FFEIT Newsletter Volume 6, Issue No 32, April 2022

NOTE FROM MANAGING TRUSTEE, FFE INDIA TRUST

Dr. Sudha Kidao, Managing Trustee- FFE India Trust

Dear Friends and Supporters,

FFE awarded 10,000 + scholarships at the close of FY 2021-22, a breakthrough achievement that we are proud of, especially as we battled COVID in the last FY.

FFE has been fortunate to have your support that enabled the organisation to help 10,227 students and their families directly through scholarships amounting to 46.03 Cr; 24.31% of FFE’s scholarship awardees are women.

During the year, FFE continued to engage with students through the skills training program, a series of virtual training sessions and an engaged mentoring program. This ensured that students derived the benefits of virtual sessions offered by FFE while studying from home, and hopefully lowered the anxiety and isolation that many students expressed. FFE is thankful to all our donors for enabling these opportunities, particularly in a dismal year of remote learning.

This issue also highlights the many virtual interactions between donors and their sponsored scholars- interactive sessions of learning, understanding and enjoyment. FFE’s alumni donated generously, by direct monetary contributions, through CSR funds of corporates, as mentors and volunteers to qualify students for scholarships. They make us proud indeed!

During the year, FFE leveraged its NGO partner and donor network, sought new ones and expanded its reach in many states where we were previously under-represented. The distribution of scholarship awardees in FY 2021-22 bears testimony to this effort.

FFE’s Founders, Dr Prabhu and Mrs Poonam Goel’s initiative to bring about transformational change in a single generation has been made possible, thanks to your support. We thank you for your many contributions that have helped FFE achieve this milestone. We look to your continued support as we work towards impacting and transforming the lives of gifted youth in India.

Message from COO- FFE INDIA TRUST

Ram Kolavennu, COO- FFE India Trust

FFE began its remarkable journey 28 years ago, to transform lives by awarding scholarships to meritorious but needy students. During these years there was that dream to reach 10000 scholarships a year which we accomplished in FY 2021-22.

What has been very satisfying to see are the details behind the 10K which clearly indicate how this mission is scalable & sustainable.

  • Deep Reach – Applications have been received from all parts of the country and we had an exponential increase in scholarships provided to students from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Northeast states, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, etc., which signifies the deep reach to most deserving students.  
  • Increased Donor base – We had added 15 new corporate donors in FY 2021-22 and 60% of existing donors have increased their engagement with FFE.
  • Circle of Giving – Alumni FFE direct contribution increased by 36% and 5 new corporate donors were added with their support.
  • High performing FFE Scholars – 96% of Engineering scholars who graduated last year have been placed or got into higher education
  • Increased Volunteer base – close to 1000 volunteers from the industry involved in mentoring FFE Scholars

With our hearts full of gratitude, we thank you for playing a key role in this journey!

NEWS & EVENTS

FFE Alumni join Board of FFE India Trust as Invitees

FFE’s alumni play an important role in the future of the organization. In February 2022, Mr Srivathsan Raghavan and Ms Tharanggany Krishnamurthy Meena, FFE alumni joined the Board of FFE India Trust as Special Invitees, honouring their numerous contributions to the cause. Both Srivats (as he is referred to) and Tharanggany have been exemplary FFE alumni. 

Srivats completed his M.Sc Chemistry with BE Chemical Dual Degree Course from BITS, Pilani in 2004. Srivats is an only child. At the time of his education, Srivats’ father was an accountant, and his mother was a homemaker. After securing admission at BITS Pilani, he had to mobilize funds for the first tranche of his fees through crowdsourcing and loans within the family. He believes that it was the scholarship from FFE that empowered him to complete his education. Srivats has been contributing to FFE ever since his graduation. Srivats is Chennai based and works as Senior Principal Consultant, Business Solutions at Altimetrik – a mid-sized Digital Business company. Altimetrik is sponsoring several FFE scholars this year, thanks to Srivats’ efforts.

