1

Bangaloreans would be familiar with the white Toyota Qualis(es) with yellow number plates and uniformed drivers. These vehicles have a sticker on the rear which says "Please call up xyz number if found driving rashly or in violation of rules". They are also known as "rash drivers" which is rather unfortunate.
The ones who gave them this nick are the usual rule breakers - two wheelers and private vehicles. Buses and trucks by virtue of their size are kings of the road anyway.
I was chatting with a cab driver a few days back. If it were not for BPO he says, he would be in his village fighting the poverty line. Ditto for the private security guard with his walkie talkie and smart uniform. Not to forget the caterers who supply food to these companies and the smaller "hawkers" who supply food to the drivers and guards.
Drivers, Security Guards, Caterers. I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. There are maids and cleaners, photocopy machine operators, window cleaners, gardeners.
The BPO industry has opened the doors of dreams to hundreds and thousands of "uneducated but not unskilled" persons like the cab driver, the cook and the gardeners. Put together the BPO industry ( and its larger cousin, IT) has done more in raising people above the poverty line than what years of socialism has done for India.

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