Gujarat BPO saved Texans from Rita’s wrath
Worked Round The Clo0ck Providing Life-Saving Info
When hundreds of frantic Texans were desperately scrambling to find the nearest shelter to protect themselves from the raging Hurricane Rita late ;last week, it was a little – known call centre on the other side of the global—in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar –that proved to be a life-saver.
Headed by American Jim Iyoob,a team of 325 – odd Gujarati staffers at the Gandhinagar centre of the US –based BPO, Effective Tele services ,worked round the clock to guide over 700 residents of the coastal towns of Lufkin and Nacoghdoces in Texas to safety when Rita struck. The call centre worked from midnight on Friday till 4 am on Sunday ,providing precious life-saving information like addresses of shelters to fleeing evacuees after Rita threatened to flatten Texas
Iyoob said senior Texas judge Robert Hurst had made a distress call in the wee hours of Saturday requesting that a 24-hour helpline be set up in India for victims of Rita, Iyoob said that he got a frantic call and I set up the helpline in order to assist evacuees from near the Gulf of Mexico locate places for shelter adding at that time only around 12 people had been manning the helpline.
The fact that Iyoob had lived in Texas and was familiar with the hurricane-affected areas helped a great deal in providing better assistance to the shelter- seekers. The calls of the evacuees on the Texas helpline numbers were diverted to the BPO’s Gandhinagar centre after its call centres at Nacogdoches and Lufkin were closed down because of the hurricane cane threat.
Iyoob said he and his team managed to gather all the information required like the nearest schools and community centres in the shortest possible time and got onto the job after a quick training session. The call centre employees used maps and information about evacuation plans provided by the local authorities to direct callers to shelters ,away from the path of the destructive hurricane.
In the first 12 hours of the operation ,the centre is understood to have received 500 calls from people living in the vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico hunting for a safe haven .Millions were evacuated before hurricane Rita hit the US Gulf Coast and caused renewed flooding in New Orleans as well as power and property damage along the Texas-Louisiana coast.