Dear Friends,

I am delighted to touch you again through Wadhwani Beats. The past two months has been full of action as reflected in the Initiative updates below. At the organization level, key highlights were the US offsite and setting up of the Office of the CEO.

At the offsite, we finalized the Foundation’s 2030 goals and an interim path to get there (see below). Your leaders will work with you to translate this into plans that apply to each of you. At the offsite, we also decided that while WA and WO will accelerate the momentum from the past two years, WE will be re-examined in the context of creating high-potential entrepreneurs (HiPO’s), leveraging our new partnership with mass-media channels (TV in India now) and then globally. More on this in the next update as we finalize the WE strategy and the ETNow partnership.

Austin Thomas was appointed as the Office of the CEO to help improve efficiency through automating processes and Program Managing Organization level initiatives. Additionally, Paco (WGU), Hesham (N. Africa), Dare (W. Africa), and Nitya (SEA) will report into Austin until we recruit continent-wide leaders in these geographies.

During my visit to Mexico in July; Samir, Sunil and I, along with our Mexico team interacted with more than 75 WF stakeholders. Our beneficiaries love us and our intermediaries (mentors, employers, partners) are inspired to help us (when you do good the Universe aligns to help you). I always return fully charged from these meetings and I’d encourage you to grab every opportunity to meet the stakeholders in your region, you will learn a lot on what they need from us and you will inspire them further towards our mission, building the networks we will need to achieve our 2030 goals. Onward and forward.

Here are some key updates from our Initiatives:

Wadhwani Advantage

The Wadhwani Advantage program for the West cohort of SMEs kicked off – 39 SMEs in both South and West cohorts are in the stages of discovery and transformation with NPS of 9 in the South cohort after discovery phase. Simultaneously, the Advantage app was launched with over 150 digital assets and 200+ advisors across India and LATAM. Aggressive drive on building video content and advisor networks for the app has been initiated.

Active dialogue with relevant Ministries in India has been initiated and MOUs with several associations are close to being signed, which will yield thousands of potential SME beneficiaries, pan India in the next few years. Additionally, the knowledge exchange and global Advantage playbook harmonised vide deep interactions between India and Mexico teams, and scale-up plans for 2019 and 2020 are finalised.

Wadhwani Entrepreneur

Based on discussions in the recent leadership offsite in the US, there has been a change in Wadhwani Entrepreneur (WE ) strategy from the current focus of inspiring students towards entrepreneurship and creation of an entrepreneurial mindset among the youth to creating successful entrepreneurs with HiPO ventures. Our goal is to create one million entrepreneurs over the next 10-years. While the current courses will continue, the new strategy will be executed through a thrust on Startup Clubs and direct programs for professionals/ early stage ventures.

India: Wadhwani Entrepreneur is also supporting the Foundation’s partnership and association with the ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ programme of ET NOW by rolling out an “Idea Pitch” competition from Sept 2019 onwards in 16 cities for students and young entrepreneurs. The shortlisted pitches will be featured on ET NOW and few awarded with a Silicon Valley tour.

MENA: WEC MoU signed with the American University in Cairo (AUC) considered as the Stanford of Middle East and North Africa. Wadhwani Foundational Course in Entrepreneurship is now part of AUC’s core curriculum being offered to 1300 freshmen students.

Wadhwani Opportunity

There are three recent key developments in Wadhwani Opportunity (1) WO launched its operations in Philippines with 5000+ students registering for the digital program JOBWise 2.0. (2) The mobilization mobile app “ My Career, My Job “ is ready for 5 sectors and will go live for NSDC next week (3) With NSDC India we now have 3000+ students undergoing the WO program and the first 150 Students have been placed successfully.

