Munendra – 37th Batch – Admin – 95355-12800
‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.’ – Buddha.
Munendra’s first tongue, when he speaks to a stranger, is English. It is very hard to believe that he, less than 15 months ago, could never speak two sentences in English at a stretch.
Munendra’s native is a suburb of Whitefield. His father was a gardener, and died early, leaving is large family of four sons & two daughters to his wife’s care. This also meant that everyone in the household had to find a job to fend for themselves. Munendra’s mother works in the kitchen of a blind school in the area and makes Rs. 5000 a month. His three brothers do small day jobs like selling milk, undertaking painting contracts etc, for a living. Both his sisters are married. Needless to mention, all attention was on making ends meet and paying off the debts.
Munendra pursued a Bachelors degree in Arts, specializing in EPS (Economics, Political Science & Sociology). Due to the home situation, he could not complete his PU, and went on to take up this degree (with the Class X completion certificate) through distance education while also pursuing a small day job. Munendra’s friend saw an ad in the paper mentioning Unnati & persuaded Munendra to join.
And that decision of joining Unnati, in Munendra’s words, “was the turning point” of his life. He says the training imparted by Unnati, with the involvement of Tata Global Beverages, has taught him many unforgettable lessons for life. And he also went on to explain how these lessons are helping him advance in his professional career today. The following are three of those most important lessons:
- Self Confidence: Munendra says he would fluster in front of 10 people or more. Often he would lose his train of thoughts & would not be able to communicate, in any language that he wanted to. Unnati helped him get over “stage fear” by giving him (and in many cases, forcing students) many opportunities to get in front of a team of people and talk to them / perform.
- Spoken English: He says he always knew the words, but would never be able to string them together. He had 7 small jobs before joining Unnati, but Munendra would be very jittery before he approached any interview since he could not communicate in English. Having chosen the Admin assistant vocation, communication was key to his survival.
- Life Sciences: Munendra recalls that the sessions specific to controlling one’s emotions and keeping up one’s word and time sense (punctuality) are the ones he values the most. He mentioned that he used to be very short tempered before he came to Unnati.
In speaking to Munendra, it is amazing to note how well the three above lessons are helping him. His job at FirstSource, a call centre in Chennai, involves talking to customers. Communication in English is the only way of life. He started his career a year ago by talking to normal customers (I understand he was at a call centre for a mobile service provider). In six months, he was already handling many of colleagues’ “tough” customers, and was promoted to handling “Platinum customers” with 4G connections, a job which was only given to call centre staff with over 2 years of experience.
And over the last 3 months, he has been handling grievances & is responsible for “retention” of platinum customers. This job requires a lot of patience, negotiation skills, customer relationship management and adept communication. Again, Munendra was entrusted with this job within one year of his career, while people with over 3 years experience were vying for this.
Munendra feels very proud, and rightfully so, of his achievements on the job. He says without Unnati, he would not have achieved any of this. His monthly income of Rs. 7500 was more than 100% higher than his mother’s income. He is now back in Bangalore and is confident of a job in the BPO sector of a corporate giant, and already has a Rs. 2.4Lakhs per annum offer.
Team Unnati is very proud of Munendra, wishes him the very best in his next endeavour, and is thankful to Tata Global Beverages (TGB) for their involvement and affirmative action positively impacting this section of society!
Contribution by Sukanya Kuppuswamy ( volunteer )