India welcomes Project SEED to Asia – people-powered program opens in Pune

After the successful inauguration of Project SEED in Colombia and Brazil, launch preparations now spread to Asia and the kick-off in Pune, India.

The young people at the SOS Children’s Village in Pune were excited to kick off Project SEED. The five-senses explosion of enthusiasm featured flowers, rice throwing, traditional colored-powder decorations, handmade gifts, candle-lighting, a blessing ceremony, still more flowers, and quite a few excited children and families.

Celebrating a new opportunity

But the kick-off was not merely a celebration. A busy schedule of events featured site visits to local projects that SOS Children’s Villages manages, including the Family Strengthening Program, a self-help group and an entrepreneurship program.

Along the way, there were countless person-to-person meetings, with children, young people, families and former residents. Archana, for instance, grew up at SOS Children’s Village Latur. With their support, she obtained an MBA and is now a successful HR executive. And Siddhavi, who was brought up at SOS Children’s Village Pune, obtained a post-graduate degree and is now working as a software test engineer.


“We are committed to the success of this project. Not only does it assist our country and fellow citizens, it also offers us a chance to participate in a global example of how companies and communities can work together for mutual benefit.”

Bharat Vishnani, Managing Director, thyssenkrupp Elevator – India


Smiling or serious, we all have hopes and dreams.

Why India?

India is an impressive country. Large, diverse and complex, its current population of approximately 1.2 billion is rising rapidly. It will likely overtake China in the next decades, when its urban population alone is expected to reach 600 million.

Naturally, not all the facts are pleasant. The poverty rate is about 25%, for example. And youth unemployment is high: 330 million people. In other words, about 28% of youth aged 15–29 in India are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). That’s about the same as their proportion of the overall population.

The Government of India is well aware that this is a problem. The official “Skill India Mission” aims at transferring appropriate skills to the many young people looking for work. Many companies are looking for skilled employees, but many of the kids looking for work simply don’t have the skills required.

Harshita is one of the many success stories of SOS Children’s Villages of India. Listen to the story of how she found a good job after a rough start in life led her to SOS Children’s Village in Faridabad. Project SEED aims to create more such cases.


“I am excited that Project SEED is now also launching in India. Our people here welcome the opportunity of becoming more personally engaged with their communities. They are looking forward to playing a greater role in improving social balance and quality of life for the youth of India.”

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator


Applying employee-driven assistance in India

thyssenkrupp Elevator in India already contributes at least 2% of its net profits to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. But Project SEED goes beyond that commitment. This is applied Human Social Responsibility – a pioneering new conceptual model of CSR that enables company employees to share their skills through person-to-person mentoring.

In essence, Project SEED uses the people-power of company employees to energize corporate charitable outreach. In addition to sharing their experience and training, employees add the human touch to more effectively deliver job skills to young people who might not otherwise receive them.


“The important part is that training is provided by employee volunteers, which will help the children learn the real-time challenges faced during projects… I’m so thankful for the partnership with thyssenkrupp Elevator.”

Petra Horn, Executive Board Member of SOS Children’s Villages Worldwide


Building Project SEED in India

The goal of Project SEED in India is to provide training to roughly 150 young people. As in both Colombia and Brazil, this will cover a broad range of subjects, including basic skills, soft skills such as teamwork, career guidance, some specialized job training and real-world work experience.

The 32 Indian SOS Children’s Villages will provide the pupils, and local thyssenkrupp Elevator employees will provide the personal mentoring and guidance. Pune is a good place to start, as it also boasts a large new thyssenkrupp Elevator factory, and a lot of employees.

The second day of the Project SEED kick-off was devoted to workshops. Local staff and 12 young people worked long and hard to establish the basic framework that will be developed over the next months. This work will be managed by thyssenkrupp Elevator’s Abhay Verma and Ritesh Ambade.

Sustainable adults make for sustainable cities

Supporting underprivileged communities in cities around the world remains a key part of thyssenkrupp Elevator’s mission to make cities the best places to live… in Colombia, and now in India. We’ll all have a better urban future if we have a good social balance in our cities and elevating disadvantaged young people into sustainable adulthood is a big part of that.

After the successful inauguration of Project SEED in Colombia and Brazil, launch preparations now spread to Asia and the kick-off in Pune, India.

About SOS Children’s Villages of India

Established in 1963, SOS Children’s Villages of India now has 32 Villages in 22 states all across India. The charity to serve children, families and communities through the following programs:

  • Curative Family Based Care (FBC) offers onsite parenting in a family-like environment to more than 7,000 children at all 32 Villages.
  • The preventative, community-based Family Strengthening Program assists over 17,000 children of the most vulnerable families through all 32 SOS locations in India.
  • Nine Hermann Gmeiner schools offer primary or secondary school education, or both to children from the SOS Children’s Villages and the neighborhood.

In addition, the SOS Children’s Villages of India also have an SOS Emergency Relief Program, which offers aid to areas hit by war, crisis or natural

About thyssenkrupp Elevator in India

Established in 2002, thyssenkrupp Elevator in India has grown to include the entire range of manufacturing and services, with more than 2,200 employees working at 6 regional offices, 25 branches, 74 service response centers and one Multi-Purpose Facility (MPF).
In 2017, the company opened a Multi-Purpose Facility (MPF) in Pune for the elevator industry. The 20,000 sq.m. industrial facility was designed for an initial manufacturing capacity of 6,000 elevator units, extendable to over 10,000 units. It also houses a distribution center and SEED campus training facility. India is one of the top 10 largest elevator markets, and the fastest growing one in the world.

Image Credits:

Girlgroup (slider); Image credits go to Ashleigh Conor

Indian woman (slider); Image credits go to Dominic Sansoni

Indian woman 2 (slider); Image credits go to Kaia Means

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thyssenkrupp Elevator employees help young people thrive

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