Transforming lives - Empower Pragati joins the Business Call to Action to grow skills and scale up services in India

12 Aug 2013

New York/New Delhi - India’s financial inclusion network and operations skills giant Empower Pragati has announced it will join the Business Call to Action (BCtA), with plans to expand skills training aimed at boosting incomes for some two million disadvantaged youth in India by 2020.
 
Empower Pragati is an India-based private sector social enterprise specializing in livelihood skill development to empower India's disadvantaged youth. The company focuses on meeting the needs of those living in urban and rural poverty and lacking the required education and opportunity.

Empower’s vocational and skills training programs seek to create sustainable livelihoods for the urban and rural poor and works closely with the National Skills Development Corporation of India (NSDC, a government of India promoted organization) to deliver a range of comprehensive specialized training. 

Empower’s solutions and services are being delivered across seven states of India. Their value-added delivery services are designed and developed keeping in mind the needs of uneducated, poor and rural people. Since its founding in 2010, Empower Pragati has trained 30,000 people, conducted more than one million days of training, generated more than two million days of employment and US$ 8 million in revenue.

The commitment with the BCtA will expand the reach of Empower’s wide range of training to meet the needs of the growing Indian marketplace. Empower has pledged to promote financial self-sustainability of at least 70 percent of the newly trained candidates by ensuring them placement at par with minimum wages.

“Working with the NSDC to meet India’s needs for 500 million skilled workers by the year 2022. Empower Pragati is working to ensure livelihoods meet the growing demands of India's service sector,” said Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of the Business Call to Action. “We are pleased to welcome Empower Pragati as they have identified service sector areas in demand for entry and mid-level labor in both the formal and informal sectors. Accordingly, Empower Pragati provides the vital youth skills training, confidence building, and career networking.”
 
Empower has grown to a team of 120 training centers with 300 people who provide specialized management, monitoring, and, active training and counseling with trainees and companies for prospective jobs. Each center trains an average of 300 trainees per year to achieve the company’s objective of training two million people, Empower plans to rapidly scale up and setup a total of 750 training centers across India over the next three years.

“We are pleased to expand our commitment and our programs to build the capacity of India’s vulnerable population, who have traditionally not had the opportunity to be a part of India’s growth.  Our goal is two million by 2020,” say Rajiv Sharma, CEO and founder of Empower Pragati.

The company also plans to expand its specialized curriculum and work to pilot training services in other key regions including Africa in the near term.

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Business Call to Action (BCtA)
Business Call to Action is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Agency for International Development, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Global Compact, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the International Business Leaders Forum to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. http://www.businesscalltoaction.org/ @bctainitiative

Empower Pragati: Empower Pragati is an India-based public-private partnership specializing in livelihood skill development to empower India's disadvantaged youth.  We believe that all youth are capable of gainful employment, but those living in urban and rural poverty often lack the required education and opportunity. Our ventures focus on innovative vocational and skills training programs that seek to create sustainable livelihoods for the urban and rural poor.

Empower Pragati is co-owned by National Skills Development Corporation of India, a public-private partnership of the Government of India.

Contact Information

BCtA: Karen.Newman, karen.newman@undp.org +1.212. 906-5194

Empower Pragati: Paul Lalvani: paul.lalvani@empowerpragati.in; +91.99.71.27.61.11