Ujjwal Mondal pursued multiple postgraduate degrees, but few opportunities existed for him to use his education back home in West Bengal, India. He worked for local NGOs for nearly nine years, but never earned more than ₹ 3,000 a month.
That changed in November 2017, when Ujjwal applied to BridgeIT – TCS’ youth entrepreneurship program - aimed at bridging the digital divide that prevents those in disadvantaged Indian communities from having access to the digital economy.
BridgeIT provides training, seed funding, technology equipment, software and mentoring to youth in rural and disadvantaged communities. Through a five-year journey of becoming successful digital entrepreneurs, BridgeIT guides them to achieve personal success while at the same time providing much-needed services to their community.
In the case of Ujjwal Mondal, he set up his own business to provide valuable digital services to his community like online banking. He also used computer aided learning tools to teach kids in the government school and make villagers become functionally literate.
Growing his portfolio of services, Ujjwal later accepted data entry work for government partners and began completing program assessment and audits for NGOs - soon needing to rent local office space to accommodate his business. Two storefronts followed, offering laptop repairs and IT-related products and services.
By gaining access to the digital economy, Ujjwal soon became a leader in his community, now employing seven others with a combined monthly salary of ₹ 37,000 and earning up to ₹ 100,000 a month.
Ujjwal now feels more confident and respected in his community, but his neighbors still speak most proudly of what hasn’t changed about him – how he remains kind-hearted, gentle, and always eager to help.
Learn more about BridgeIT at www.tcs.com/digital-entrepreneurship-opens-doors.