Business Education

Driving social impact digitally in rural hamlets, tribal villages

Written by PaperDabba

Corporate360, a sales technology start-up based in rural Kerala, is taking digital education to the less-privileged and tribal villages and families.

The company offers SaaS-based marketing data cloud software to help B2B marketers discover sales leads, ideal buyer profiles and competitive intelligence.

House visits

“Our volunteers visit the villages every weekend to provide digital education,” says Varun Chandran, the young Chief Executive and Business Head, Corporate360. “Last year, we saw over 50 volunteers spend over 300 hours with the local community so we can make a real difference.”

He told BusinessLine that the 50 members of Corporate360 go out in five-member groups every weekend. “For instance, in Padam village, on the outskirts of Pathanapuram town where we are based, we meet villagers at the panchayat thozhil parisheelanakendram.

“In the Vellamthetty tribal village, we operate from the anganavadi school. We bring along laptops, Internet dongles and projectors with us,” says Chandran. One session lasts three hours and the average attendance is 50. Consistent efforts are made to ensure house visits to educate parents and raise awareness.

Parental interest

The session is a combination of playful and interactive learning experience which creates student excitement.

“We also provide annual student tour to keep them interested. We see tremendous improvement in parental and student interest,” Chandran said.

The learning module include periodical tests to ascertain their improvement in communication and presentation skills.

Team-based skill building projects are given out to track performance. Those who perform well and with the right attitude are offered scholarships, school kits, further internships and job opportunities.

The programme has completed one year, and the success has prompted Corporate360 to institutionalise what I calls social enterprise impact-driven model.

Poor opportunities

“Living a cross-continent life, we see both sides – the forefront of innovation and communities where technology is still foreign,” says Chandran. For instance, in Padam village, kids live in the confines of their traditional culture, without exposure to role models. Qualitative education opportunities are poor and youth end up living a rural lifestyle like their parents did.

This is reiterated by the over-influence of religious practices, superstitions, and local politics. Often, this leads to involvement in crime, alcoholism, drugs and violence. Digital technology is the future of work. “We are volunteering to track students from villages to deliver digital awareness.” and skill-based educational program.

This includes computer training, communication skills, English lessons, character building, personality development, career guidance, skill-based training and life learning.

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