Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Empower Pragati started operations in Andhra Pradesh in August 2011. We signed MOU with EGMM as a training partner in April, 2011.The training was planned for 9 districts across AP in different domains like BPO K10 & K12, BPO Degree, Debt recovery, Drivers. 
We started training around October 2011 and we trained 2562 candidates by the 31st March, 2012.  We successfully placed over 1600 candidates in various districts in BPO & different sectors.  Of them over 55% were women and 45% were male candidates. Most of them are from SC, ST ,OBC candidates. These candidates were drawn from SHG from various villages in AP. One member from the identified SHG was trained under the RYK program with the intention providing employment to at-least one member in a family from rural below poverty line. The program has been fairly successful with Empower placing many of them in jobs with a starting salary in the range of 5000 -6000 net. Some of them have been placed in other states and cities like Bangalore and Chennai. Some batches were completed in May and hence more placements are in the pipeline for the candidates trained last financial year.
Currently there are 19 districts being covered with a total target of 16500 people including the sectors of BPO non voice and voice, supply chain mgmt, home care nursing and ITeS & Debt recover agents.

Success stories with Employment generation mission (EGMM) Andhra Pradesh:

“My name is Sakkubai from Kandukuri village.  I did only S.S.C with no hope and financial status for extending my academic career and then I found a miracle that is nothing but Empower Pragati Vocational & Staffing Pvt. Ltd which has changed my life dramatically. Before joining Empower Pragati training program, I was idle and had no time to think about my future because I was busy watching my T.V. serials. This training helped me to show what I am, I found the real world. Because of training from empower pragati only I got job in an esteemed organization, which is Medplus pharmaceutical Retail Outlet in Hyderabad, now I came to know how to behave with others. Now one astonishing thing is I am talking in English to day, which is a dream in my life.

Now my parents are very happy after seeing me in job, I can’t design boundaries to their happiness now I came to know the real meaning of life, which I achieved through these labs. I thought I had to spend my life idling which was unbearable and meaningless, my friends, relatives and parents used to mock me now there are happy with me.

I am good example not only to my street but also to the persons who are sitting idle at their homes. Really it is a boon to the downtrodden people who dropped their education because of so many reasons thanks to God to give this opportunity.” 

“My name is A.Bookya from Maheswaram Village. I studied 10th class and stopped education due to my parents’ poor financial status. After that my life turned like a thread less kite with no vision about my future. Then fortunately I came to know about Empower Pragati Vocational & Staffing Pvt. Ltd which laid a path to my Professional life.

I joined in Retail course at Empower Pragati. Here my trainers cooperated me like anything and gave utmost support to build up my carrier. I felt very enthusiastic at every step of my training at empower Pragati with their fun and activity based training methods. Now I am working in Food World, Hyderabad with a salary of Rs.5200/-.

         Really I am enjoying my job by interacting with different types of customers by serving them and assisting them in fulfilling their needs like interacting with each and every customer is a new experience and it is a great pleasure to me now and then my manager appreciates me which is a boost to me.
         Thanks to Empower Pragati for filling me with Power to lead my life.”

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Overview of Organised Retail Industry in India:

The Indian Organised Retail market has been ranked the second most attractive emerging market for investment after Vietnam. The Indian retail industry is estimated to be worth Rs 13-14 lakh crore in FY 2008.. The Indian retail sector is highly fragmented in nature. The penetration of Organised Retail in the Indian market is much below the levels in other countries. Organised Retail, valued as Rs 96,500 core in 2008, accounts for around 5% of the total retail market. Organised Retail has been growing at an impressive rate of 33% to 40% annually in the last few years compared to 9-10% growth in the overall retail industry.

Human Resource Requirement till 2022:
The growth of Organised Retail would be driven by increasing penetration of organised retail from current levels of 4% to 5% in 2008 to over 20% to 25% by 2022. Even in the medium term, this would be reflected in the required/expected increase in retail space from about 30 million sq. ft. in 2006 to about 500 million sq. ft. by 2013. Organised retail is projected to grow from Rs. 96,500 crore (US $ 19 billion) in 2008 to Rs. 17,36,000 crore (US $ 347 to 350 billion) in 2022.
On analysing the current levels of retail space and the projected growth, it is expected that the human resource requirement would increase from the current levels of about 0.3 million to about 17.6 million by 2022, leading to an incremental employment opportunity of about 17.3 million persons.

