GISA Winner in a Provider Organization: RuralShores
Impact Sourcing Comes of Age with RuralShores
When RuralShores was founded in 2008, the practice of impact sourcing was still a relatively new idea.
After a decade, the company and industry have matured together.
RuralShores went through its initial growing pains to become the world’s largest impact sourcing provider whose business model has produced transformative results for rural youth, women, persons with disabilities and other underserved employees in villages across India.
With 15 centers across eight states in India, RuralShores employs 3,500 people who process more than 100 million transactions annually for more than 25 marquee clients across four continents.
As RuralShores has grown up, so has the awareness and recognition of impact sourcing as an inclusive employment practice through which companies in global supply chains intentionally hire and provide career development opportunities to people who otherwise would have limited prospects for formal employment.
A New Life Journey Leads to Transformation
It all started when Murali Vullaganti decided to focus on the “Business of Life” instead of a “life of business.”
After working in the IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) sector for over three decades in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific, he moved back to India in 2009 to fulfill his vision of creating positive social change.
Seeing the poor quality of life for most employees in India who yearned for jobs close to their families and farms in small towns and villages, Vullaganti set up his company’s BPO centers in remote districts where employment opportunities were almost non-existent.
In the early years, the company overcame challenges with infrastructure such as having an uninterrupted power supply, finding high-speed internet service, securing client-ready office space that was an easy commute for village employees among other obstacles.
RuralShores is proud to have provided professional career paths to more than 10,000 young men and women all over India since its start. These include men who would have either migrated to cities or village women who would not have had many alternatives except to marry despite their education levels.
“Winning the GISA from IAOP and the Rockefeller Foundation means even more to us in our 10th year,” said Vullaganti, who accepted the award at OWS19 in Orlando. “It is a testimonial to our business model and an acknowledgment that RuralShores is good at creating the impact we set out to create!”
Beyond that, RuralShores is helping to lift the entire practice of impact sourcing for customers and other providers.
“We are increasingly seeing an urgent need from many large corporates that we are talking with to develop and deploy an impact sourcing initiative within their companies,” he said. “In the near future, we will not be surprised if impact sourcing comes into being as an independent, fundamental shift in the outsourcing industry. And we feel the time is now with the increasing maturity both at the supplier and buyer side.”
Creating Opportunity in Another Land
But Vullaganti isn’t done. While India is his “motherland,” he considers the United States his “fatherland” for providing him with a successful professional career that enabled him to take this journey of “Business of Life.”
Following his desire to give back to the U.S., he moved back in 2017 and established PeopleShores to provide employment opportunities not only for opportunity youth, but also veterans and spouses who are disconnected from the workforce.
The company’s centers in San Jose, California and Clarksdale, Mississippi collectively employ almost 50 people. The goal is to have 1000 employees hired by PeopleShores and a dozen centers spread across the U.S. in the next year.
“PeopleShores is going to be a similar journey but in a different geography and we are all very excited about it,” he said.
RuralShores offers its employees an opportunity to support their seasonal family income with a steady monthly income without having to migrate to the next big city. Their success in turn encourages fellow villagers to educate their children, including the daughters. Women constitute nearly 50% of our employees. It supports people looking for livelihood, operating only at sub-taluk level in backward areas with undergraduate educated youth from surrounding villages.