Harness the potential of young India

India’s growing ‘under-25’ population, including young people with disabilities , aspire for better jobs and higher incomes. Therefore, there is an urgency to educate and skill our youth and optimise them to match up to the requirements of the industry. DRF attempts to deliver high quality skilling at scale for marginalised youth apart from empowering young women to study science.


To address the vast disconnect between the demand and supply of skilled human resources – largely because of the poor quality of skill training – GROW focuses on improving ‘Core Employability’ skills to ensure the student is equipped with appropriate knowledge for his/her sector-of-choice and help kick start their career.


Only 5%

out of 365 million youth
are skilled. While 178 million
have no skills and no jobs.

Skilled Youth0%

Unskilled and

12.8 million

unskilled youth enter the
workforce every year, yet
53% of jobs are lying vacant
as employers are unable to
find people with the right skills.




GROW’s affordable high quality training focuses on ‘core employability’ skills that are transferable across all sectors but are vital to get a job. The hands-on short duration program includes English, Communicative English, Computer skills and Interview skills. Rigorous and regular assessments ensure there is a skill shift, which is central to the program’s success.

GROW’s emphasis on affordable high-quality training is ensured through a certified IT platform, which maps the entire cycle of
the program. The analytics-driven matchmaking engine helps to place the young aspirants in career tracks that are aligned
with their aspirations.


Steering her Way Forward

Shrimali’s charisma is obvious. But who could guess behind that radiant smile and an easy confidence; she hides the scars of a difficult childhood?

Her father was a truck driver and her mother worked as an attendant in the local government hospital. Shrimali, an only child, insists it was a frugal but happy life till it came to a sudden halt with a terrible road accident that claimed her father.

“My grandparents were shattered and my mother went numb” recollects Shrimali. “I grew from a child to an adult in that instant.” Shrimali, swallows hard as she struggles to continue “My father was not just the provider but he was also the one who took all the decisions. I never had to do anything except ask him and it was done. Suddenly with his passing away my mother and I were totally lost. We had no clue about how he managed the finances and had no understanding of how to claim the accident compensation or pay back arrears. In short, within days, we became destitute with only my mother’s meagre salary to keep us alive.

“It soon became obvious to me that my ailing mother alone would not be able handle the burden of feeding my grandparents and the two of us. It was important that I find a job at the earliest. But apart from not having any skills, the other challenge I had to tackle was my mother’s unreasonable anxiety of sending me out alone in the fear that I might meet with an accident!

“Handling all these things plus my own grief was not easy. But thanks to GROW, I managed to emerge from those dark days and find a new lease of life.”

Shrimali now works in a reputed Finance Company as a tele-caller and takes home a salary of Rs12,000/.  On a routine days she calls around 80 customers and manages to get at least “one good lead” or client for the company which in turn has ensured she is able to total up a neat sum just from the company’s incentive packages.

Shrimali concludes, “My father will always be missed and my yester years will never return.  But one has to move on and think about the future. I want to join the banking sector and I plan to complete my M.Com before taking the probationary officer’s test to join a bank. I hope I will be able to help others to understand how to manage their debts better.”

Sahil Midda’s confidence and loquaciousness can be gripping. It is therefore no surprise that this young man impressed the Pantaloon management to not just employ him but also promote him in quick succession.

Recounting his GROW journey, Sahil admits with a big laugh, “When I joined GROW I was very arrogant and felt that GROW was too “basic” and might not be of help to fulfil my aspirational goals Of course I was totally wrong and I am so indebted to this wonderful team for not throwing me out!”

He continues “It was Monica madam, who grounded me and made me realise the difference between sahas and dheetai (courage and impudence) one wins respect and the other contempt. Looking back, I realise that I was such an unbearable brag!

I am grateful to GROW for holding up the mirror and correcting me.  Her words still ring in my ears – ‘All that you flaunt today is because of your father’s hard work and not because of your hard work. Do something for yourself’ – I think that was the turning point in my life.

At GROW I learnt the valuable lesson of humility and the importance of goal setting among other things. These are lessons that no institute teaches but they are important life skills.” And explaining further he adds “I feel, I might have got a similar job without the ‘GROW’ inputs but I am certain I would not have been able to retain it with my earlier attitude.”

Sahil admits that what he values most from his GROW experience is the mentorship. “The bonding I have with the team here is not transactional. They are committed to seeing me grow even when I am no longer their student and so I visit the center whenever I can get away from work.”

Sahil shared with pride that he is saving to gift his parents’ tickets for a ‘haj’ trip; but he has his sight set on a bigger goal – to become a big businessman. An enterprising man, he is not shy of taking risks and is bidding his time to start his own business – retailing apparel –  and feels Pantaloon is a good place to learn the tricks of the trade.

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DRF 25 Years
DRF 25 Yrs