The social service initiative in the A.T. Kearney India unit has been running for five years now, under the “Unnati” banner. Conceptualized by a team of young, passionate, enthusiastic, and fresh consultants, it started off as a one-project initiative, aptly named “NCON—NGO Consulting,” to help an online giving portal (Give India) optimize its search engine results. Projects grew and community service activities were also initiated. The consultants decided to create a platform out of this idea to facilitate involvement of the entire firm in socially responsible activities. “Unnati” was born, and the team, scope, and activities grew manifold—painting classrooms, setting up libraries, clothes collection drives, donation of old furniture, and celebration of festivals with children at NGO-sponsored schools were organized just in the first few years. Informal training for underprivileged students on resume building, interview skills, and communication skills also became an ongoing integral part of the Unnati program.
Unnati grew significantly in scale thanks to a landmark event held in Goa in 2010. The entire unit came together and contributed to charitable activities through a fun-filled Unnati auction raising INR 1.35 million (~USD 30,000). It was a landmark event in the history of the India unit—an activity which hadn’t been undertaken before. More than 100 items and services were pledged by consultants, and there was enthusiastic bidding across the board to raise money for Unnati. We went one step further during our 2011 offsite, raising a sum of INR 2.2 million (~USD 43,000), with participation from more than 200 people (employees and families).
Unnati has now grown into one of the largest spirit of service programs conducted across A.T. Kearney in terms of impact and employee involvement. There are three main pillars in Unnati:
- Monetary support of NGOs: extensive participation in the payroll giving program and deployment of auction proceeds into large A.T. Kearney-sponsored programs for the needy
- Volunteer work: We continue to engage in community activities, with high participation from consultants (e.g. Day of service, Delhi & Mumbai marathons, regular community service for underprivileged children etc.).
- Pro-bono consulting: working on short consulting assignments for NGOs and social organizations