Celebrating 75 glorious years of remarkable work and contribution, the Mahindra Group continues to inspire. The Group has committed to skilling one million under-resourced youth and providing 100,000 jobs to this segment of the population by 2025, on the occasion of its 75th year milestone.
Over the last 15 years, Mahindra’s skilling initiatives have included Mahindra Pride Schools & Classrooms, SMART ACADEMY, SMART Plus, and Surya Mitra.
Together these initiatives have skilled over 500,000 youth with Mahindra Pride School having created 100,000 jobs in this time period. The organization has committed to skilling another 500,000 youth in the next five years.
At a recent event, Mahindra Group’s Chairman, Anand Mahindra launched a coffee table book by the name ‘The Job Factory’ that beautifully captures the inspiring stories of 75 young alumni of Mahindra Pride School. With an aim to spread awareness about skilling for employability, a digital film #SkillHaiTohFutureHai was launched on social media recently.
In 2005 on its 60th anniversary, the Mahindra Group had taken a pole position towards affirmative action in youth skilling in presence of Hon. Former President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam, and announced the setting up of two Mahindra Pride Schools (MPS) as part of its CSR initiatives. MPS has been spread across the country with centres in Chennai, Pune, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Patna and Varanasi over the years. It is meant exclusively for youth (18-25 years) from socially disadvantaged sections i.e., (SC), (ST), (OBC), Notified Tribes (NT) and De-notified Tribes (DNT). They offer equal opportunity for men and women, with a focus on rural youth. It is non-residential and offers various alternative livelihood options to the students free of cost.
In the wake of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Mahindra Group with Naandi Foundation as the implementation partner, will recalibrate the curriculum to impart employable skills required in the post-COVID era. The updated program will cater to multiple new domains ranging healthcare, agriculture, entrepreneurship, ecommerce, and services in addition to technology.
Commenting on the skilling initiative, Anand Mahindra said, “Mahindra Pride School was created with an aim to nurture and unlock the potential of youth from weaker sections of our society."
"The more I interact with the Pride School alumni I wonder why we address them as youth from ‘weaker’ sections, their indomitable spirit in fact makes them the ‘stronger’ section of our society," shared Mahindra.
"Their achievements and career trajectory strongly complement this viewpoint. I couldn’t be more heartened to see the impact Mahindra Pride School has brought to these youth, living up to the promise we made years ago,” he added.
The Mahindra Pride program was designed with Naandi Foundation to operate as a hub and spoke model. The hub being Mahindra Pride Schools, and the spoke being Mahindra Pride classrooms set up within Polytechnics, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Arts & Science colleges across the country. Naandi Foundation further curated the skilling curriculum in the domains of Retail, Hospitality, ITES and Auto by collaborating with 300-400 corporates in these sectors to ensure its students would be “job ready”. During the pandemic, Mahindra Pride schools worked on remote learning, thus ensuring continuous training for its students.
Sharing his thoughts on the collaboration with Mahindra Pride School and the impact on the future of youth, Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation, said, “Despite our demographic advantage, millions of India’s youth from socially & economically disadvantaged communities never make it to the Job Market in the organized sector. Through the Mahindra Pride School programme we created a unique curriculum that enabled such youth to access these ‘Job readiness courses’ and ensured they got secure proverbial ‘five figure salaried jobs’. The 100,000 jobs that we created is a testimony that the misfortune of an ovarian lottery can be reversed. But for that, we all need to support such efforts.” Manoj has authored the recently launched coffee table book, ‘The Job Factory’
Speaking of the impact of Mahindra Pride Schools, Sheetal Mehta, Senior Vice President – CSR, Mahindra Group, said, “It has been fulfilling to see our graduates being offered placements based on skills learned at Mahindra Pride Schools. Through their jobs, not only have their standards of living improved, but more importantly they are looked upon with respect from their communities. We are confident that in the future too we will be able to create more jobs by focussing on demand driven skills training.”