August 6, 2014 was a real eye opener for me. It was the day I visited Vindhya-Infomedia Pvt. Ltd, also simply known as “Vindhya.”
Vindhya is a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company in Bangalore, India, that employs people who are “differently abled.” Just hearing this term made me look at myself and the whole concept of disability, differently. It made me re-think what is “normal.” Especially after I had the perception changing conversation with Pavithra of Vindhya Infomedia Pvt Ltd. It made me realize that every person has some “disability” or constraint or limitation which they have to learn to deal with. I had some very insightful conversations with the leadership at Vindhya, which is the reason why this organization has been able to make such headway in the field of social sustainability.
Vindhya defines social sustainability of the employee as the employee not becoming redundant because of the limitations or constraints that they have to deal with. In order to implement and incorporate this definition of social sustainability into their organization, the management at Vindhya puts a huge emphasis on evaluating their potential employees and their skill sets and then assigning them jobs based on the limitations that their employees have to work with.
For example, “non-voice processes”, such as digitalization of employee information of large corporations are reserved for the employees who are hearing impaired. Employees who have mobility restrictions are placed on customer service jobs that require employees to talk on the phone and resolve issues with customers.
Vindhya has 700 such employees who do their job despite various constraints and the most breath-taking fact is that these employees are as productive as employees in other organizations. It goes to show that if someone is given a chance, they can do wonders in the right environment – which is exactly what Vindhya is doing.
In fact, to put it in perspective, 75% of the employees at Vindhya have been rejected at other organizations, due to their limitations. Vindhya is the organization that indeed gives these employees a chance for a better standard of living, while also making a profit, proving beyond a doubt that the 3Ps of sustainability can indeed be achieved.
The Global Sourcing Council, in partnership with Vindhya, is working on establishing a model for other organizations to adopt to work with people with challenges and constraints. Stay tuned for more information on the amazing trends that Vindhya is sure to establish in the coming months and years!
About the Author: Jimmy Gandhi, Ph.D., is the Director of the GSC 3S Boot Camp© that emphasizes that the Global Sourcing Council will continue to incorporate the latest aspects of socially sustainable sourcing into its 3S Boot Camp© program.
Jimmy is a Graduate Instructor of Quality Management, Entrepreneurship and Systems Engineering and Management. He has extensive experience teaching additional courses including supply chain management and sustainability in the global supply chain. He has over 30 publications in various conferences and journals related to the engineering management domain and has received teaching awards from Stevens Institute of Technology and The American Society of Engineering Management.