Our biggest CSR project was a monumental milestone in not just our company’s history, but that of Sri Lanka.
In 2007 Infomate together with the John Keells Foundation and FARO (Foundation for Advancing Rural Opportunities), embarked on a groundbreaking initiative to launch the country’s first recorded rural BPO in the village of Mahawilachchiya.
While much of our economic and commercial activities are concentrated in Colombo, rural areas see little to no development with youth remaining unemployed even though there are many driven and talented young people in these areas. Our aim was to create jobs for these young people without them having to leave their families and away from a lifestyle that they love.
Our first rural BPO project was in Mahawilachchiya, a rural village in the Anuradhapura district where we were able to offer jobs for 45 young people. There was a computer class in this village, and we selected candidates who showed promising skills in computers as well as accounting to begin our training with them. Transport is a problem in this village as buses are few and far apart and residents very rarely have their own vehicles. Most of the young people, as soon as they’re capable of it, invest in a scooter or motorbike to get around and most of our employees were able to do so within a few years of working at Infomate. The families here engage in agriculture as livelihood and there have been many instances where our employees have been able to work in the fields and support their families while working for Infomate.
After the success of our first project, we expanded our rural BPO services to Seenigama in the Southern province where we were able to create jobs for 40 young people in 2010. This had been six years after the Tsunami affected many of the families here with loss of life and property.
Our 3rd project was in Jaffna in the Northern Province which is an area that had seen the worst of the 30 year old civil war. We were fortunate to find and train 15 employees since 2014 and do our part in the rebuilding efforts since the war.
In total, the three BPO offices carry out approximately 1,200,000 transactions annually. With continuous training and support from the management, we see that the employees thrive and evolve in their personal as well as professional lives. In addition, in all our BPO offices, we emphasise on having similar infrastructure and workstyles as our Colombo office so that everyone is united under Infomate. We’re extremely proud of the workforce in each of our branches as they prove to show exceptional progress throughout the years, with many of the employees exceeding five years with Infomate.
These three projects led us to create a successful business model for rural BPOs that addresses human resources capacity challenges of the industry and unemployment at a national level.
John Keells Foundation
- The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) entity of the John Keells Group which- since its establishment in March 2005- drives the Group’s CSR initiatives from the centre
- A company limited by guarantee and duly incorporated under the Companies Act, No.17 of 1982 and re-registered under the Companies Act No.7 of 2007 (Registration No. GA 2); also registered under the Voluntary Social Service Organizations (Registration & Supervision) Act, No. 31 of 1980 (as amended) (Registration No. L-98004)
- Carries out a range of Medium – Long term strategic and sustainable projects within six Focus Areas reflecting the diversity within the John Keells Group
- Initiatives under each Focus Area are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the United Nations Global Compact