In early 2005, Actionaid, in collaboration with Stanford University, carried out an ethnographic study in the Ganges Delta region south of Kolkata, which showed that economies of desperately poor and marginalized people can be dramatically impacted by increasing local employment. Subsequently, a group of dedicated social entrepreneurs set up Anudip Foundation to address critical livelihood needs of people of rural India through information technology.
Anudip Foundation began establishing training centers (Market Aligned Skill Training) with three locations in the Sundarbans region of eastern India. These first centers were learning prototypes launched in partnership with community NGOs. They allowed the development of local learning techniques, course content, sustainability of operations, and ease of replication. The growing success of the MAST training centers led to the concept of an iMerit Center, not only to absorb graduates of our MAST centers, but also to address the burgeoning growth of the BPO sector in India and the global market. In its first phase, spanning two years, iMerit was thus incubated by Anudip foundation under the nonprofit umbrella. In April 2012, iMerit moved to its second phase as an independent commercial Web Enabled IT Service company with a social mission. In the coming year, iMerit will expand its operations to many Indian states.