Kanmani’s life story has a great moral for everyone- work hard, make the most use of every opportunity, follow your dreams, and inspire others to rise as well!
Opportunity may ‘knock only once’ but for Kanmani, an alumnus of Mahindra Pride School, Alwarpet, Chennai (MPS), that was just enough.
Kanmani had tough beginnings. She lost her father at 3, which forced her family - a mother and three young daughters - to live in abject poverty for many years.
“On bad days, which were many, we’d just drink water and go to sleep.”
At age 5, the local government school became her daily source of one assured meal. From age 10, lessons were followed by selling flowers on the shores of Marina Beach. Times were extremely tough, and yet, with her mother’s support, she managed to pursue a B Com. Through her first job at a grocery store, she provided Rs. 5000 every month to support her family. It was here that she met a friend who spoke of the benefits of working at an ‘MNC’, and how joining Mahindra Pride School had benefitted her professionally. This one empowering conversation opened Kanmani’s eyes to a whole new world of employability and opportunity.
“I had no idea what an MNC was back then”, she states. And yet, she knew that her family’s financial troubles would disappear if she applied herself to the skilling institution.
Armed with her Bachelor’s degree (the minimum requirement for MPS Alwarpet programs), and with a clear passion for IT and social interaction-intensive professions, Kanmani was an instant fit for the Information Technology Enables Services (ITES) Program. “I remember feeling very shy when I first entered MPS.” This is understandable, as her ITES interview was her first interview, ever. Unsurprisingly, her shyness was short-lived, as her ambitious nature shone through. As hoped for, with this enrolment, she was transforming her life forever.
Even in this entirely different ‘professional environment’, Kanmani never felt out of place. “Right from Day 1 of ITES, everyone made me feel comfortable and was friendly.” Through MPS’ principle of ‘Employability with Empathy and Emotion’, Kanmani was exposed to the corporate world’s diverse structures, and taught soft skills to navigate its personal and interpersonal attributes. With her commerce background, Kanmani was able to understand her professional expectations better, and 90 days’ later, was equipped for the corporate world.
Following MPS, Kanmani joined Hewlett Packard, where now, as a Senior Process Associate, she feels her ambition is to climb the corporate ladder and to use her story to inspire more underprivileged women. A shared celebration, she’s also very glad for all her classmates. “Seeing other young people like me from Mahindra Pride School working in giant companies fills me with joy and pride.”
From understanding company structure to adapting the ‘employee’ lifestyle’, Kanmani’s self-confidence has grown immensely. Besides supporting her family and tending to her sister’s post-grad expenses, she has inspired more than a dozen young women to utilize the opportunity that MPS provides, and dream bigger. In even more women all around her, she hopes to instill the belief of “Be like Kanmani’.
We couldn’t agree more, Kanmani and #Mahindra salutes your spirit. Honoured to have you on #PeopleWhoRise!