Founded in 2000 by Dr Romesh Wadhwani, Wadhwani Foundations is engaged in economic acceleration in emerging economies. The Foundation focuses on large-scale initiatives in job creation and skill development. They have five initiatives in India.One of them is the Skills Development Network, which supports multiple college, high school and employer initiatives for entry level-mid-skill jobs. This project works in close tandem with Ministry of Human Resource Development and State governments and provides support to vocational education programmes in 500+ high schools and 200+ UGC colleges and 100+ companies. The programme uses a technology platform for skilling by integrating online/in-class skills education through a digital/video curricula and pedagogy.
Another of their initiatives is the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), a platform for entrepreneurs to come together, network and reap mutual benefits. The third is Opportunity Network for Disabled, which helps educate the disabled and place them in corporate jobs. Fourth is Research and Innovation Network, aimed at upgrading India’s research eco-system by catalysing ‘Centres of Innovation’ in partnership with existing research Institutes. Finally, we have Wadhwani Foundations Policy Research Centre, which provides data driven research inputs for informed policy actions towards creating an education led human-capital driven growth economy.
“When I enrolled in Healthcare under Wadhwani Foundation’s initiative, I felt a positive change in many ways. I got the opportunity to interact with doctors, nurses and others, and these kind of networking opportunities are very beneficial for the students who are not financially strong, providing them an opportunity to work,” says Megha Thakur, a Class X student of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Portmore, Shimla.
Says Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundations, “In India, and globally, there is an enormous gap between the skills needed by the industry and what academia is producing, resulting in a deep fracture in the talent supply chain. By 2020, almost 60 per cent of India’s population of 1.3 billion will be in the working age group of 15-59 years. If adequately skilled, this demographic could make India a global human resource powerhouse. To achieve skilling at scale, Wadhwani Foundations is developing multi-media enabled technology solutions while integrating online/in-class skills and self-learning pedagogy that can reach thousands of students simultaneously through the cloud platform.”