au foundation

A day with AU Foundation

author: Garima Singh | 26 Mar 2019

Be ready for full of learning,

bonding and smiles!

At the AU Foundation’s financial literacy camp with local artists and organizing team. And a huge crowd of participants in Kujeta village near Shahpura, Jaipur.

“Agar Shahpura se Gurgaon ke beech aapki jeb kat jaaye to samjh lijiye paisa Kujeta pahuncha hi” said Sultan ji with a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face.

Clad in a simple white kurta pajama, this successful teacher turned businessman juxtaposes images of his urban counterparts. Grounded and humble, Sultan ji is a well-respected figure in Shahpura and the villages around. Everyone affectionately calls him Master ji.

It was already noon and drizzling when I reached Kujeta, a small of village of about 3000 people. I could see the enthusiasm with which AU Foundation team were prepping for the Financial Literacy Program in the village. They had just wrapped another camp in a nearby village and were all set for the another one.

While Sutlan ji along with Satyam ji, branch manager of AU Bank’s Pawta branch generously answered my questions; they kept a vigil on the activities around. For me it was a wonderful opportunity to learn ground realities of banking in rural India and meet AU parivaar that is the force behind AU’s success.

Coming back to our story. Sultan ji concluded that the anecdote is a glimpse into the lives of people among whom AU works. And the synergies teams build with their clients to encourage them to use banking facilities and keep their hard-earned money safe.

While the AU foundation team was busy organizing the financial literacy program, villagers curiously gathered around to see what the commotion was about. Soon enough a crowd of more than 100 men and children gathered, and women folks parked themselves on roof tops. The show began. Local folk artists started the program with a lively countryside music and dance.

The whole act was peppered with role plays around mobile banking fraud, health insurance and Pradhan Mantri Jan Suraksha Yojana and basic banking facilities. Interestingly the crowd remained glued to their seats and actively participated throughout the program. I was impressed to see that not only men, but women and children equally showed enthusiasm to know more about banking. The organizers played an impromptu quiz for children and awarded them for their understanding of banking products. Role plays, folk music, quiz, and acts around banking made the literacy camp fun and entertaining. Never was there any dull moment. You can imagine the success of the camp when about five to six people immediately went ahead to open their bank accounts! Shubham Pareek and Pawan Tiwari, members of AU Foundation, became my companion for the day. The interaction with them were enriching and full of valuable lessons from the ground.

I personally thank them for accompanying me to AU branches and BC outlets along with the camp. The trip to Pawta, Kujeta, Kharbuji Bus Stand BC outlet has been extremely meaningful to understand our people and our end clients closely. The visit helped me document many first-time entrepreneurs’ successful stories who were backed by AU when nobody else believed in their dreams. In its true spirit, AU is acting as a catalyst in transforming the lives at the bottom of the pyramid. If you want to understand what AU is made of; it’s culture and winning streak – meet AU people who are taking the banking to the underserves and unbanked population of India. They are a bunch of dedicated, self-motivated people who recognize the value of entrepreneurship even in remote areas and back those who dare to dream big!  Don’t be surprised if you are always greeted with ‘Namaskar’ instead of ‘Hello’! Get talking and you will be taken to one of the best experiences of your life.

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Garima has over a decade of experience in marketing and brand communication, having worked on projects in banking, financial inclusion, healthcare, education, WaSH, agriculture, and fintech. Her areas of expertise lie in communication for behavior change, communication and brand management, content writing, and digital marketing. Before joining AU Bank, Garima was the Practice Group Lead (Marketing) at MicroSave Consulting where she undertook various roles, from setting up the digital communication center and managing the process workflow. She has done Masters in Communications Studies from the University of Pune. She is fluent in English, Hindi Bengali.

Garima Singh