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Livelihood Training - Mahindra Pride School

In total there are eight Mahindra Pride Schools (MPS) across the country- three schools in Chennai, Pune, Patna, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Srinagar. The schools are meant exclusively for youth (18-25 years) from socially disadvantaged sections i.e., (SC), (ST), (OBC), Notified Tribes (NT) and De-notified Tribes (DNT); offering 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. 'Road Shows' are conducted for a month in specific communities / hamlets with a high SC/ST/OBC/NT/DNT population to spread information about MPS and encourage the youth to enroll for the training offered by the school. Students are then assigned suitable courses depending on their personality, aptitude and interest, which are judged through intensive written tests and personal interaction at the time of admission itself.


From inception in 2007, as of December 2017, 25,092 students from socially disadvantaged communities have been successfully placed after receiving training in one of the three areas of Hospitality Craft, Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES - for BPOs & KPOs) and Retail Customer Relationship Management. The job placement record across batches continues to be 100% across the eight locations.


50.24% have been recruited in IT-enabled services. In Information Technology (IT), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), students were placed in reputed companies like Syntel KPO, AXA KPO, Knack BPO, Infosys, Cognizant, TCS, HCL & other IT companies like Capgemini, Wipro, Computer Science Corporation, CSS Corp, WNS, Media Assist, Dish TV, Airsoft Infotech, Empower Solutions, Pay TM, Reliance Insurance, Fidelity, Barclays, Paypal etc.


30.08% have been placed in the hospitality sector. Here, students were placed in Sterling Holidays, Hotel Khyber, Hilton, Patliputra Exotika, The Lalit, JW Marriott, PVR Cinemas, California Pizza Kitchen, Hard Rock Café, Costa Coffee, Lavasa, Little Italy, New Mega Palace, Ammi Biryani, Burger King, Absolute Barbeque, Lite Bite Foods, Nishat Café, Pataliputra Continental, Courtyards Suites.


11.47% MPS students got placed in top Retail & Lifestyle companies like Westside, Fashion Beach House, Reliance Trends, Soft Infotech Marketing, Shopper’s Stop.


8.21% placements were in other sectors like accounting, administrative fields and automotive.



Mahindra Pride School Employability Enhancement Module:


In addition to the 8 Mahindra Pride Schools, the Mahindra Pride School Employability Enhancement Module has been rolled out in a number of Polytechnics and Arts & Science Colleges with the objective of scaling up and reaching out to a much larger number of students in the most cost efficient manner.  By partnering with state governments and private educational institutions, classrooms in these institutions have been dedicated to Mahindra Pride School for skill upgradation of the students. The Mahindra Pride Classroom model has two streams – 1) for skill upgradation purposes only, 2) skill upgradation with placements. The skill upgradation module covers English Speaking, Life Skills, Aptitude, Interview, Group Discussion and Digital Literacy for a duration of 54 hours. 


Flagged off in FY17, Mahindra Pride Classrooms have till date delivered the Enhancing Employability Skills module through 1307 classrooms to 56,380 students of select University /Colleges /Polytechnics /ITIs  in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh.

The Mahindra Pride Classroom model also engages a full time placement coordinator in every state who is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that our placement goals are met. A notable point is that almost 50% of the students  are keen to pursue further education (for e.g. Diploma students continue to pursue graduate degree courses after receiving their diploma). For the balance 50% who have signed up for the ‘Skills upgrade plus placements” module, the placement process is ongoing. It is expected that 100% of these students will be placed in the coming months.


Over the next 3 years, the Mahindra Pride Classrooms plans to train 1,40,000 students. 

Mahindra Pride School’s 100% placement record ensures every one of its students the first and sure step towards economic independence. With this step, the students’ family progresses towards a better future and so they Rise for Good too. Almost all of the students have some of the most heart-warming RISE stories.


