Joe Louis’ story of empowerment through Tech Mahindra Foundation's SMART Centre, Broadway, Chennai, is true proof of opportunity manifesting where belief, effort and dedication are applied.
21-year old Joe Louis from Broadway, Chennai is a person brimming with confidence and ambition. Despite having a tumultuous childhood, Joe has carved himself a brighter future and says, “Being part of the supportive ecosystem at SMART Centre has added measurable and immeasurable benefits to my life”.
Joe lost his father when he was only 3. His family includes his mother, his two siblings, and an aunt. A single parent, his mother anchored the family from an early age. Her sacrifices have been a strong motivator for him. “My mother went through innumerable hardships, to give me a decent education. She would spend all of her salary from her low-paying job on the entire family. Even when we faced financial problems, she’d tell me about them only after they’d been solved, and always said, “That is not important, your education is.””
Although Joe wished to study beyond his graduation, his family's financial situation made this option impractical. He decided to be logical and take up a job instead. It was at this time that his close friend and mentor suggested Joe do a Tally course at a SMART Centre. With a time frame of four months, and upskilling his earlier education, Joe knew that this was a worthy choice. What he didn’t know was how exponentially he would grow.
Entering SMART Centre with a sense of purpose and a thirst for knowledge, Joe felt empowered instantly.
"What I honestly found wonderful here was that while college was theoretical, the education and experience at SMART Centre was very practical. I found everything unique and interesting, and got addicted to their processes".
While he praises Tally’s place in his professional life, his greater takeaway has been the personality and soft skill development at this Centre. He beams with pride while stating “I barely spoke English when I joined the Centre. I’d speak in Tamil, but my trainers insisted that English was the language of business. And this changed me. Now, when I get complimented on my conversational skills by American clients, I feel real growth.” He further says, "All of the trainers are like my family. Having the support of all of these people, who I still refer to as 'Akka' or 'Anna', and forming such relationships over here is my greatest asset".
With a six-figure annual package as a Process Associate at a healthcare organisation, Joe feels secure, happy, and empowered. Not only has Joe enabled others like him to enroll at the centre, but he himself gives guest lectures at there, teaching an important lesson in personal growth.
“I am grateful for the opportunities Tech Mahindra Foundation has given me. They believe that empowering poor people can permanently change their future. I am an example that such changes do happen. My mother has worked for 15 years at low wages, to make me who I am. Now I ask her to stop working, so I can take care of her instead. This reality would have been unbelievable for my family just a few years ago”.
Mahindra salutes Joe and this spirit of #PeopleWhoRise. We wish you the best in all your endeavours, Joe!
SMART (Skills for Market Training) is Tech Mahindra Foundation’s flagship employability program, with 90+ Centres providing skill development in 12 cities. In addition, the Foundation runs 7 Tech Mahindra SMART Academies in Healthcare, Digital Technologies and Logistics. Over the years, SMART has successfully trained over one lakh young men and women, with a placement rate of over 75%. Its robust processes, stringent monitoring system and industry-led approach, has created a model for scaling up skill development while maintaining high training standards.