Mahindra Pride School: Building opportunities

Poorna Kulkarni
Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Mahindra Pride School has trained nearly 60,000 youth over the years and made them employable through Naandi Foundation. We bring you the success stories.

Youth form a major part of the population and play a vital role in building the nation. But often, youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds, although possessing immense talent and inclination to learning, are deprived of right career opportunities. In order to bridge this gap, Mahindra Pride school (MPS), a flagship of the Mahindra group, focuses on youth skilling initiatives. 

Operating under K C Mahindra Educational Trust in collaboration with Naandi foundation, MPS provides training programmes of 90 days in Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Hospitality, Organised Retail and Automobile Sector (Chennai) for youth between the age group 18 and 24. 
We speak to some alumni to know more about their journey post their training in MPS. 

Success stories 
Swati Gamangatti, B.Sc, decided to take up the Hospitality course under MPS to financially support her mother, who worked as a housemaid. Gamangatti says that her training under MPS made her independent. Speaking of her journey so far, she says, “I joined the Hospitality Craft course, in 2011, through my brother’s reference, who had done the course earlier. There I got to learn about computer operations, speaking in English, how to deliver service in the hotel industry and so on. They also arranged hotel visits for us. The reason I chose this sector was because after graduation, there weren’t many options for me to explore. I saw good opportunities for myself in the hospitality sector and decided to go ahead. After the course, I got placed in McDonalds where I worked for six years, during which I got rapid promotions. Later I joined Lite Bite Foods at Pune airport for a year as assistant restaurant manager and currently, I am working in the same position at Huber & Holly, an ice cream store.” 
She adds that due to these opportunities, she could financially contribute to the weddings of her sisters and also support her mother.
 
Getting a job with no background can be a task. Similar was the case of Aishwarya Potdar, a commerce graduate, who moved to Pune from Udgir with her mother due to personal emergencies. She says. “After graduation, I had no job for around two years, because of which my confidence levels had gone down. One of my friends suggested that I join MPS where they train students for free and help them in getting placements. But I was sceptical as to who would give training for free. Still, I went ahead and enrolled in ITES course in 2017. The staff there helped me build my confidence, as that was most important for me,” she recalls.

She adds that at MPS, she learnt the skills required for cracking interviews, communication and a few more. Currently, she is working with Cognizant for two and half years in the health care sector. “Even if I wish to make a shift to the finance sector in future, I can always go back to MPS for assistance as they can guide me in advanced training in any sector I wish to take up,” she says. 

Dipak Sonawane too was sceptical when he learnt that MPS provides free training and 100 per cent placements for students. He joined MPS in ITES course in 2014 to further his prospects. 

“My father is an auto driver and he also sells vegetables, runs a lassi and juice shop and selling sugarcane juice on buses. Most of my education was through distance learning. After doing my Masters in Social Work, in 2012, a friend’s father told me about MPS. I used to think it was difficult to get into the IT industry but after joining MPS, I realised it was otherwise. The course helped me to brush  up my skills and after listening to previous students’ experiences, I felt motivated,” Sonawane says and adds, “Recently, I was selected in big companies, thanks to the guidance I received at MPS. I know one thing, even if I wish to take up a job at an international level, MPS can guide me correctly.” 

There was a time when Sonawane used to think twice before spending Rs 3 on a cup of tea and now he can afford to spend Rs 3000 on a family meal, he points out.

Gap Builders
The CSR activities by the corporates are a form of giving back to the society. There are many who work in environment and other sectors but Mahindra decided to create a platform for underprivileged youngsters to build their lives. Sheetal Mehta, senior vice president, CSR, Mahindra Group and executive director, K C Mahindra Education Trust, says, “Mahindra group has been giving back to society since its inception. We serve three sectors -- girls, youth and farmers. We support girls from underprivileged sections with education, teach marginal farmers with the most effective farming techniques through our project Hariyali and plant a million trees a year. The youth form a major part of India’s current population and they will contribute to the economy if they get the right education and skills that match the needs of industry. In K C Mahindra Education Trust’s 60th year, we started two MPSs. Today we have nine such schools and have 100 per cent placements. Under MPS, we provide students with the skills and training that would make them employable.” 

Raj Iyer, national director, MPS and Mahindra Pride Classrooms, says, “We have MPSs set up in cities like Pune, Chennai, Patna, Srinagar, Hyderabad and Varanasi. We have tied up with MNCs like TCS, Wipro, KFC, and many more and have placed our students there. Our trainers are from the industry and we make sure that every student gets recruited. Also, we tied up with various polytechnic colleges and train final year students on aptitude, group discussion and so on. It’s called Mahindra Pride Classroom (MPC). MPC is a 40 to 60 hours distilled module of MPS syllabus. In Maharashtra 60,000 students and in Pune, around 20,000 students have benefited under MPS.”

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