HARVA – Harnessing Value of Rural India

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For Gandhi, the spirit and the soul of India rested in the village communities. He said, “The true India is to be found not in its few cities, but in its seven hundred thousand villages. If the villages perish, India will perish too.”

If this is true why do people look at urban India only when we talk of economic growth and development? Why are the villages always given
an inferior look? Is it the people or the development status?

So many questions and the only answer is the disparity in treatment given to the rural and urban sector by both the capitalists and socialists.

What comes to one’s mind when one think of regular daily life of a young to middle aged woman in a typical Indian village? Waking up
early in the morning, feeding the cattle, milking cows, cooking and some other household works. At most one can think of her working in the fields or some
other agrarian tasks.

HARVA, a revolutionary initiative by entrepreneur Ajay Chaturvedi, an engineer from BITS Pilani and alumnus of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has changed this radical thinking for millions. HarVa means Green for the villages and stands for Harnessing Value of rural India. It is a
rural start up that primarily focuses on Skill Development, BPO, Community based farming and Microfinance. HARVA aims to assist rural India to access and harness the opportunities that urban India / local environment offers for a better
quality of life.

The capitalist economy has failed to address the combined challenge of economic and social upliftment. Most of the companies are gripped with and revolve around customer centric model, profitability and building shareholder value. Although, some of them have adopted corporate social responsibility programs, they have failed to genuinely add value to rural India and society in general because most of their initiatives are not part of their core business model.

HarVa aims to take up the challenge by blending both a profitable and social model. The hybrid model takes  entrepreneurship to new a level where profits are maximized by adapting various innovative steps aimed to
reap benefits from the current rural labor arbitrage and address the social issues like rural employment and education.

It all started from Tikli Akilampur a few km from Gurgaon employing a bunch of barely literate woman. It employs only women after giving a proper training of basics of computers, telephone, Microsoft Excel, etc. The result: The world opened up for 500 village women who had never stepped out of their houses till the BPO happened. The company is also trying to hire voice and e-mail processes when the women are trained enough to work on those fronts.

HARVA endeavors to train entire families and employ them according to their skill. This helps them build strong relationships and ensure that attrition is minimal. Productivity and efficiency are driven by incentives linked to joint performance by each family. Each member of the family experiences great competitive pressure from each other to perform to the best of their ability.

With the working principles of  “Look for business opportunities keeping labor arbitrage as a backbone”, “Persistence and
Innovation to seize opportunities where the potential is yet untapped” and “Confidence building in locals with positive team work” the growth of HARVA is inevitable. Ventures like this are future of INDIA, Better INDIA, not Developed
INDIA.

Sources:

http://www.harva.co.in/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HarVa

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