Mumbai, 13 July 2009: Barclays Global Retail & Commercial Bank (GRCB) across its Emerging Market entities has partnered with US based Junior Achievement (JA), a leading Non-Government Organization (NGO) focused on educating students about work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, through experiential, hands-on programs. This partnership will extend over a period of three years. During the first year, in India, two programmes – B-INSPIRED for school students in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kanchipuram and Junagadh and B-SMART for secondary school students in Mumbai and New Delhi – will be launched. These programmes, conducted from July 2009 to February 2010, will benefit over 500 children across the country.
Through the B – INSPIRED programme, standard seven, eight and nine students are given a “real life” business challenge. These students are then allowed to brainstorm and innovatively create a feasible solution to the problem. This programme is focused on making students think as a team and to provide a more interactive learning experience
B – SMART is the single most utilized programme in the JA Worldwide portfolio. In this programme, secondary school students learn important entrepreneurial skills through creating their own student company and operating through an entire business cycle. They make and market real products, use “real” share capital and make “real” profits (or losses) with the support and mentoring of a wide range of professionals, in this case Barclays volunteers. Additionally, the donation provided by Barclays will assist JA Worldwide for the expansion or introduction of these programmes in countries of strategic business importance to Barclays.
Speaking on this initiative, Ram Gopal, Interim Managing Director, Barclays Global Retail & Commercial Bank India said, “At Barclays we are committed to the communities in which we operate. Partnering with Junior Achievement has given us the opportunity to empower the youth in these communities through innovative financial learning programmes with the aim to create an enriching future for them. An overwhelming number of colleagues came forth to be mentors for these students. We look forward to working with JA, and enriching the lives of these students with real life business solutions. We believe this will enhance their learning from a young age and help them mature into business professionals. We wish these students all the best in their endeavour.”
Barclays colleagues, who have volunteered to be part of this project, will first have to go through a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme that is designed to share with them how they can add significant value to the students.
Venkat Matoory, Founder CEO, Junior Achievement India said, “While Indian economy has performed well since the 1991 round of reforms, the future holds even more potential. For such potential to be unleashed, industry needs to be ably supported by a well prepared workforce that can hit the ground running. Industry needs to play a proactive role in making our future professionals develop a holistic understanding of the economy, industry and professions. While organizations such as JA can develop the models, it is partnerships such as these that make the models work. JA is excited about working with Barclays India team to help several more students realize their true potential.”
There are an additional three programmes which will be implemented in India during the second and third years of partnership with JA Worldwide. These programmes are:
B –EXPERIENCED – an enriching opportunity to actually work through ‘Barclays Job Shadow’ experience
B – CONNECTED – through state-of-the-art technology
B – YOUR DREAM – for all those graduates who have it in them to realize their dreams
The youth centric programs created by JA are practical in approach and inculcate the nuances of financial literacy across participants. In India, programmes will be implemented in Mumbai, Delhi, Kanchipuram and Junagadh. While in the Emerging Markets the programmes will be implemented in Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Russia, Tanzania, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Barclays GRCB business has built a strong franchise in India over the past two and a half years with over 900,000 clients and customers. Barclays continues to be committed to India through its six Barclays entities including Global Retail and Commercial Banking, Barclays Capital, Barclays Wealth and specialist technology and BPO centres of excellence. India is one of the leading markets for Barclays Plc.