Gender, Employment and Gigification: Why We Invested in Voiz
"By building a distributed marketplace for gig workers and matching them with end clients who have flexible demand, Voiz is generating livelihoods for thousands of individuals from the Next Half Billion. It is also bringing into workforce women who prefer to work from home on flexible projects, and equipping them with the right tools and training"
India’s tele-calling industry – as a largely outsourced model – projects employment to the tune of 1.1-1.3 million people. Between larger players and smaller contact centres, that’s a formidable number. The opportunity here is also layered: it implies large-scale livelihood opportunities for Indians, specifically for whom flexibility or income supplementation has become a focal point. Larger clients are on the lookout for quality resources who match their flexible hiring requirements. Market observation and research reveal that companies are having to consider moving their in-house or outsourced tele-calling teams from on-premise delivery to remote WFH models post COVID-19. Specifically with regard to the female demographic, who downshifted careers to prioritise home.
Even as legacy players undergo the mentioned shifts, their tech systems aren’t robust enough for end-to-end support. Some of them are even sub-contracting remote demand to smaller companies. Even globally, not many efficient solutions have emerged. Hence, this is an opportunity for a tech-first player to capture existing market share from the large players’ incumbents and provide supply for remote workers. Responding from a technology standpoint, Voiz – a steadily growing customer support and telesales marketplace is building capabilities across the value chain – hiring to training to deployment to payouts.
Processing such Future of Work insights, our investment in Voiz seeks to address newer tele-calling industry demands and significantly re-position India on the global map for sustainable tele-calling resources for small and big players. It is an opportunity to create large-scale digital livelihoods for the Next Half Billion (NHB) and override the gender disparity impact of COVID-19.
Voiz is leveraging technology and building a distributed marketplace for remote tele-callers by matching a new supply of contact centre agents (primarily women re-entering the workforce in the last 15 months) with managed contact centres and end clients with flexible demand. Voiz started by taking ownership of a complete project for the client i.e., hiring, deploying and managing the workers. These learnings now fuel expansion as a platform to enable both SMEs and enterprises to hire, train and manage these workers on their own. Voiz also provides tech solutions for small contact centers to service this demand, which they otherwise would not be able to manage independently. The training focus addresses a longstanding industry pain point of high attrition to the tune of 40% exits within 12 months of joining.
Voiz has steadily built solutions for talent search, training, onboarding, agent management, and CRM tools that create high-quality experiences for all clients. In doing so, a few market developments have led to Voiz becoming a pioneer in the following business dimensions:
1. Remote, distributed CX contact centres: Reduction in office rental costs, improved technology, and smoothly run remote set-ups have developed client comfort in remote CX centres even as core functions move back offline.
2. Expanding supply to a new base: High churn in the industry plus openness to remote has meant clients are comfortable working with a new base of unemployed women who prefer WFH, once equipped with pertinent tools and training.
3. Gigification of the CX model: Freelancing of agents is creating work-hours flexibility and enabling full-time/part-time/project-based roles.
4. Serving SMBs for the first time: Gigification + cloud-based technology and tools for managing the CX workforce + third-party -managed marketplace model has meant that small & medium businesses can now be served by CX agents for the first time.
In summary, the Voiz differentiation remains in having a 100% gig workforce for tele-calling, a marketplace model for working and not competing with other contact centres, focus on building robust technology for demand-supply workflow automation and providing a one-stop solution for the client’s needs around tele-calling.
The impact of this business model is manifold:
1. For many agents, Voiz provides the first income earning opportunity with an average income on the platform ranging between ₹10-12K per month.
2. More than 60% of the agents are women who live in tier II/III/IV cities. The flexible work hours and remote location helps them re-enter the workforce and work as per their convenience
As NHB users build digital comfort, the internet becomes an income generation and supplementation opportunity. We expect Voiz to engage with and provide employement to more 100K workers in the coming years. And that is Why We Invested.