3 questions for... Ashwin Shirali, Regional Director of Talent & Culture AccorHotels in India
For many years, Ashwin Shirali, Regional Director of Talent & Culture, AccorHotels India, has supported and worked with the NGO Hope Foundation in favour of the professional insertion of disadvantaged young people from India. With the teams of the Group's various hotels in New Delhi, Bengaluru and later in Chennai, he has actively helped to set up three training centres, known as "AccorHotels Centre of Hope". This considerable commitment, the strong values this project conveys, as well as the good results AccorHotels Centre of Hope have obtained, were rewarded last year at the "CSR Impact Prize" ceremony, where the AccorHotels teams were awarded first prize in the Education category by the French Foreign Trade Advisors (CCEF), in association with the Indo French Chamber of Commerce (IFCCI)!
A few weeks ago, Ashwin spent some time with the beneficiaries of the Chennai centre... Let's ask Ashwin three questions and learn about the nature of his commitment and his impressions in the field:
- What is the link between the Hope Foundation and AccorHotels teams?
In 2012, AccorHotels India, with the sponsorship and support of Solidarity AccorHotels, partnered the Hope Foundation to create "AccorHotels Centre of Hope". The partnership works based on a simple philosophy: "People You Skill, lives you change", wherein AccorHotels not only fund the projects but also provide operational support to the Centres. The AccorHotels Centre of Hope in Chennai is AccorHotels India's 3rd project in the field of vocational training for socially and economically disadvantaged sectors.
- How do you feel after visiting the Chennai centre?
Visiting the Centre gave me a great feeling and the opportunity to meet many bright and deserving yet deprived young people of the Chennai area. The visit, lasting for over an hour, was a real-time experience allowing us to sense the students' aspirations, the challenges they face daily and their efforts to overcome these challenges.
- Why do you think it is important to provide support for these young people in India?
India's youth faces serious problems of unemployment and underemployment. The causes are many, and include dropping out of high school because of poverty; the need to support their family at an early age; the lack of career counselling at the right age; and, most importantly, the absence of the basic skills required by employers today. It therefore both humbles us and fills us with pride to be able to provide a great platform where these talented students can shape their future to provide lifelong support for their families.