One such RISE story is of Kanmani. Don’t quit, is an adage that many elders tell us when we are tired or dispirited. But this is the motto that Kanmani has followed throughout her life to become a living tale of rags to riches. When she was only 3, her father committed suicide, leaving her mother to fend for herself and their 3 daughters. Her mother would sell flowers on Marina Beach in Chennai, and would return only after 8-10 hours. Life wasn’t kind, so much so that many nights they had to go to bed on an empty stomach. When Kanmani turned 5, her mother enrolled her in the government school, just so that she would get her only meal of the day. She recalls that from the age of 10, she used to return from school and carry a head load of flowers to sell in order to supplement the meagre family income. But life had sunshine in store for her, yet. Since Kanmani got good grades in Std XII, her mother was determined to put her through college, come what may. Kanmani went on to not only complete her B. Com degree, but she also secured a job at a local grocery store where she earned Rs. 5000 per month. This is where she met an MPS alumnus who was working for an MNC and suggested that Kanmani would benefit by enrolling at MPS.


When Kanmani passed the entrance test, she was delighted to find out that the 90 day course was not just free, but that she would be provided a nutritious lunch daily, along with a bus pass. Kanmani fondly recalls the efforts taken by her trainers to instil knowledge, skills and confidence in every student.


She aced her first job interview at an HP BPO and started working with them at a monthly salary of Rs. 17,000. It’s been well over a year that she has been working with HP, but she is yet to come to terms with the dramatic changes in her life, “I still cannot believe that I, who led a life of abject poverty for 17 years, am actually working for a multinational like HP.” She firmly believes in the concept of payback and has inspired over a dozen aspiring youngsters who like her, come from dire circumstances. “Seeing them work in companies like Dell, Cap Gemini and Accenture fills me with joy and pride,” says the 21 year old, who has been commended for her work and now earns Rs. 2.50 lacs annually.

Happy Sharma’s is another RISE story from Mahindra Pride School, Chandigarh. Happy had a particularly tragic beginning when fate snatched away his father in an accident. Happy was just two at the time. His father was a farmer with a small land holding, so his mother had no recourse but to take her 2-year-old child and go to live with her brother. 


Happy’s uncle had his own family to support and hence Happy and his mother had to struggle. Fortunately, his uncle valued education and ensured Happy continued to study till Std XII. Happy’s good grades meant that he could have got admission  in a government run Industrial Training Institute for a three-year diploma but he didn’t want his uncle spending more for his studies and started to look for a job which would give him a working wage.


At this point, fate intervened in the form of a friend - an alumnus of MPS (full form), Chandigarh. He exhorted the 20yearold Happy to enrol at MPS. Though the 90-day course was free and fully funded by the Mahindra Group, Happy knew that he could not even afford the modest bus fare to attend the course for 3 months. Then his friend informed him about the free pick-up and drop which the school provided – and the rest, as they say, is history.


Happy enrolled in the Hospitality course, and also got training in Digital Literacy, spoken English, Life Skills, Social Etiquette and Communication. This completely transformed his personality and gave his confidence a tremendous boost. So much so, that he nailed his first interview at Pizza Hut and was offered the role of a Customer Service Representative with a monthly salary of Rs. 11,000. “My uncle and my mother were so proud of me!” he says, reminiscing about that memorable day.


He then took the momentous step of moving out of his uncle’s house and started staying independently with his mother, “I did not want to continue being a burden on my uncle who had looked after us for 18 years” said Happy.


He worked at Pizza Hut for a little over a year and then on his own, got a better job in the retail giant Lifestyle where his pay package was higher. He continued to return to the Mahindra Pride School and inspire other youngsters like himself to enrol. Little did he know that these visits would pay off handsomely; he came to know about a company in Dubai which was looking to hire students/alumni from MPS. Almost instantly, he had an interview with the Landmark Group, over a Skype call. Within a week, he was told that he had aced the interview and was selected, among others, on a monthly salary of Rs. 40,000 (2200 Dirhams).


He has been working there for almost a year and with regular incentives, his monthly income now averages at Rs. 45000 a month, of which he saves around Rs. 30,000. “The work is hard, but the income makes it worthwhile”, says a beaming Happy. His immediate plan is to get his mother to come and live with him in Dubai since she’s alone in Chandigarh.