Tharanggany was supported through FFE scholarships for her B.Tech in Information Technology from 2001-2005. She graduated from Raja College of Engineering and Technology, Madurai. Tharanggany is a single child, whose father had to take early retirement due to ailing health. Her mother is a homemaker. Having faced financial difficulties to pay her school fees, she was introduced to FFE by her relative after securing her admission to engineering. She believes that FFE has been a blessing for her academic journey and has been involved with FFE since her graduation. She is also based out of Chennai and works with Lennox India Technology Centre, as Team Manager, ERP Development- an HVAC Product Based Company. Lennox is also sponsoring the education of FFE scholars beginning this year, thanks to her efforts

Donor-Scholar Engagements
Annual Donor-Scholar Meet| Faiveley Transport Rail Technologies India Private Limited (Hosur)

The annual, virtual Donor-Scholar interaction between the Faiveley team and their supported scholars was held on 7th January 2022. The session was attended by 70 scholars from across the country. Mr Ajay Mani, Managing Director; Mrs Preethi Nandakumar, Head- Human Resources; Mrs Ashima Nayyar, Human resources & Finance & Ms Tripura, General Manager joined team Faiveley. The session included scholars sharing their FFE journey, takeaways from FFE’s Beyond Scholarship Program and a brief Q&A round. We are deeply grateful to team Faiveley for taking out the time to interact with the scholars.

Annual Donor-Scholar Meet| We the Solutions (Hong Kong)

FFE hosted the annual, Donor- Scholar interaction for We the Solutions team and their scholars on 21st January 2022. 9 sponsored female scholars from this cohort attended the meeting along with Ms Jyothi Lakshmi Satish, Ms Mansi Dulani, Ms Divya Somgowda, Ms Vinitha Rajesh and Ms Geetha from We the Solutions, a Hong Kong based non-profit organization. During the interactive session, the scholars shared their stories and expressed their gratitude to the donors. Team members from We the Solutions emphasized the importance of the physical and mental well-being of the scholars and motivated the students to follow their dreams with passion. We sincerely thank the Solutions team for their valuable input and time.

Donor-Scholar Meet | Geberit Plumbing Technology India Private Limited (Bangalore)

The virtual interaction between Geberit Plumbing Technology India Private Limited and their supported scholars was organized on 31st January 2022. Mr Abubaker Koya, Managing Director and Mr Mukund Raj, Manager- Human Resources were highly impressed by the scholars’ achievements and encouraged the scholars to excel in their academic endeavours. We are grateful to Mr Abubaker Koya and Mr Mukund Raj for their encouraging words and guidance for our scholars.

Annual Donor-Scholar Meet| Thomson Reuters International Services (Bangalore)

The annual Donor-Scholar interaction between Thomson Reuters and its scholars was organized on 4th February 2022. 39 FFE-Thomson Reuters scholars participated during the meet. Thomson Reuters was represented by Ms Neha Satish, Lead-CSR and D&I. Ms Neha provided an overview of Thomson Reuters’ global presence and CSR initiatives. She encouraged scholars to perform better and work smarter. We are immensely thankful to Thomson Reuters for their partnership and valuable support to FFE scholars

Donor-Scholar Meet| Mr Padmanabha Rao & Mrs Shobana Swamy (USA)

FFE donors Mr Padmanabha Rao and Mrs Shobhana Swamy had their first virtual meeting with their scholars on 6th  February 2022. The session included two of their sponsored Engineering scholars, studying in Tamil Nadu & West Bengal along with the alumni scholars from their first cohort. They also encouraged the scholars to contribute to society by supporting more women like themselves and offered future career guidance and advice to the students. FFE extends its heartfelt thanks to Mr Padmanabha Rao & Mrs Shobana Swamy for their efforts to keep connected with their scholars and alumni

Donor-Scholar Meet| Mr Babu Joseph (Bangalore)

Mr Babu Joseph, a long-time FFE donor and supporter, had his third virtual connect with his MBBS scholars, studying in colleges across India on 4th February 2022. Students shared their career plans and ideas with the donor who encouraged them to persevere hard, in every situation. We are grateful to Mr Babu Joseph for his efforts to keep connected with his scholars and always encouraging them to do better.

Donor-Scholar Meet| Mr Krishna Suraj Moraje (Bangalore)

On 7th February 2022, Mr Krishna Suraj Moraje, former Group CEO & MD-Quess Corp Limited, virtually interacted with his 6 supported, 4th year BTech scholars studying in Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), his alma mater. In an interactive session, students shared their academic progress, internships completed and their current placement status. Mr Moraje was pleased to learn about the campus placements of 4 scholars in Synopsis, Capgemini, John Deere and Decimal Point Analytics.  He also guided students who were seeking job opportunities. FFE is thankful to Mr Moraje for making time to interact with and motivate his sponsored scholars.

