We empower people who demonstrate honesty: S. Muralidharan
Chennai: Equitas Development Initiative Trust (EDIT) is a public charitable trust established by Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd. Chennai-based EDIT runs eight schools called the Equitas Gurukul Schools in Tamil Nadu to provide “high quality education at affordable cost”. S. Muralidharan, chief people officer at Equitas Small Finance Bank, spoke about the initiative in an interview. Edited excerpts:
What is it that drives EDIT and makes it unique?
We nurture and empower our people who demonstrate honesty and high performance in a transparent environment. As far as our students are concerned, the organization is very particular to provide a holistic education to transform them into responsible individuals. This is our people mission and we follow it keenly.
What makes EDIT a great place to work?
All the HR policies that benefit our employees at our parent company Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd, are applicable to our teachers at Equitas Gurukul Schools. We are very conscious to take care of our employees and, every year we take efforts to review the reports to analyse and improve the way we work with our employees.
What are the future plans of EDIT?
The vision of EDIT is to reach Equitas Gurukul model to 50,000 children by 2025. But, practically even if we set up one school per year, we may not achieve the 50,000 mark. So, once our model is fully set and robust, we have decided to offer this model to government schools free of cost, and to private schools with a condition that the fee should be affordable. This is an attempt to give a holistic education to more children.
What is the support system of EDIT that makes it a successful model?
Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd, our parent company, provides support in two ways—15% of the bank’s total net worth is available for purchase of the land and construction of schools. Though the Companies Act says 2% of the profits of an organisation is to be deployed in CSR (corporate social responsibility), we have always set aside 5% of our profits for CSR. This 5% helps to tide over the shortfall we face in our fee collection. Also, students who are unable to afford the nominal fees get the support of donors, who are usually our employees.