By Champaka Narasimhachar, Senior Manager – Risk and Compliance, Fidelity Investments India

Volunteers from Risk, Ethics, Compliance and Analytics teams at Fidelity Investments India recently came together to facilitate a virtual employment skills training session for girls of ages 18 to 25 years from less-privileged backgrounds, supported by one of the Firm’s not-for-profit partners. Fidelity supports these girls through our corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, Fidelity Cares. The focus of our session was financial literacy, which was of special interest to the girls as well. Preparations for the CSR event had begun a few weeks ago, including an orientation session that the not-for-profit partner had conducted for our volunteers. They shared details about the audience, the topics that would need to be covered, and some ground rules to be able to reach out better to the audience.

Based on the interaction with the not-for-profit partner, the volunteers further customized the standard training material to suit the audience’s requirements. On the day of the event, after a brief context-setting and introductory remarks, Pashupathi K.S., Head of Risk and Compliance for Global Locations, Fidelity Investments, kicked off the session with his leadership remarks. He spoke about the importance and need for financial literacy in our daily lives and hence the criticality of such initiatives in imparting such knowledge to the next generation.

The 60 beneficiaries were then divided into four virtual breakout rooms, for each of which two facilitators from among the volunteers were assigned. The facilitators covered topics such as needs versus wants, savings, financial goals, managing expenses, budgeting, digital payments, banking, types of accounts – savings and current, how to be safe when transacting or investing online, how to borrow from banks or local lenders, managing needs at different life stages, identifying and planning for future job opportunities, and more.

All the four breakout rooms saw active participation and interaction, with several questions coming in from the participants. Our not-for-profit partner played a significant role in translating some of the answers into the regional languages for the benefit of the participants. Pashupathi, Ramsan Mashunngam from the India Fidelity Cares team, a member of the not-for-profit organization, and I coordinated the sessions among the four rooms and pitched in from time to time to provide support when needed. The 90-minute session was extremely engaging as indicated in the feedback from the participants as well, who mentioned that they had benefited from the session and would like to participate in more such sessions in future.

As the saying goes, “Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think.” We from the Fidelity Investments India Risk and Compliance team would like to think we did our bit in training the young people who participated in our session in thinking and planning ahead as they venture out in their life’s journey.

Many thanks to all the volunteers, Madhumita Sen, Sudheep Bhat, Swati Shirsat, Deepa Gurubasavaiah, Muthanna Iychanda Aiyappa, Sandeep Saha, V.M. Sowjanya, the India Fidelity Cares team, and the not-for-profit partner, for helping make the event a fruitful one.

Read more about our CSR program on our website.



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