B2R Technologies (Business-To-Rural) is an Impact Sourcing service provider established in 2009. As a for-profit social enterprise it is unique in the way it operates and who it hires. In the hill state of Uttarakhand where B2R operates, 11% of population lives below the poverty line. This is due to seasonal low yield agriculture and lack of non-farm livelihood. This leaves little choice but to migrate to cities in search of opportunities with its consequent challenges. Rural women, living with the additional handicap of traditional stereotypes are often pushed into early marriages. B2R has brought professional, knowledge based work within walking distance of 350 previously un/under-employed youth in this region. Working at B2R means staff does not have to make a tradeoff between staying in their communities and career opportunity.
To achieve its mission, B2R has four centers across the region and places an emphasis on quality employment, adapted to the unique circumstances of the local community. Over thirteen years, an emphasis on employee health, happiness & professional development has resulted in an additional business benefit of high retention compared to urban/city counterparts.
● Formal full-time employment: All B2R’s team members are formally employed full-time, guaranteeing them at least government mandated minimum wages and benefits. This is a substantial security in a country where an estimated 88% of the working population earns its livelihood through an informal economy, characterized by instability, volatile earnings and no upward mobility.
● Benefits supportive of short & long term resilience: Statutory benefits provided to help deal with challenges or setbacks. Benefits include Social Security (Contributory retirement benefit (Provident Fund)), Healthcare insurance, Paid Leave, and Gratuity.
● Equal Pay for Equal Work: in line with national & international conventions, B2R provides equal opportunity and pay for women, going further to counsel individuals & families to encourage women to apply. A hiring process engineered to improve gender equity has resulted in inclusion of ~50% women in its staff across thirteen years (currently 53%). B2R women staff members are seen as valuable economic contributors by their families resulting in an upward shift in marriage age from 16- 18 to mid-20s.
● Enable predictable scheduling with flexibility: B2R focuses on signing up long-term annuity repeatable work from customers to support predictability of work schedules, and give long term employment to staff Considering unique social needs, B2R allows leaves to manage family obligations like weddings and seasonal farming The organization encourages employees to pursue further studies and plans staffing to support this without impacting client schedules. Over 25% of B2R’s staff have earned their degrees while working being allowed leaves for exams
Make work meaningful: B2R encourages staff to engage in community development initiatives, like building awareness on cleanliness, recycling & hygiene, computer training in community, blood donation & eye checkup camps, sports & games, participate in annual half-marathon (to fundraise for local schools) and support village entrepreneurial programs.
● Health & Fitness: B2R implements a start-of-day assembly which includes physical training, yoga, B2R Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Confidential 5 team activities, meditation, prayer and ending with singing the national anthem. This enables an energizing start of work-day, greater employee engagement, ability to cope with stress and better focus at work. Staff is encouraged to participate in a unique “conflict-positive” workshop to help deal with potential personal & societal conflicts emerging due to change in economic status.
● Employer-funded Training & Professional development: B2R’s instructional designers intertwine various elements of learning as a process across employee lifecycle; for first time workers, this includes behavioral & life skills, technical & process skills, information security, English skills, subject-matter & domain aspects. Tenured staff is assessed for leadership potential, and is eligible for coaching and training in skills to take on higher roles.