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From Buzzwords to Reality: Impact Sourcing and AI for Social and Business Advancement | Blog

Discover the transformative power of impact sourcing firsthand through Everest Group’s sustainability teams’ eye-opening visit to a NextWealth center in rural India.

Stepping out of our vehicle after a sixhour trip from our office in Bengaluru, Karnataka, to visit Mahendra NextWealths center in Mallasamudram (near Salem) in Tamil Nadu, little did we know how profoundly our convictions about impact sourcing would deepen. Terms such as automation, AI, inclusion, and sustainability are typically discussed as separate buzzwords in organizations; impact sourcing commendably brings them together. The Everest Group team quickly saw NextWealth’s operationalization of the impact sourcing model seamlessly combines the two worlds. Let’s share more about what we saw during our visit in this blog.

Seeing impact sourcing in action

NextWealth was founded in 2008 to employ graduates in less populated small Indian towns with colleges but limited job opportunities. The founders are Wipro veterans who have made a conscious decision to create opportunities that do not require migration to cities, maintaining social cohesion. Yet the service offerings do not differ from traditional providers, including AI/Machine Learning (AI/ML), Information Technology (IT) services, and Business Process Services (BPS) under a managed services model. Their diverse set of clients include tech, e-commerce, fintech, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), and healthcare.

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The Everest Group team with the NextWealth team in Mallasamudram, Tamil Nadu, India.

Leveraging impact sourcing to drive business growth: a three-pillar approach

Everest Group has written extensively about the variety of ways businesses can integrate impact sourcing with their operational strategies. NextWealth specifically achieves this by using a threepillar approach focused on:

  1. Strategic talent location: Hiring the right talent by establishing centers in areas with an ample workforce yet limited career opportunities in those locations
  1. Promising markets: Targeting high-growth services such as data annotation and AI solutions that allow the company to scale operations
  1. Systematic skills development: Creating step-by-step-based training modules for the delivery of services, resulting in increased efficiency and quality, as well as transferable talent

 

Impact sourcing through strategic location selection 

The primary qualifications for impact sourcing are employing typically excluded individuals in a deliberate manner. NextWealth intentionally hires graduates, particularly women, with limited access to quality jobs from India’s smaller cities, creating positive social impact and business gains. The centers are established in towns with colleges, thereby guaranteeing a stream of graduates. These locations also have a reliable internet connection (physical and digital infrastructure), a stable operating and business environment, and cultural ties to the community, including Chittoor, Hubli, Bhilai, Vellore, Puducherry, and Udaipur.  

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NextWealth’s team briefs the Everest Group analysts on how they use data annotation to automate security scans for luggage at airports and railway stations.

Delivery of high-growth services through sustained employment and skilling

Much of the societal discussion about generative AI (gen AI) is the elimination of jobs because of efficiency and automated tasks. Instead, we saw how embracing gen AI can also enable job creation. The NextWealth delivery we witnessed included AI/ML training data solutions, customer experience (CX) design, and auditing these solutions. We saw self-checkout store error analyses, product fraud detection design, and product placement with marketing tools. These services are delivered after rigorous training on the solutions and feedback loops to improve quality/efficiency.

The ultimate objective of impact sourcing is social impact 

Here are some of the social impact outcomes that particularly impressed the analysts and left a lasting mark:  

  • The recruitment focus on women has begun to reshape the perception of their role in society. Their marriage age in surrounding communities has increased by 2.5 years 
  • Hybrid work options have enabled many who might otherwise be unable to pursue careers 
  • The low attrition rate of about 12% is an indicator of a positive workplace culture and employee experience. It has also afforded the opportunity to promote within 

As we set out on our journey back from Mallasarudram to Bengaluru, the fatigue of the trip was overshadowed by the wonder of what we had just experienced. While we are aware of the constant Darwinian evolution of the global services industry, it was truly incredible to witness in practice a firm leveraging impact sourcing to create broader societal impact through a sustainable and prosperous business model. 

Read more about Everest Group’s impact sourcing research and our latest report, Impact Sourcing for Sustainable Development and a Brighter Future: Impact Sourcing State of the Market 2023. Contact the analysts who visited NextWealth: Rita N. Soni, Aiswarya Barjatya, Kanishka Chakraborty, and Mohammed Riyaz.

GSA’S Sustainable Sourcing Symposium | Conference

conference

GSA’S SUSTAINABLE SOURCING SYMPOSIUM

January 31, 2024

The GSA Symposium 2024 will kick-start your year with all the insights and tools you need to drive more sustainable sourcing throughout 2024.

David Rickard, Partner at Everest Group, will be doing the opening keynote, sharing insights from our Key Issues 2024 study. David will delve into key business challenges, strategies, and industry insights, to help kickstart your year and stay ahead of the curve in 2024.

Everest Group’s Key Issues 2024 study captures the pulse of IT-BP industry leaders from across the globe to uncover major concerns, expectations, and trends, and how they plan to drive accelerated value through global services in 2024. Themes include the global services industry outlook, key business challenges and priorities, expectations from service providers, expected changes in outsourcing deals, digital and next-generation capability priorities, and the impact of Gen AI, among others.

Where:  DLA Piper, 160 Aldersgate St, Barbican, London, EC1A 4HT

REGISTER

Rickard David
David Rickard
Partner, Everest Group

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