Key Skills in Demand:
A large portion of the incremental human resource requirement would be in store-operations (requiring about 13 million persons till 2022). Much of this demand will originate from apprel retail, technology and lifestyle retail, generic/food and grocery retail.
The growth of Organised Retail will also lead to an incremental requirement of about 1.3 million persons in relatively highly skilled areas such as merchandising and logistics.
These skill sets are prospective areas for formulation skill building activities in the Organised Retail sector.

Monday, 4 June 2012


Skill requirement in India:

The current Indian economy growth is 6.7 percent and is expected to further grow in the coming years. According to Goldman Sachs, India is projected to become the second largest economy in the world by the year of 2050. It is considered that the India Economy will thive on its demographic profile. The current population of India is 1.2 billion and is expected to rise to 1.8 billion by  2045. This expansion in population is indicative of the fact that there would be increase in the working age (15-64 years population.
In order to achieve high growth rates with a growing population, skill development has emerged as an important aspect that needs strategic and planned policy cum intervention.
The numbers below depicts the sector wise projections for incremental human resource requirement till 2022.

Incremental human resource requirement till 2022 (in million):

Textiles and clothing: 26.2 (61.6*/35.4**)
Building and construction industry: 33 (58*/25**)
Auto and Auto Components: 35 (48*/13**)
Real Estate Services: 14 (25*/11**)
Organised retail: 17.3 (17.6*/0.3**)
BFSI: 4.3 (8.5*/4.2**)
Gems and Jewellery: 4.7 (8*/3.3**)
IT and ITES: 5.3 (7.5*/2.2**)
Leather and Leather goods: 4.5 (7*/2.5**)
Furniture and Furnishings: 3.4 (4.8*/1.4**)
Electronics and Hardware: 3.3 (4.2*/0.9**)

* =Employment by 2022 (in Mn)
** =Current Employment (in Mn) in 2008.

Together with the above projections, decline in agriculture will directly impact the employment scenario. This would pose the need for alternative livehood options. No doubt the employment market is rising rapidly and opening opportunities for both unorganized sector demand different set of skills and competencies. The growing sectors require huge quantity of workforce with limited formal education and low-end skills.
According to a study by CII- Planning Comission, it has been projected that 2/3rd of the jobs will be for low-end skills. That brings out the importance of short or medium duration vocational training to a large nuber of youth enabling them to get an access to skill-based employment. Many of these jobs can also be transformed into self employment. Thus the skill development will not only generate job employment but many of the trades can emerge as micro-enterprises wherein the trainees can exercise and option of self-employment.
The recent development history indicates fast growth in the service sector. Increasing urbanization, access to newer gadgets, facilities and services by rural people has opened up doors for micro-enterprises for repairs and maintenance services. Financial inclusion services also will lead to not only increase in consumption requirements but also in incnreased infrastructure development which will again requirement of newer esrvices.
Thus the manufacturing sector as well as service sector growth will create employment opportunities. Such employabillity requires creation of large number of youth having varied skills that can help to gain sustainable employment. The same is well recognized at policy level and a number of iniatives have been taken up by GOI. The global competition and thrust on efficiiency and quality improvement will demand induction of qualified as well as certified trainees in the industry.

Initiatives on Skill Development:
Prime Minister's National Council in Skill Development, under the Chalmanship of Prime Minister has been set up as an apex institution for policy dirction and review.
The policy envisions the stablishment of a National Skill Development initiative with thefollowing mission:

“National Skill Development Initiative will empower all individuals through improved
skills, knowledge, nationally and internationally recognized qualifications to gain
access to decent employment and ensure India’s competitiveness in the global

The aim of the of the national policy on skill development (March 2009) is to support
achieving rapid and Inclusive growth through;
 Enhancing individuals’ employability (wage/ self employment)
and  ability to adapt to changing technologies and labour
market demands
 Improving productivity and living standards of the people
 Strengthening competitiveness of the country
 Attracting investment in skill development
The relevance and quality of the skill development has been highlighted in the Policy
document. Quality assurance has been based of five key functions  – Validation of
Qualifications, Validation of Training process, Quality Assured Assessment of
Learners, Accreditation of Training Providers & Training Institutions and Research &
Information. The objective of enforcing quality and relevance in skill development is
to be realized through improving infrastructure, improving quality of trainers and
developing a National Vocational Quality Framework.
The Policy clearly highlights the importance of improving the quality of trainers by;
 Innovative ways of recruiting trainers
 Innovative skill development schemes (trainees acquiring
technical training at TI and practical skills at the work place)
 Retired employees mainly from  Defence  Forces to be
retrained to become Trainers
 Award and incentive mechanisms to be developed
 A system of granting Accredited Trainers status for a  limited
 Improvement in gender balance of trainers

