Ruma Rao already had more than eight years of experience in the outsourcing industry before the beginning of the financial crisis. She was taking care of pre-sales in her organisation and handled transition of programmes to India from their clients. “My role initially required a lot of travel. Once my daughter was born, I moved into a pre-sales role which required less travel.” However, despite moving to a different role, the travel did not really come down to levels she could reasonably manage. Work hours too were extended. “It was too much to handle. My daughter was two-and-a-half years old. And I didn’t see myself in pre-sales in the long-run anyway. I just decided to call it quits,” Rao says. That was January 2008, just before the financial crisis. Rao quit work and took a break for a year and a half. By the time she was thinking of making a comeback, the financial crisis had unfolded.
She started applying for work, and in the process heard about the Tata Second Career Internship Programme for Women (TCSIP). TSCIP is a career re-entry programme for women who had taken a break from work. “It was the second year of the TSCIP and they were advertising. I applied in mid-2009 and by October I had started working under the programme,” says Rao.
TSCIP is one of the earliest re-entry programmes in the country aimed at bringing back the talent pool of working women who opted out of workforce and wanted to come back. Under the programme, Tata group companies provide live business projects with approximately 500 hours of engagement and this is spread over a period of six months.
“Even today we have an active database with almost 7,500 TSCIP applications of women who are willing to work. More than 600 interns have joined us in over 1,000 projects since the inception of the programme and about 100 of them have joined as full-time employees so far,” says NS Rajan, group chief human resources officer at Tata Sons.
Over the last few years, a number of other organisations have