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Sir Martin Sorrell unveils WPP School of Communication; launches WPP India CSR Foundation

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Sir Martin Sorrell unveils WPP School of Communication; launches WPP India CSR Foundation

WPP and the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI), a fast-growing recognized leader in arts and design vocational education, has officially unveiled its ISDI WPP School of Communication campus in Mumbai.  

The ISDI | WPP School campus was inaugurated by Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP along with its inaugural batch of 60 students.

The ISDI | WPP School of Communication marks WPP’s first foray into the Indian education sector. The partnership aims to create India’s first professional three-year undergraduate certification program in communication-based on a unique work-study model that will bring together a strong academic and creative curriculum combined with practical application.

WPP and WPP companies, which are globally recognized for their in-house training and development programs, have worked closely with ISDI to develop the School’s curriculum and hire full-time faculty.  With an aim to provide students a balanced work-study environment, senior management from WPP companies and industry academicians are mentoring the programme serving as part-time faculty.

Commenting on the launch, WPP CEO,Sir Martin Sorrell said, “At our recent meeting with Prime Minister Modi in New York organized by Rupert and James Murdoch, he suggested the Media Industry develop Universities to train and develop the considerable young talent India has. This initiative represents WPPs initial response to the Prime Ministers challenge. It is a small, but significant first step".

Ranjan Kapur, Country Manager,WPP India said, “A small but important step has been taken to fill the resource gap in our industry. It is also a demonstration of collaboration between Academia and Industry to create a curriculum that is unique and relevant to the needs of a fast-changing communication environment.”

Dr. Indu Shahani, HR College and the Chair- Academic Council at ISDI,"ISDI | WPP School of Communication is an effort to bring the 'real world of work 'to the classrooms and to teach theory with a practical orientation. The first batch of young students is excited to welcome Sir Martin Sorell on his first visit to the School since it began in July this year. We would like to strengthen this partnership and look forward to interesting live projects and internships for students in the WPP group of companies in India and globally."

Radha Kapoor, Founder and Executive Director at ISDI, said,"Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) is laser focused on building a New-Gen ecosystem of Design & Innovation driven by Creative Entrepreneurship in India. It is a matter of great pride to partner with WPP, the Global leader in communications under the visionary leadership of Sir Martin Sorell, for the ISDI-WPP School of Communications at Lower Parel Innovation District (LPID) in Mumbai. (LPID) is an initiative being championed by ISDI)

As Indian Entrepreneurship leapfrogs in today's globalised economy, effective Communication with Confidence & Conviction amongst Indian Entrepreneurs will be a key factor for achievement of success. This is in fullest consonance for actualisation of Digital India. We are happy to welcome Sir Martin Sorell to inaugurate the ISDI-WPP School of Communication which prepares students to be ready for the real world by being mentored by professionals from the WPP Group which I believe is the newage model of education”, she further added.

In another key announcement, WPP has announced the launch of ‘WPP India Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation’, consolidating CSR activities of all WPP Companies in India under one umbrella and working in unison towards effecting social change and nation building.

The foundation is committed to a common CSR vision to “Enable children and youth from vulnerable and marginalized communities to achieve their full potential through holistic child development with a focus on education, life skills and health”.

To achieve its vision, the ‘WPP India CSR Foundation’ is launching an ambitious INR 33 Crore (USD 5 Million) education, life skills and vocational training programme targeted to reach 20,000 children aged from 11 to 18 years over the next three years. To take the programme to the ground, ‘WPP India CSR Foundation’ has partnered with Genesis Foundation, Hope For Children and Magic Bus as implementation partners bringing required local knowledge and in-depth community connect.

To drive India’s growth, the Government of India ‘Education for All’ report highlights the need to equip the youth with the relevant knowledge, skills values and attitudes. However the industry is plagued with multiple challenges:

The World Bank supported the ‘RashtriyaMadhyamikShikhshaAbhiyan’ (RMSA) programme, only 44% of children complete education up to Class 10. Even those who do stay in school struggle with basic rudimentary reading, arithmetic skills and lack basic life skills to help them participate productively in society.According to the 2014 ASER Report, only 48% of children in class 5 can read a class 2 text.

With an aim to address these challenges, the WPP India CSR Foundation program aims to create an enabling environment for young girls and boys in their journey towards becoming capable and productive members of society.

Commenting on the launch of the WPP India CSR Foundation, Sir Martin said, “India has today established itself as one of the fastest growing world economies enjoying positive growth, however the country continues to be challenged with a large number of unemployed youth, posing as one of the biggest threats. We believe that a challenge of such magnitude requires a programme to be built on the principle of effective partnership. The WPP India CSR Foundation believes that by collaborating with knowledgeable and forward-looking not-for-profits we will ensure the program's success and sustainability in the long run.”

As one of the partners of the programme, Prema Sagar, Founder Trustee, Genesis Foundation said, “Before education, skills and employability comes the basic right of the child to live a healthy life. To ‘Give Life A Chance’, we provide financial support for life-changing medical intervention for critically ill under-privileged children so that they can learn, play and earn to build a future for themselves.

With the support of the WPP network, we look forward to reaching out to and garner more participation from individuals, organisations, hospitals and other NGOs for the cause. This way, we will be able to extend critical support to even more children, who, once they are leading healthy lives, can be educated and skilled to realise their potential” she further added.

Speaking about the partnership, Ian Correa, Director Development, Hope for Children said, “What I appreciate about the WPP approach is that their thought process strives to be considerate, compassionate and complete. It ties into HOPE foundation's 'Cradle to Career' strategy of helping children complete school before joining college and acquiring employable skills. We look forward to the children of the programme areas being able to realise their potential as a result of the WPP-HOPE foundation partnership."

The programme has been carefully designed to ensure a multi-stakeholder approach by not only working with children and teachers but also interacting with the local government bodies as well as the larger community. The objective is to involve all stakeholders that are critical to reaching the desired impact of children achieving their full potential. The programme aims to improve the quality of education through creative teaching methods, making the classroom an enjoyable place of learning and targeted community engagement and mentorship.

Commenting on the partnership, Pratik Kumar, CEO, Magic Bus, “We are honoured to be partnering with WPP towards bettering the lives of over 20,000 children and youth from some of Delhi NCR’s and Mumbai’s poorest neighbourhoods. Our project will work on delivering impact around improved learning outcomes and employability skills, in partnership with local NGOs and organisations.”

The programme will be launched in the last quarter of 2015 and will be rolled out across schools and communities in and around the National Capital Region and the Greater Mumbai area.

Tags Sir Martin Sorrell WPP School of Communication WPP India CSR Foundation

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