Role of Institutions in Vocational Training:

1-) Major activities:
1.A-)Funding support: 
Institutions involved: 
Ministry of Rural Development/ Tribal Development/ Youth, Culture and Sports; Major Role: Fundind through various schemes (SGSY, NRI.M etc)
NSDC: Major role: Funding in the form of equity, loan and grant.
Intk Agencies & DONORS: Major Role: Providing grants for skill development.
1.B-)Research and Demand Assessment: 
Institutions involved: 
Industries bodies (CII,FICCI,NASSCOM etc), Social Sector Council; Major role: Up-to-date information and data to industry and government; Create skill database;
Insitutions involved:
CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, NSDC, SSGCs. Major Role: Provides a platform for sector specific conssensus building and networking; involvement of the industry for skill assessment and certification;
1.D-) Standardization and Certification: 
Institutions Involved:
SSC: Major role: Develop sector specific competency standards; Brenchmark international standard; streamline certification framework; certification tests for employees and trainers at institutes; Accreditation of sector specific and related courses.
DGET: Major role: Setting common standards and procedures, training of instructors and trade testing.
NCVT: Major Role: Prescribe standards in respect of syllabi, equipment, and scale of accommodation; Duration of courses and methods of training; Arrange trade tests in various trade courses and lay down standarts of proficiency required; Prescribe qualification for the technical staff of training institutions.
Export promotion Council (Sector wise). Major role: Professional advice to their members in areas such as technology up-gradation, quality and design improvement, standards and specifications, product development, innovation, etc.
CREDAI, ARAI, etc.. Major role: Testing as per the standards set and certification.
PSSCIVE. Major role: To ensure uniformity and maintain quality standards in vocational teaching and learning.
1.E-)Curriculum Development and its up gradation: 
SSC, NCVT, PSSCIVE. Major role: Curriculum development.
PSSCIVE, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM. Major role: Provide inputs for curriculum development.
1.F-)Train the trainers:
ATI, NITTTR, CSTARI. Major role: training the trainers.
1.G-) Implementers:
Training Institutes-Govt., NGO/Society, Private including Industry. Major Role: Porviding training for different trades and placement of trainees in various sectors.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


The gender ratio in India is said to be 933 females per 1000 males, which is way below the world’s average gender ratio of 990/1000. This horrible situation comes due to the fact that females have always faced discrimination against them, and although like male or even above them female plays important role in the family and national development, her contribution is not recognized by the male dominant society.*
Women in India suffer from the abortion of female child; foeticide; malnutrition; denial of education and many other issues. These practices come from cultural beliefs and financial reasons such as educational backwardness, low income, unemployment, and although the Indian Government has showed efforts to finish this cultural traits there is still lots to be done. **
India represents a picture of contrasts when it comes to education and employment opportunities for girls. However, the rural and the urban areas present a contrast.

UNDP data: (2011)
Adult literacy rate: 62.8%
Male literacy rate: 82,14%
Female literacy rate: 65.46%
Gender gap rate: 16.68% 

Women in workforce:
13,9% in urban sector.
29,9% in rural sector.

245 million Indian women lack basic capability to read and write.

70% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty in the world are female.
In the rural areas the girl child is made to perform  household and agricultural chores. Households are therefore reluctant to spare them for schooling. Physical safety of the girls, especially when they have to travel a long distance to school and fear of sexual harassment are other reasons that impede girls' education.
In the urban areas, however, there is a discernible difference in the opportunities that girls get for education and employment. Though the figures for girls would still be low as compared to boys, what is heartening to see is that whenever given the opportunity, girls have excelled more than boys.***
Investing in human capital is one of the most effective means of reducing poverty and encouraging sustainable development. And gender discrimination hinders development. So while denial of education, employment or health care for women is detrimental to women, this denial, ultimately also harms the society by hampering development. ***
 Parent-child relationship is significantly determined by the education level and employment status of woman in the family. Education on the part of women brings about positive changes in their own and their husbands’ parenting style. Educated women can raise educated kids, with knowledge about hygiene and life skills.***
Gender equality is a solution for a country’s development and EMPOWER PRAGATI is for sure doing an excellent work on empowering women in India. It trained 9771 people last year, of which 45% are women. And also, will train 2 million men and women in the next 10 years.

