Sanjay Singh, the 21-year-old son of the owner of a cycle repair shop, met with a serious, life-altering bus accident in 2014. Although the incident continues to haunt him in the form of a constant pain in his left leg, he hopes to make it big in life. According to him, EduBridge, a skill development and vocational training organisation, was a “blessing in disguise”. It was a chance encounter at a local fest in Pali, Jodhpur, where he found out about the organisation. In hopes of securing a good job, he immediately enrolled for a two-month training course related to banking and finance.
A sales executive at Paytm today, he works towards bringing local retailers as Paytm partners on board. “I’m earning a salary of Rs.14,500 per month as well as a commission, depending on the partners I sign on,” Singh says proudly. EduBridge is proving to be a catalyst of change for many like Singh.
In an attempt to marry both social and commercial needs, Girish Singhania set up EduBridge in July 2010. Coming from an orthodox Marwadi family, starting his own business was always at the back of his mind. The IIM-Bangalore graduate quit his job with Edelweiss Financial Services as an investment banker in September 2009 to set up EduBridge. “I’ve always felt that for-profit organisations help in bringing about more sustainability and efficiency compared with NGOs,” justifies the founder.
The company’s key objective is to identify unemployed youth from low-income backgrounds, provide them relevant skills and change their mindset to make them employable. There is, however, an eligibility criteria: the students must fall in the age group of 18-25 years, they either should be undergoing formal education in college or be dropouts — having passed at least the 10th grade, and should belong to households with an average monthly income of less than Rs.10,000.
Currently, EduBridge has over 70 training centres, called EduBridge Career Academies, across the country either in small towns or on the outskirts of cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune. In Mumbai and Pune, it has four to five centres each; in Bengaluru, it has two; and in the other tier-II, III and IV citi