Mumbai: Shruti Agrawal and Sambhav Jain, 25-year-old associates in Blackstone’s Private Equity team in India have won $100,000 for the Indian Development Foundation (IDF) in the Blackstone Gives Back Challenge, a firm-wide charity competition.
Blackstone Gives Back, sponsored by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, is a competition for employees to win funding for charities of their choice. Through a competitive month-long selection process, the firm’s leadership and the Foundation’s Board of Directors judge teams based on a number of factors including the project’s impact, innovation, scalability, team’s analysis of project goals and financials, and strength of the organization’s leadership. This year, more than 350 employees around the world pitched their ideas, and five teams were awarded $100,000 each.
The $100,000 won by the India team’s two junior employees will support Bal Gurukul, IDF’s flagship project that provides supplementary after school education programmes to children most in need. Launched in 2005, Bal Gurukuls have supported millions of children to access quality education and 247 are currently in operation nationwide. The $100,000 (~INR 75 Lakhs) Grant will help expand Bal Gurukuls in Orissa, Bihar, Gujarat and North East India, and support the education of more than 10,000 underprivileged children.
Amit Dalmia, Blackstone’s Operating Partner in Corporate Private Equity, India, said: “At Blackstone, we firmly stand by our culture of service and commitment to our communities. It’s exciting to see young members of our India team represent the cause in our global, firm-wide initiative and share their passion for helping others. IDF does remarkable work in the field of education, and we are glad to support them in their initiative to provide access to inclusive education.”
Thanking Blackstone for their generous contribution, Dr Narayan Iyer Co-Founder & CEO, IDF, said: “We are humbled and encouraged to receive this honour from Blackstone. We would like to thank Blackstone Associates, Shruti Agarwal and Sambhav Jain, for their dedication and passion, Amit Dalmia for his commitment and mentorship throughout the process, and the entire Blackstone team for championing the cause. We dedicate this special moment to all the children who are studying in our Bal Gurukuls across the country. The emergence of Bal Gurukuls in rural villages and urban slums has become critical for many children who need additional guidance beyond the classroom, and the donation is an important step towards our goal of reaching 500 Bal Gurukuls by 2025. We hope to continue in our efforts to help children in India receive equal opportunities to quality education, build confidence, and excel academically.”
Blackstone is a long-standing investor in India and among the top 10 business groups by the total value of assets in the country. During this challenging time, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and the firm’s leaders have committed to donating $5 million to expand healthcare services to communities and address the shortage of oxygen concentrators.