To appreciate that potential, look at how much is being done with just car batteries, backup diesel generators and India’s creaky rural electricity grid. I traveled to a cluster of villages with a team from the Byrraju Foundation — a truly impressive nonprofit set up by B. Ramalinga Raju and his family. Raju and his brother Rama are co-founders of one of India’s leading outsourcing companies, Satyam Computer Services. The Hyderabad-based brothers wanted to give back to their country, but they wanted it to be a hand up, not a hand out.
So besides funding health clinics and computer-filled primary schools in villages in their home state of Andhra Pradesh, they tried something new: outsourcing their outsourcing to villages.
Here in Ethakota, amid the banana and palm groves, 120 college-educated villagers, trained in computers and English by Satyam and connected to the world by wireless networks, are processing data for a British publisher and selling services for an Indian phone company. They run two eight-hour shifts, but could run three — if only the electricity didn’t go off for six hours a day!
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