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4th Annual First Givers Club

4th Annual First Givers Club Summit Report

 

From the summit day

An enlightening evening on philanthropy

The 4th Annual FGC Summit took place on 28th October at the Palladium hotel in Mumbai. Unlike previous years, the GiveIndia team organized two interesting and enriching sessions for the FGC members this year. CEO of GiveIndia, Mr Dhaval Udani, started off the occasion with a welcome note thanking the members for their continued support.

The afternoon session on “Emerging Livelihood Models” began with a keynote speech by Mr S. Ramadorai on the importance of inclusive growth for sustaining business growth and leaders from 5 NGOs, working in the area of creating sustainable livelihood, talking about their livelihood models, measures of success and the pressing challenges. The afternoon ended with a brainstorming session, where FGC members and NGO speakers came together to find solutions to the challenges faced by the NGOs.

The evening session on “Insights from Remarkable Givers began with a personal and passionate speech by two renowned businessmen, Mr M.V Subbiah, former Chairman of Murugappa Group and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Mr Harsh Mariwala, Chairman and MD of Marico and Founder of Ascent Foundation. The contrast in the two speakers’ individual philanthropic journey enticed the members. The evening ended with a moderated session by Mr Venkat Krishnan, Founder of GiveIndia, with two extraordinary philanthropists, Mr Dushyant Joshi, Founder and MD of Azure and Mr Sanjay Jain, MD of TT Limited. The speakers shared their individual stories on how they are creating a tenfold impact with a small personal investment per year.

Speakers at the Summit

Mr S. Ramadorai
Chairman, National Skill Development Agency

Talking about his personal calling and his current responsibilities as the Chairman of NSDA, Mr S Ramadorai said, “Doing what you believe in is one of the most essential things in life. My own calling in the last two years has been skilling the youth of the country and initiating the largest talent building exercise in the world. The vision of skill development is to have access, affordability and aspiration and to connect them all together.”

Mr M.V Subbiah
Former Chairman, Murugappa Group & Former Chairman, National Skill Development Corporation

A third generation businessman and philanthropist, Mr M.V Subbiah shared his family tradition of giving, which began with the business. In a candid conversation with the audience, Mr Subbiah said “My grandfather believed that water in a well in a house will only quench the thirst of the family but water in the village pond will quench thirst of the entire village. Giving is encouraged in our family from an early age and it is mandatory for us to retire at 65 years so we can dedicate our efforts to giving back to society. We are already inculcating the culture of giving in our 5th generation by encouraging them to keep aside part of their allowance for charity.”

Mr Harsh Mariwala
Chairman and Managing Director, Marico

Being someone who has  recently embarked on his journey of giving, Mr Harsh Mariwala said, “According to me, the first 25 years of a person’s life should be dedicated to learning, the next 25 years to earning and the following 25 years to giving. One also finds that the urge to give becomes stronger as you get older. For me it is important to feel passionate about what I am giving and hence I concentrate on innovation and entrepreneurship. The giving movement has resurfaced and thanks to organizations like GiveIndia, it is gaining momentum.

Inspiring stories of leverage at the summit

Mr Sanjay Jain
Managing Director, TT Limited & Co-convener, Project Udaan

Speaking on project Udaan, Mr Jain said that the education initiative is trying to eliminate the cost of tuition for the deserving students from poor families so that education becomes affordable for them. Udaan is able to waive the tuition fees by persuading universities and colleges to give away the extra seats that remain available even after regular intake.

Mr Dushyant Joshi
Founder and MD, TT Limited

When a friend, who is owner of a large export house that produces high quality naans for overseas consumers, told Mr Joshi about the everyday wastage of the surplus naans, he decided to distribute them to the hungry. However, after approaching NGOs and homes for destitute, Mr Joshi realised that the process of giving is not as easy as he assumed. Thus, he bought a van and hired a driver to distribute these naans to the needy.

NGOs at the summit

Unnati

Unnati empowers youth from poor economic background for sustainable livelihood through vocational training. Speaking on the NGOs work, Mr Ramesh Swamy, co-founder of Unnati said that the 70 days of training offered free of cost to the poor youths doesn’t just prepare them for a job, but transforms their lives by providing life skills and a hope of a better future.

Pipal Tree Foundation

Pipal Tree trains rural youths, through 19 training centres across five states in India, in various skills required in the construction industry and offers 100% job placement. It runs and manages the training centres through its for profit enterprise called the Pipal Tree Venture. Speaking on his biggest challenge, founder, Mr Santosh Parulekar said that despite the opportunity to make a good living, it is difficult to persuade young people to both apply to the program and retain them.

Youth4jobs

Youth4Jobs is dedicated to training the differently-able and underprivileged youth and help them in finding employment. Speaking on the differently able employees, founder of the NGO, Ms Meera Shenoy said that employers are slowly realizing that once trained and settled into a job, these employees become the most loyal and sincere employees of the organization.

PRADAN

PRADAN focuses on nurturing Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of poor women and setting upmechanisms to sustain the livelihood gains made by the poor communities. Speaking on why the focus is mainly on women SHG, Mr Manas Satpathy, Executive Director of PRADAN, said that while women play a vital role in fostering change in their communities, they are still the most disadvantaged group and hence need more attention.

AIACA

From supporting policy-making to providing platforms that assist craft producers to sell their products and become commercially sustainable organizations, AIACA is proactively working towards uplifting both the trade and lives of poor craft workers. Speaking about the industry, Ms Amita Puri, CEO of AIACA said that it is unfortunate that despite being the second largest industry in providing employment opportunities in India, handicraft industry doesn’t receive serious attention from policy-makers.

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