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iMerit: A story of accessibility to the digital economy bit by bit!

iMerit Technology Services company provides web based, highly scalable, customized solutions, that help transform businesses and empower communities. As a smartsourcing IT services company, iMerit directly empowers over 400 young employees by providing access to digital jobs employment in West Bengal and Jharkhand. The company employees individuals from diverse education backgrounds ranging from 12th pass to Masters students, and provides modern job opportunities like functional and technical support for clients, digital document conversion, and HTML coding.  

 

iMerit effectively utilises talent from peri-urban areas around Kolkata and Ranchi to fully realize its impact sourcing model. The impact sourcing business model creates access to new economy livelihoods for youth and provides IT services for global clients. The World Bank Development Marketplace recently awarded the company a grant to Ranchi, Jharkhand where it is providing job opportunities to tribal and socio-economically marginalized women, ensuring a more empowered life. 

 

iMerit has its orgins in Anudip Foudnation, an information technology training organisation founded in 2005. Anudip launched three centers in the Sundarbans as prototypes partnering with community NGOs, where developed local learning techniques, course content, sustainability of operations, and ease of replication.

 

The idea of iMerit, came about as a result of Anudip Foundation’s work in Metiabruz, a Muslim town just south of Kolkata. The training center had been set up to support women interested in IT and English training. In other placements, after the beneficiaries were trained they would be placed in traditional BPO organizations across West Bengal. However, in Metiabruz many of the women had difficulty leaving home to move to locations where BPOs were set up. As founder and CEO Radha Basu explains, "We said, if we cannot bring our newly trained female professionals to the BPOs, let us bring the BPO to them."  

 

iMerit grew out of the idea to provide a high value IT service business model, that would capture the burgeoning growth of the global IT services sector and create regional local Internet economy jobs that had the power of transforming lives. In its first phase, iMerit was incubated by Anudip Foundation as an additional program within the non-profit. In April 2012, iMerit officially seperated from Anudip with the support and financial backing of the Omidyar Network to become an independent for-profit web enabled IT services company with a powerful social mission.

 

One of the few venture backed IT services companies in East India, iMerit began with 30 employees providing basic data management and digitization services. The company developed new high growth service lines to help companies around the world generate sales leads, digitize and tag documents from academic institutions, and built databases for major companies in the US. Finally, iMerit added a help and service desk for major international non-profits with real time administrative and technical support. Although iMerit is creating social impact, it is doing so to add value to clients’ data and IT service needs.  

 

Under the leadership of Ms. Basu and in partnership with Anudip Foundation, iMerit has expanded to four centers: three in West Bengal with over 350 employees and a recent centre that has come up in Ranchi, Jharkhand with close to 50 employees. Its integrated business model with Anudip Foundation, which allows exact skill set development for the company’s project requirements, is crucial for iMerit’s sustainability and future growth. Anudip helps identify project resources resources based on the required skills sets, updates the training content with the inflow of clients in mind, and ensures prepared, trained candidates for the IT skills required for these projects. The upskilling education involves IT training, specific domain training and personal skills trainings.  

 

In the year to come, it is hard to imagine what new heights iMerit will acheive. The company is intersted on expanding into other parts of East India including Odisha and the north eastern states to provide more job opportunities to marginalized youth in areas where they might otherwise lack access. As the company scales and reaches throughout India, traditional BPOs will follow, creating a new economic development and rural empowerment in a way that has never been seen before.

 

To learn more about them, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pAuOmM22Gw 

 

 

 

 
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