Donor-Scholar Meet | Joy Thomas Foundation (California, Florida and Washington)

On 16th March 2022, FFE’s new partner Joy Thomas Foundation (JTF) and their leadership team interacted virtually with their supported First Year- BTech scholars. JTF members, Mr Shyam Pillalamarri-CEO, Joy Thomas Foundation; Mr Mani Iyer, Lead-Operations and Mr Balaji Shyamkumar, Lead- College STEM welcomed the FFE-JTF students and introduced JTF and its mission to positively impact STEM education, careers and research worldwide. FFE is thankful to JTF for supporting these scholars and taking out time to meet, interact and mentor them early in their college life.

Mentorship Program

The FFE mentoring program has been specially developed for 3rd Year scholars to help them acquire essential career-relevant skills.

Widening the horizon of the mentoring program, FFE, in collaboration with Biocon, launched the WIM Program – “Women in Mentoring” as part of International Women’s Day. This initiative aims to boost female scholars’ confidence and inspire them to pursue their dreams. Currently, 10 Mentors from Biocon are mentoring 10 female students from the BPharma cohort. The Biocon “Women in Mentoring” event was attended by 30 Biocon employees including the 10 mentors who have signed up for the program. The event was organized on 11th Feb. 2022. 

Overall, the Mentoring Program currently includes 51 Mentor-Mentee pairs from the BPharma course. The advice and guidance provided by industry experts will assist mentees in gaining a better understanding of the pharmaceutical sector and the various career opportunities available.  BPharm scholars are mentored by industry experts who are currently employed by Dr Reddy’s Lab, Biocon, Solara APS, and Amneal Pharmaceuticals. FFE Mentoring Program cycle 2021-22 has reached its finale. Volunteers who are currently part of the Mentoring Program have enthusiastically shown interest to carry on the Mentoring for the FFE Scholars in the next academic cycle.

Mentorship Program FY 2021-22 Summary
CourseNumber of Mentor-Mentee Pairs
Engineering936
Law17
BPharma51
Total Mentor-Mentee Pairs1004
Mentor Testimonial

Aaliya Islam, Software Engineer, Microsoft Global Service Center India Pvt. Ltd.

“Being a mentor for the FFE Mentoring Program has been a great opportunity and experience for me. My mentee, Jaya, is a 3rd year, BTech scholar pursuing Chemical Engineering. But his passion for knowledge in general and coding has motivated me.  I am aware of how guidance at an early stage in your career can be extremely beneficial- I truly appreciate FFE and Microsoft’s efforts to bridge this gap for both the scholars and mentors.

For Jaya, we started with his career plans but eventually, I tried to include hands-on experience in his learning. In the past few months, I am proud to say that he has built his own portfolio website, a basic calculator and we are working on a COVID dashboard.  We are also planning for a few mock interviews before his campus placements. Jaya has been a great mentee and I wish him all the very best for his future.”

Mentee Testimonial

Jaya Kumar Vaddadi, Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Raipur

My mentor and I share a great bond- she has helped me think through my strengths and weaknesses, as well as which areas to prioritize. I’ve learnt how to speak properly and how to hold a pleasant conversation, and it has given me a lot of confidence. Every session, my mentor provided me with numerous examples and pushed me to discuss them to improve my communication skills. She also has career suggestions based on my interests. The sessions I enjoyed the most were on time management and interpersonal skills, how to speak in an interview, and the importance of having both short- and long-term goals

Skill Development Program

FFE’s “Beyond Scholarship Program” is a wrap-around initiative, designed to empower scholars. With a range of different skills training programs, it provides a platform for scholars to upskill themselves beyond their academic curriculum.

Participation in Training Programs: January-March 2022
CohortTraining ProgramsNo. Of ScholarsSupported By
2020-21 (2nd Year Engineering Scholars)Aptitude Training- Ethnus175MSDF
Aptitude Training- FACE175
2019-20 (3rd Year Engineering Scholars)Hi-Touch English-eAge Tutors484Capgemini
IT Reskilling- Coursera713
Mock Interviews496
BPharm (2nd Year)Technical Program-Coursera52Mr. Chirag Patel & Mr. Kanu Bhai Patel
Medical (2nd Year)English-Enguru135Mr. Babu Joseph
Other Skill Training Programs
  • IBM Skill Build Program provides technical courses for Information Technology and Computer Science scholars. Two batches have been concluded till February 2022 with a total of 156 scholars.
  • FLY (Finding the Leader in You) Program in partnership with CMI and IIT-Gandhinagar: The 12-day workshop was conducted with two batches of 160 2nd year BTech scholars.
Placement update

The table below summarizes the placement of 1256 Engineering students (currently in their final year) graduating in June 2022.

