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  Social Responsibility

Women Empowerment
Published on: Oct. 5, 2020, 11:22 a.m.
Amdocs and its employees are helping solo women entrepreneurs
  • Pavnikar is earning her own livelihood and helping others earn theirs

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

All the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives at Israeli software and services multinational are employee-led, with employees supporting causes close to their hearts. 

Working on the philosophy of ‘enrich lives and progress society’, the company says, it seeks to make a difference for the benefit of wider society even as it helps its customers to modernise, automate and digitise their business. It does this by supporting the communities in which it works, placing special emphasis on education and employability. 

The genesis of this activity was in 2018, when a group of Amdocs employees set up a Rs50,000 ‘revolving fund’ to support the women entrepreneurship programme run by Mann Deshi Foundation in Pune. Launched on International Women's Day, the fund gave 10 women a sum of Rs5,000 each as an interest-free working capital grant, to be repaid in five equal instalments starting from the second month. As each grant was returned, another woman got Rs5,000. 

This cycle has supported more than 120 women entrepreneurs by the end of 2019, with the corpus standing at Rs2.2 lakh and growing. The company also imparted digital and financial literacy training to these women entrepreneurs to manage their businesses.

With its over-arching CSR theme of building a better future through inclusion, the Amdocs programme comprises four thematic areas: education, employability, environment and wellness. The education programme focuses on promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and quality education in government schools or low-income private schools. Employability aims to make youth, particularly women, more employable and financially self-dependent. 

The environment charter promotes watershed management initiatives and tree plantation, while the wellness programme creates and promotes a healthy and happy lifestyle among both Amdocs employees and the communities where they live and work.

The main beneficiaries of the revolving fund have been solo women entrepreneurs, who have been able to create not only livelihoods for themselves but also job opportunities for other women. Two of the solo entrepreneurs under the programme, Roopali Pavnikar and Ranjana Kulshetty, have been stitching T-shirts and other garments from the safety of their homes. After the outbreak of Covid-19, they also created job opportunities for other women, roping in 10 to 15 women, to start stitching 25,000-35,000 masks.

Both Pavnikar and Kulshetty are part of the Amdocs-Mann Deshi initiative to support women entrepreneurs in India. As this is an ongoing voluntary donation fund, it will continue to positively impact thousands of women who aspire to set up their own enterprises, the company points out.


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