Is Skill Training the Key to Digital Inclusion?

April 14, 2016

New technologies, more inclusion

It feels as if new and diverse technologies are continually arising (and in some cases disappearing). In some parts of the world, new technology brings excitement and an easier way of life. In others, new technologies might leave out entire communities. Rural and suburban areas of developing countries, which often have minimal infrastructure and resources, often make up these excluded populations. However, that needn’t be the case. iMerit and other companies like Digital Divide Data and Samasource, are working diligently to bring not just resources to these often-excluded countries, but knowledge as well! Furthermore, the newest of these technology trends can reach marginalized populations more and more quickly over time. One of these newer skills sets that iMerit employees have become experts on is what we’ve dubbed SMAC or Social media, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud. Together, these are the shapers of the present and future trends in technology.


With a focus on SMAC technologies – Social media, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Technologies – iMerit teams are entering directly into the forefront of digital trends. Whether they come from technical backgrounds, or if their work at iMerit is their first engagement with digital technologies, learning SMAC skills prepares workers for the future. At present, companies that are not using data to learn the needs of their clients, or engaging with their supporters on social media, or providing mobile-friendly ways to interact are behind, perhaps even out of the race entirely. Having knowledge of the best ways to engage with these technologies, build them, and leverage them for growth prepares our workers for a sustainable future in technology. So, how do we do it?

Building inclusive training at iMerit

Implementing a training program during working hours – encouraging workers to take a break from their work to attend sessions, and counting their training hours as work hours – may not be the traditional practice by crowd companies, or even traditional BPOs, but we are neither a traditional crowd or BPO, are we? At iMerit, we have in-house teams that continually train our workers. We also partner with Anudip Foundation to provide initial and ongoing training to our employees. In one recent training session, we worked with Anudip Foundation and joined hands with the Udemy portal, which offers more than 1000 courses in diverse skills. After the completion of many Udemy courses, students can earn valuable certifications.

For our SMAC training, we offered our employees a full course on social media, mobile, analytics and cloud platforms entirely free. Anyone who was interested in the training program could attend, and we held trainings at each of our centers. With Anudip training partners, we divided our workers into groups and cycled them through the Udemy course. Two Anudip trainers visited each of our centers to oversee the training. In our Salt Lake center in Kolkata, training was divided into two groups. One from 12:00- 2:00 twice a week, and the other from 2:30-4:30. In this training our workers – and myself as I attended the training, too! – learned about the basics of HTML; social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest; how to use the cloud securely and efficiently and much more. The training took us to the core of each topic, giving us a good foundation upon which to become an experts. It was a great learning phase for each of us, and prepared all of us to take on ever more complex and exciting projects.