Wadhwani Technology Platform

Wadhwani Advantage App is now live on both Playstore and Appstore with onboarding of entrepreneurs and advisors from India, Mexico and Brazil cohorts in process. Some key development on LearnWISETM are (1) A video streaming solution for Direct-to-Class video sessions streamed from Wadhwani Studio implemented (2) QlikSense reports enhanced to provide analysis for the closed batches of Wadhwani Entrepreneur (3) LearnWISETM web platform successfully migrated to a new domain, learnwise.wfglobal.org

Wadhwani Marketing

A breakthrough partnership with India’s leading business channel, ET NOW, has been sealed with the key objectives of entrepreneurship evangelization and thought leadership in this space. This partnership also entails airing of two Shark Tank type of pitches – mini Shark Tank (idea pitches across 16 cities of India) and main Shark Tank (startups and SME led pitches). More details to be shared separately.

The first phase of a major Marketing project to refine and upgrade the Wadhwani Brand is nearing completion. This entailed extensive interactions across external stakeholders and beneficiaries of all our Initiatives and detailed inputs from Wadhwani Leaders. The culmination of this activity will see communication priorities and talk-points for the Wadhwani brand and its sub-brands clearly enunciated.

Wadhwani Impact Measurement & Partnerships

The “Changing Lives” Impact Report for 2018 is released. This consists of a set of reports for external stakeholders and internal customers including the respective program teams. The report is available at the SharePoint address: Changing Lives 2018 (NOTE: you need to be logged into office 365 to access this site; in case of trouble, login using your Outlook email and password)

Wadhwani Global University

WGU has piloted and launched the video-based panel discussion post testing within the WGU team and the rest of the RMs/PMs of both WEC and WSU. Also, WGU launched a video-based FDP orientation for both WEC and WSU.

LatAm team celebrates the 94% NPS score during the FDP training in Mexico and especially wants to thank the LatAm Master Trainer, Oscar as also the WGU team for their contribution to elevate performance levels. For the LatAm team, small things add up and they believe in the Martin Luther saying, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant a tree today”.

Wadhwani Invent

The Wadhwani SBIR program has been branded as ‘Wadhwani Invent’. The guidelines for the program as also the Invent Acceleration Grant are under advanced stage of completion. Biotechnology will continue to be the initial focus area for Wadhwani Invent and development of a list of national experts in biotech area is underway. Also, discussions with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) at NITI Aayog are ongoing in order to finalize the structure of their ARISE program on critical areas other than biotech.

Wadhwani HR

A new look Performance Management System (PFMS) crafted through multiple iterations and inputs from Leaders will be rolled out this month. Also, month-on-month attrition is being analysed and a tool to predict attrition based on select parameters is being implemented. Other HR initiatives include, the sessions on “Know Your Policies” to familiarize the team members and the launch of “Aha! Moment” – an instant recognition for those who ‘Go Beyond’ to encourage the culture of instant recognition and appreciation.

The reviews of Wadhwani Foundation on Glassdoor have shown marked increase and the rating has moved upwards from 3.5 to 4.1. Much of this credit goes to the Wadhwani team for sharing their experiences and feedback for the benefit of prospective new joinees.

Wadhwani Policy

Jayant Krishna represented the Foundation across various TV Channels like NDTV 24X7, WION, Rajya Sabha TV, NDTV India and Doordarshan for budget analysis and the state of the Indian economy on the eve of the Union Budget 2019 and also on a DD News special program to commemorate the 4-years of Skill India Mission. From U.S, Rick Rossow also contributed his views on the eve of the Union Budget in channels like Bloomberg Quint, CBBC TV 18 and WION. In Bay Area Rick and Jayant addressed the Indian business diaspora and professionals from Silicon Valley on India-US ties, Modi Government 2.0, innovation, skills and the startup ecosystem in India.

A high-level in-house led market research to find out the reasons behind the lag between economic growth and job creation was initiated to support to the Wadhwani Entrepreneur team and enable them decide the city clusters and industry verticals where Wadhwani Venture Fastrack could launch its operations. Top economic reforms in India have also been identified and these would be progressively tracked in the Reforms Scorecard.