Journey of SGBS Trust
The journey of SGBS Trust started as early as 1978 in a small way but gained significance around the mid-80s when it started three focused programs, namely Shiksha, Utsav, and Funeral Services.
The popularity of the organization grew rapidly in the 90s because of its cultural and social activities creating a huge impact on society. The learnings from the Shiksha program clearly showed that many of the children who were supported dropped out of school before the completion of their secondary education. This triggered the thought within the group to create a program that will ensure that these youth are gainfully employed, thus closing the loop.
UNNATI was thus initiated as a training cum social transformation program for underprivileged youth who were less educated and unemployed. The initial thought was to train around a hundred youths every year and get them jobs. The program was started in a 2-bedroom house in Indiranagar, Bangalore. The first five years culminated in training around 320 youths and the success of the program brought in the realization of the power and impact of the program.
The year 2008 was momentous as the Trust brought up a 22,000 sqft UNNATI Centre on a Govt. CA site allotted to them near Byppanahalli Metro, NGEF Layout, Sadananda Nagar, Bangalore-38. The idea of making the Centre so elegant was to ensure that it inspires the underprivileged youth to feel proud of getting trained at such a facility. It was conceptualized to be an IIM for the poor. The number of youth trained started steadily increasing and very quickly we were training over 600 youths per year. During this period, we ensured that all our processes and curriculum were standardized with a futuristic approach of scaling up.
In the year 2011, SGBS UNNATI Foundation, a section 8 company (Not-For-Profit) was formed to scale the operations of the UNNATI program and take it to many more centers across the country. The initial idea was to hand over the entire process and content and train the participating NGO to establish a center and replicate it. We realized that this model had its own drawbacks and to make it effective we had to drive the program ourselves.
The year 2014 -15 was path-breaking in the sense that Axis Bank Foundation came forward to help us over the next 3 years with almost 12 crore funding to scale up our operations. A lot of effort went into fine-tuning every aspect of the program to create the ‘UNNATI WAY’ and open up 30 centers across the country. The UNNATI logo and approach were beautifully defined by Mr. Dharen Chadha and team Cracker and Rush (led by Mr. Ashutosh and Ms. Ruhi). The various discussions on brand strategy helped UNNATI to understand the way forward as also the market requirements better. UNNATI in many ways became a thought leader in the area of skilling and more importantly, continued to focus on employability skills and a 100% job guarantee.
To strengthen the operations at the main center, a boy's hostel was built in the year 2016, and subsequently a girl's hostel in the year 2018. These are state-of-the-art buildings that help us maintain our image as a premium institution catering to the lowest strata of society.