iMerit & anudip: Intersection of disruptive technologies and skilling to create aspirational careers in the digital economy
Bhubaneswar:16th March 2017 (By Prasant Bhuyan) Inside a bustling office building in Bomikhal, Bhubaneswar in the state of Odisha, a young woman is categorizing a home décor item on her computer screen for a leading American online home improvement company. There are more than 20 styles she has to choose from to classify the item accurately, some of which she has not seen in real life. Her decision will directly impact the user search experience for this company. This is the power of digital fluency– the extent to which people embrace digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective. The rapid rise of disruptive technologies like data science and machine learning has led to a tremendous demand for enterprise-grade data among modern tech-driven companies using these technologies. Behind the sophisticated techniques for online search, analysis and interaction, lies the power of human intelligence which catalyzes this data to make it understandable and usable by machines. iMerit, an on-demand digital data services company, delivers data and content curation services in machine learning and data analytics. In this process iMerit is creating aspirational livelihoods for marginalized youth in the digital economy. Its disruptive training and sourcing models are transforming the way we look at service-resource alignment in a project. Unlike traditional sourcing models where the scope of skill development is defined by a specific domain or vertical, the learning and development team at iMerit designs the training program dynamically around the scope of the project. Skilling is a tool for not just project execution but also individual empowerment. This is a crucial factor contributing to the high quality, trust and security that iMerit offers its clients. The training program goes beyond IT and communication to include digital fluency in the true sense, logical reasoning, decision-making and the motivation for self-learning. The workforce consists of 56% female employees and is diverse in terms of both geography and social backgrounds. Delivery teams work on critical and intricate projects for a diverse array of clients including a major ride-sharing company, a leading automobile manufacturer and a disruptive crowdsourcing platform. Quality and security are crucial in these projects as their impact can be as critical as ensuring the safety of an autonomous vehicle.With the launch of the new delivery center in Bhubaneshwar today, iMerit continues to use the power of human ingenuity to enable advanced computing capabilities. The expansion into Odisha continues an impressive trail of growth which spans the US, Jharkhand and West Bengal. 64 people are already employed and the center has the potential to grow to a total capacity of 300.This successful expansion would not have been possible without the on-ground efforts of Anudip Foundation.Anudip Foundation, iMerit’s skilling partner, has been a pioneer in digital livelihood training since 2007. Anudip is committed to youth development in the fields of digital IT and Financial Literacy, with a special focus on East and North East. Since its inception Anudip has helped over than 60,000 students from over 50 rural and peri-urban locations, to cross the digital divide and gain employable skills.Anudip is a partner of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and is backed by global thought leaders like American India Foundation (AIF), Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), Microsoft, Omidyar Network, Bank of America, CISCO, E-Bay, Tech Mahindra, TATA Group, ITC, Accenture and other community based organizations.Anudip has been active in Odisha since 2013 and has empowered more than 2000 youngsters. The launch of iMerit’s center staffed by alumni of Anudip is a proud moment in the combined journey of the two organizations and a promising model for collaboration and empowerment in the region. Anudip’s regional office is in the same building as iMerit which allows the curriculum to be market aligned and up-to-date with the latest industry inputs from the fast changing and fascinating world of digital data services. Both organizations look forward to healthy growth in the talent-rich state of Odisha.