No. of ScholarsPlacement Status
811Placed
210Opted for Higher Studies
235Seeking Employment

FFE is thankful to its corporate partners Geberit Plumbing Technology India Private Limited, O9 Solutions, Altimetrik India Private Limited, Capgemini Technology Services India Limited, KPMG Assurance and Consulting Services LLP, Trane Technologies, Ingersoll Rand, Thomson Reuters and Thoughtworks for offering placement opportunities to FFE scholars.

Scholar Testimonials: Skilling

Anuroop Kumar Bandarupalli
3rd Year, BTech, Mechanical Engineering, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat

“I have been an FFE scholar since 2019. I have been a keen learner and have always looked forward to opportunities to supplement my engineering degree. When FFE announced free courses from Coursera, I was happy to get the chance to improve my skills and knowledge. I have completed several courses including Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Specialization, among others.

These courses have been extremely helpful for my college projects. Moreover, the certifications from Coursera have helped me build up my resume. I thank FFE for their initiatives that truly help us as scholars.”

Divya Sri Darimisetti, 3rd Year, BTech, Electrical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela

“Coming from a non-Computer Science background, with a passion for computers, online courses are the best way for me to learn new skills and test my knowledge. I would like to thank FFE for offering us the Coursera program and sponsoring courses that we are interested in. The program helped me to learn the basics of Data Science, tools used in Data Science, Data Science Methodology, and Python for Data Science, AI, and development. The courses are self-paced and have various assignments and quizzes to test our knowledge which is helpful to gain confidence in what we’ve learnt. I can confidently say I improved my knowledge and skills by enrolling in Coursera courses. Also, the certificates that I got from completing the courses are greatly helpful in building my resume.”

CORPORATE SESSIONS/WORKSHOPS

Webinar series by KPMG

FFE in partnership with KPMG hosted a series of four sessions on soft skills for the second and third-year Engineering scholars in January 2022. The topics included Resume Handling, Personal Branding, Cracking Interviews (and useful career tips and tricks) and Future of Work. On average, 220 scholars attended each session. From KPMG, the speakers included Mr. Kurush Dordi, Director-Human Resources; Ms. Yogja Singh, Senior Associate Director- Human Resources; Mr. Sahil Nayar, Senior Associate Director- Human Resources and Mr. Atul Gupta, Partner & Head- Digital Trust and Cybersecurity Leader.

Technical Sessions by ORACLE

A series of five technical sessions for 2nd and 3rd-year students in Computer Science and Information Technology was conducted by Oracle in February 2022. The topics included Augmented Reality: Today and Tomorrow, Agile Project Management, Search Engine Optimization, Real-time applications of Machine Learning Algorithms, and Free IT certifications for a better career launch, among others. There were nearly 130 participants in each session. The speakers from Oracle included Mr.Sambha Baratam, Principal Solution Engineer- Technology Hub, APAC; Mr.Ravijeet Kumar, Senior Data Scientist; Ms.Jyoti Kataria, Senior Manager &  Principal Cloud Architect; Ms.Flossy Priya Mascarenhas, Product Manager- Design Engineering; Ms. Mridhula Shetty, Principal Product Manager and Ms.Merlyn Jyothi, Principal Product Manager.

ANANYA (#EmpowerAnanya)

FFE has been collaborating with ANANYA to host a webinar series on technical topics. Three sessions have been organized for third and fourth year Engineering scholars- Electronics Engineering Batch (84 scholars participated); Electrical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering Batch (79 scholars participated); Computer Science and Information Technology Batch (87 scholars participated).

EmpowerHer- Women’s Day Meet with NetApp

Celebrating International Women’s Day, NetApp conducted a session for 10 of their sponsored, 3rd year women Engineering scholars on 10th March 2022.  The speaker, Shilpa H, Director – Internal Audit & Global Head of SiOX Compliance, NetApp Inc., who is an avid supporter of diversity in the workplace, is also the leader of Women in Technology (WIT) for NetApp India. The interactive session concluded with participants and the speaker sharing their journeys, learnings, and ideas of making positive contributions to society.

