Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The First Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is Coming to Kashmir

Sajad discusses an exciting new business that is about to land in Srinagar

(Mr. Sajad Kralyari, 28, was born in Kralyar, Srinagar. He had his early schooling at the General Public Mission (GPM) School, and his higher secondary education from the Government High School. He completed his B.Sc. from the Gandhi Memorial College, Rainawari, Srinagar, and Master's degree in journalism from the Media Educational Research Centre (MERC), University of Kashmir in 2008. He subsequently did a brief stint in New Delhi before returning as a correspondent for the Rising Kashmir, working on business and economy related stories.)

AEGIS to start operation in 15 days

Srinagar: With 200 youth already being trained for over a month, AEGIS Srinagar is all set to launch outsourcing services after two weeks. This would be first BPO to start its operation in Kashmir Valley.

“We have invested here in Srinagar and are looking for long term returns. We see huge potential in Kashmir and with the help of local talent we are functioning. All the leadership team is local,” said President Aegis, Sudhir Agarwal. “It will take only two weeks for the actual calls to come.”

Agarwal said the infrastructure put in place here is a notch ahead of other 42 delivery centers across India and other countries.

“There is a problem of space outside Kashmir. But here we have enough space and all calls would be received under one roof, which is totally amazing. We can have eye on all the customer care executives that would help us work more effectively,” said Agarwal.

Aegis Srinagar plans to recruit 1000 more people after adding infrastructure for more client services.

“After successful completion of one year or so, trained employee from here would be sent outside the State and abroad for further training or work,” said President Aegis.

“We have the technology in place and can manage all types of jobs,” said Zahool A Malik, the Essar Group State head.

The facility has also provided an opportunity for hundreds of Kashmiris working in Delhi and NCR to return home.

“Over 15 per cent of the workforce in BPO sector in Delhi and NCR is from Kashmir and they all are seeking an opening to be back with expertise,” said an official at Aegis Srinagar

Some of the Kashmiris working in Delhi have joined Aegis Srinagar in HR and IT.

Presently, the employees come in different shifts for training and are provided Rs 4000 monthly remuneration.

“After they start working their salary would be enhanced. They are paid at par with the employees at other centers across India during training. They have an advantage as that they are at home,” said the official.

Team leaders also appreciated the communication skills of trainees.

“Kashmiris have good communication skills. The trainees are also good at presentation and communication,” said a team leader, Amir Banday.

With around six million users serviced by seven cell phone operators, J&K has a huge call centre market available locally, but it’s one that is under-exploited.

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