*(“Gender Equality and Women’s Empowernment in India” – National Family Health Survey -
**(“Gender discrimination and Women’s development in India” by M. SIVAKUMAR , Ph.D Scholar in Economics, Chikkaiah Naicker College-

***  “Gender inequality in education and employment

by  Geeta Sharma, Editor,”

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hello everybody!!!

This is what a member of Leadership Quest team and CEO of UBM, Mr David Levin wrote to Mr Rajiv Sharma, Managing Director of Empower Pragati after the Bain Quest Leadership team visit to Gurgaon centre on April 20th. 

Dear Rajiv,


You have been on my mind, however, and I wanted to be sure to write to thank you for many things - for making the effort host us, for being so interested and engaged in understanding the purpose of our Quest and how to make your comments most relevant to the group, for sharing with us some of your own personal story – and on how you have transitioned from corporate life to a values centric life

For sharing your ambitious vision to provide the training that will empower a whole generation of people to come into the formal economy and make the most of their lives. That ambition struck a chord with the room

Thank you  for being such a warm and supportive guest of Leaders’ Quest.

I could tell by the energy in the room that the Bain partners were very interested in what you were saying and would have loved to have had more time with you and all those you are working with. 

Overall, our Quest days with Bain were a real success.  Here are a couple of examples of what people said at the reflection times at the end of their days out ‘experiencing India’:

From one participant: “I want to revisit my priorities in life; what else can I do? Rethink what really matters in life; sometimes we as ‘biz people’ forget what is really important. Thank you.” And from another one:  “We need to change the way we think about what impact is; I learned from social entrepreneurs how broad impact can be - not just profits. Purpose, too.  We need to raise our game.” 

So, Rajiv, a big thank you from me and Leaders’ Quest for being part of this.  Your comments on Monday, your life experience and your ambition helped people not only to understand India at a deeper level, but also to learn about what it means to lead responsibly in a world full of challenges. They also loved the opportunity to meet some of those you are helping – that give real feeling to the experience

I very much hope we can stay in touch, and next time, have more time to talk about the future. I know my colleagues in Leaders’ Quest in India will want to stay in touch and am copying Max Metcalfe and Gitika Mohta who will I am sure want to stay in touch.

Warm regards and Thank You,

David Levin

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Almost 67% of India's population is in villages and there are over 100 mn skilled youth in rural areas - a huge talent pool for the BPO industry to tap.

The India BPO industry no longer enjoys the cost arbitrage that it had a few years ago and new destinations like the Philippines, S Korea, and China are being looked at as attractive destinations for outsourcing. The India companies are setting up shops in these destinations and moving towards high-value processes. Another challenge that they face is acquiring and retaining talent, which leads to increase in hiring and retraining costs. However, there is a significant opportunity in the domestic outsourcing market, which is not being focused on by many of the larger players, which could see an emergence of new set of BPO players.
Almost 67% of India's population is in villages and there are over 100 mn skilled youth in rural areas who are unemployed. Yet rural India continues to be a significant but untapped resource for skilled manpower for the BPO industry. Organizations with vision can leverage this resource and provide a sustained source of income to rural citizens. A strong rural business model can ensure empowerment, self-sufficiency, and an improved lifestyle for Indians residing in villages and art a broader level, improve the national economy. This is an area where the rural BPOs may be able to play an important role, which will not only contribute to the growth of the economy and industry but also provide the competitive edge, which is diminishing.

Rural BPOs are a win-win for all stakeholders, as they have the following advantages:
- They give a cost arbitrage of 20-40% over the large BPO vendors who operate out of tier-land tier-2 cities.
- They provide a great opportunity for companies in telecom, consumer goods, insurance, banking, auto-mobiles, etc to connect with their costumers in the rural areas, in their local language since 25-50% of their revenue now comes from rural areas.
-Acquisition and retraining costs are low due to negligible attrition.
-They allow the company to fulfill their CSR mandate by contributing to the employment and livelihood of rural youth.
Empower Pragati, a partner company of NSDC, is focused on setting up Rural BPOs and skill building in other trades. It was started in 2010 with an aim to bridge the gap in skill building area, as India would need almost 500 mn skilled people by 2022.
Our first center has been set up in Majru Karala (a village in North West Delhi), in partnership wirh Navjyoti Foundation, an NGO founded by Dr Kiran Bedi. The aim is to set up more than 100 such centers across the country over the next few years.

This article was written by ARUN BHARDWAJ. The author is CEO, rural BPO business, Empower Pragati Vocational and Staffing Pvt. Ltd.

Contact us: 

Vibhash Kumar (B-87A, Kalkaji, New Delhi- 110019)
T: 91-11-49556000