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Srei to e-link Bengal villages

Pradipta Mukherjee & Sohini Das  |  Kolkata 

Aims to create close to 100,000 jobs.
SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited is planning to introduce e-commerce exchange portal by 2008 under its 'Sahaj e-Village' programme, in an attempt to create close to 100,000 jobs for people living in rural areas.
Srei also plans to roll out its online job portal by October this year for villagers to submit applications and resume.
The initial value of the project is Rs 100 crore with a typical breakeven time of two and a half years.
This project aims to positively impact the livelihood opportunities and living standards of rural communities.
Srei plans to put up 5000 kiosks or common service centres (CSCs) all over India by October this year.
Each would be owned and managed by a village level entrepreneur (VLE).
SREI would manage these CSCs in collaboration with Wipro Infotech Limited.
While Wipro would be responsible for the technological inputs, SREI would chalk out the various services these CSCs would provide to the rural masses.
Under this program, a number of village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) preferably from women self-help groups (SHGs) would get direct livelihood while rest of the population would get access to e-Governance and internet related services at its doorstep at a very nominal rate.
Initially, each VLE would be able to earn close to Rs 3,000 per month and could go up to Rs 15,000, depending on the scale of operations.
The e-commerce programme would be in the form of an exchange portal wherein corporates would be able to place orders directly.
Once an order is placed, Srei would first decide on its viability.
Once approved, Srei would announce the order centrally to all kiosks.
Each VLE would then have to announce it to villagers living in and around his kiosk.
"Srei would also employ people at the local level for transportation of finished goods to respective destinations. Srei may also tie-up with a logistics company if anyone could offer a more cost-effective supply chain," informed Sabahat S Azim, CEO of Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited.
Srei also plans to roll out its online job portal by October this year and villagers would be invited to submit applications and resume.
"Our online portal would also introduce e-learning programmes by October this year that would include communicative English training to help villagers secure jobs," said Azim.
Srei would also identify for villagers employment opportunities and vacancies available in various
Depending on the skill gap between the kind of professionals required and the manpower available from the database of resume submitted, Srei even plans to impart training to these villagers or tie-up with a training company to do the same.

First Published: Tue, July 10 2007. 00:00 IST
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