Infosys co-founder and former UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani has committed $200,000 (Rs 1.32 crore) investment into The/Nudge Foundation, a non-profit launched by former InMobi executive Atul Sathija in July this year.
In addition to this, the entity has also raised $50,000 (Rs 33 lakh) from the Great Wall Club, $75,000 (Rs 49 lakh) from InMobi and $40,000 (Rs 26 lakh) from Paytm.
“The demographic dividend is one of the biggest opportunities but is also a big challenge. We need more projects like these to succeed and speed,” said Nilekani. This announcement was made by Gurpreet Singh, President-Asia, GWC at the ongoing Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Bengaluru.
GWC, which organises the tech conference series, has also committed $50,000 to the foundation, Singh added.
“We will be hiring more aggressively going forward,” said Atul Satija, who was also a former Google employee.
The/Nudge Foundation trains below-poverty level individuals for four months, within residential “gurukuls”, teaching them skill sets for grey-collar jobs like delivery, beautician, driving, housekeeping.
“The solution for alleviating poverty is sitting in these skills, not in hard skills,” Satija had earlier told ET, adding that about 75% of the programme’s focus will be on life skills such as personality development, financial management, social employability, literacy, among others, after which they are given a job.
The non-profit plans to scale up through a franchisee model, where anyone, an individual or an NGO could set up a gurukul and leverage The/Nudge’s content, delivery and placement services.
InMobi’s co-founder Naveen Tewari and CFO Manish Dugar, Pramath Raj Sinha, founding dean of Indian School of Business, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra, Paytm’s Vijay Shekar Sharma and WhatsApp’s vice president Neeraj Arora are on the board and advisory members of The/Nudge.