Soft Skill Training Session by Ingersoll Rand India Limited

On 4th February 2022, a soft skill training session was conducted by Ingersoll Rand India Limited for its 3rd Year BTech students. Ms. Pallavi Poddar, HR Director- ITS MEIA & High Pressure interacted with the students on various soft skills required for facing campus interviews. The meeting included an interactive Q&A session where Ms. Pallavi addressed many career-related questions posed by students.

FFE is thankful to our donor partners for sharing their expertise with students, creating learning opportunities for eager Engineering students and providing career guidance.

VOICE OF SCHOLARS

Current Scholar

PRIYANKA M B , 4th Year, BTech, Computer Science and Engineering, RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Priyanka hails from the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka. She has a younger brother. Priyanka’s father is a farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. Both her parents have completed their graduation and have always valued the importance of education for their children.

For Priyanka, her parents have been her mentors in all aspects of her life. Priyanka has always excelled academically. With a high score of 97.33% in her class 12, Priyanka also secured a rank of 430 in the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) which helped her gain admission to RV College of Engineering.

“My parents have left no stone unturned for my education. My father is a farmer and the only earning member of our family. However, with an annual income of INR 35,000, my expensive college degree would have been impossible to manage. If we had to sell our land for my degree, I would have been devastated. It is my donors- Indus Towers Limited, AWOO Foundation and FFE who changed my life.”

Priyanka graduates this year and wishes to fulfil her parent’s dream of building a new house. With placement at SAP labs with a CTC of INR 22,00,000, her dream will soon be a reality. She also wishes to open tuition centres for economically disadvantaged students like herself to support their education.

Alumnus

TANISHA PANDEY . FFE Scholar 2013-2016

Tanisha completed her BTech in Agricultural Sciences from College of Technology, Pantnagar, and her Masters from IIT Kharagpur. Tanisha joined John Deere as a Post Graduate Engineer Trainee in 2018. She currently leads two global teams and has won over 30 nominations for excellent work in different categories.

However, her life was far from perfect earlier. Her father quit his well-paying job when Tanisha was five. Spiralling into an endless financial crisis, Tanisha and her whole family survived on her grandmother’s meagre monthly pension. “When I turned 12, my family could not afford to educate me and my two siblings; therefore, I was forced to go to a free school, which lacked good teaching facilities. My entire schooling was completed through scholarships.” She worked hard throughout and fared well in her 10th and 12th-grade exams. Despite being accepted into one of the top five agricultural universities in India, Tanisha’s family did not have the financial resources to support her.

Fortunately for her, she heard about FFE’s scholarship program in college and applied for financial assistance. Tanisha’s facilitator Dr. R D Joshi helped them with the required formalities, and she soon received her scholarship. “I was on cloud nine when I received my first scholarship cheque; I could not believe that my dreams were coming true. Being free from the financial burden, I worked hard and cleared the GATE exam, with an all-India Rank of 57 and joined IIT. As a result of my efforts, I got an offer from Mahindra & Mahindra to intern with them for 1 year and then was later selected for a full-time position at John Deere”, says a proud Tanisha.

“As soon as I started working, I helped improve my family’s financial condition – all thanks to FFE. Hence, I ensure I contribute to the Foundation every year, as I know the importance of this scholarship. From 2021-22, I also volunteered as a Facilitator, to help FFE with their application screening process. I am proud to say that I am supporting the organization that supported me in the past when no one else did!”

VOLUNTEER SPEAK

MR. ANAND THITE
FFE Facilitator, Dharwad, Karnataka

Mr. Anant Thite has been a banker for most of his life. At the end of his career, he retired as the Canara Bank Manager. It was at this time that Mr. Thite explored a second career- one that was more inclined towards creating impact in the larger society. While he has been a proud facilitator with FFE since 2005, it was an unfortunate event that led him to the organization. After the sudden demise of his elder brother, Late. Mr. Sakharam Thite who served as an FFE facilitator for three years, Mr. Anant joined FFE.

Until date, he has referred 50 scholars to FFE, who have also received his unconditional guidance and support. His family, many of whom are educators, influenced Mr. Anant in volunteering as an FFE Facilitator, helping in identifying and assisting needy scholars access education through scholarships to better their future.

I feel privileged to be a part of the FFE Team. I am continuously inspired by the members of this organization who have supported me and guided my activities. It is a matter of pride for me to be associated with several organizations alongside FFE, including Premier Citizens Club, Vidya Poshak, and Advaiti Prabhodaka Sangha in various capacities.”

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