Chennai, February15, 2023:

IIT-Madras Research Park has partnered with IT firm HTC Global Services and industry body NASSCOM to set up a rural BPO (business process outsourcing) centre in Reddiarpatti in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.

Managed by Rubiz IT Services (a company incubated at IIT-Madras’s Rural Technology Business Incubator and supported with a grant by RTBI), the BPO will support the data annotation projects of HTC Global. NASSCOM will help provide clients from its member institutions to the rural data annotation centers.

Data annotation is the process of labelling and categorising data to provide structure and context to it for various applications.This particular centre, for instance, will work on digitization of existing printed materials, and for this, Rubiz plans to start with a 30-member team, providing employment opportunities to high school graduates from areas in and around Tirunelveli. The long-term objective is to scale this centre and set up similar centers across rural areas in TN.

“Youngsters in villages today are well-educated but lack employment opportunities, leading to migration. Even in urban areas, they do not get work in line with their qualifications,” Ashok Jhunjhunwala, president of IIT Madras Research Park, IITM Incubation Cell and RTBI said. “With internet connectivity getting better and good power situation, we are taking a leap to set up this centre,” he added.

Natraj Kumar C, vice president – BPS, HTC Global Services, noted that the biggest challenge for the IT-BPM industry today is the churn in talent in urban areas.“This is a win-win situation as this will ensure efficient completion of projects with stability in teams and at the same time boost family incomes in rural areas,” he said. HTC already has around 900 people in Chennai carrying out data annotation work.

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