Last Updated:  16/10/2019

Login to Shortlist

Project Pitch By: The/Nudge Foundation


Proposed Project Title

Gurukul Program in Life Management – Vocational Skilling, English and Digital Literacy and Life Skills


Thematic Area

Promotion of education, special education and vocational skills

Sub Thematic Area

Skill Development

Project Synopsis

The Gurukul Program in Life Management is a 90 day residential skilling program that provides youth (18-25 year olds) with vocational, literacy and life skills along with behavioural and mindset shifts. We have graduated more than 3800 students out of poverty so far, with 100% placement for those graduates who opt in. Our students come from 8 states across the country, and attend one of 27 Gurukuls across Bangalore and New Delhi. They are trained in driving, beauty, BPO, retail/BFSI sales, electrician and plumbing with 100% placements, across 150+ employers including Starbucks, Kotak, Pantaloons, HGS, Sobha etc, at an average starting salary of Rs. 12,000 per month.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 1.0 Cr - INR 5.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad

Key Project Partners

Project Status


Beneficiary Type (Primary): Youth
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Women
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 1000- 3000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description

The  Problem – Every month, 1 million people join India’s workforce and will continue to do so for the next 15 years. However, ~25% of these come from impoverished backgrounds (exposure to violence, drugs, lack of water/healthcare/sanitation, etc) and 50% are school dropouts. Hence, a majority lack not only basic education and technical skills but also the life skills and confidence to be employable.


Though there is significant government and CSR focus on skilling, a majority of the existing initiatives focus heavily on hard skills and do not address aspects related to life on the job, changes in lifestyle and sustainable career growth, resulting in high attrition and low productivity. Further, for the underprivileged to progress in their careers requires them to have foundational learning along with a mindset to learn, creating the need for English literacy, numeracy, digital and financial literacy. Hence, while hard skills are critical, the absence of life skills and learning skills are likely to cripple India’s youth. Finally, even after entering the formal employment sector, routine life-shocks like bad loans, accident/sickness in the family etc, combined with the high cost of information discovery and weak support networks can pull the poor back into the cycle of poverty.


Solution – The/Nudge’s Program in Life Management – Gurukul.

The/Nudge’s solution design stems from a need to focus on behaviour and mindset change beyond just the hard skills in youth (18-25 yrs). India’s huge skill gap with a requirement of ~400 million people by 2022 presents a great opportunity to pull the underprivileged out of poverty. Hence The/Nudge developed a comprehensive 360-degree approach aimed at job and life-readiness for underprivileged youth. The program is a rigorous 90-day fully-residential program delivered in learning centres called Gurukuls with an emphasis on extensive experiential learning through habit-building and repetition and focus on three main foundations:

  • Life foundation - basic skills required to continue and grow in the job. It includes financial literacy, personality development, career, and health management
  • Learning foundation - basics of numeracy, workplace communication and digital literacy skills required on the job on a day-to-day basis
  • Economic foundation - technical job skills around electrical, plumbing, driving, beauty, customer service, and delivery logistics


At the end of the program we provide placements to all students who opt-in. Post-Gurukul support is provided to each and every Gurukul alumnus through Life/Guard, a comprehensive lifelong support platform that provides information & knowledge support, decision support, emergency & disaster support, and community support. The Program in Life Management’s overall objective can be summarized as enhanced life, learning, and vocational skills for youth post Gurukul, helping them to grow and prosper with time, and lifelong support to navigate regular life challenges.


Result/Output: The/Nudge was been running in Bangalore, Karnataka, for the last 3.5 years and in Delhi for the last 1 year. Some of our highlights over the last 3.5 years:

1. Student mobilization:

  • Presence in 7 states with 4 regional offices across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.
  • Institutional partnerships for mobilization with Pradaan, Chhattisgarh State Skill Development Corporation, Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society, Bihar Skill Development Mission  and 80+ grassroots non-profits


2. Program design and delivery:

  • Optimized program design from 120 days to 90 days with no change in outcomes
  • Extensive employer network across 7 different livelihoods: 150+ across Bangalore and Delhi
  • Life/guard: 74% alumni engagement on the technology platform with a demonstrated 2% increase in retention with INR 100 saved on housing in the first-month


3. ~ 4000 student annual run rate within 3.5 yrs of inception including a 45:55 gender ratio

4. 100+ consecutive batches with 100% placements of all student opt-ins

5. Instituted safety and risk management measures given the residential model


Impact: The results from our Program in Life Management (Gurukul) running in partnership with other institutions have provided enough evidence that the model is effective and leads to significant impact on the lives of the underprivileged youth we are serving:

  • 2+ million student learning hours
  • ~3800+ graduates in 3.5 years operations
  • ~3500 annual graduate run rate
  • 27 Gurukuls
  • Women : Men ratio of 44:55
  • Facility capacity utilization > 80%
  • No. of recruiters > 150
  • 100% placements for those who opt in (average salaries - Men: INR 12257; Women: INR 8561)
  • 75% alumni engagement
  • 70% unemployed before Gurukul - 1st time job opportunities


Impact Story:

Appasab Biradar comes from an impoverished household in Chincholi in Gulbarga, Karnataka. He has been helping his father in the fields since he was 15. At 16, he had to earn his own school fees by selling books. He discontinued his studies at 17, and worked a cashier, where he earned only Rs 4,000 a month. That is when he heard of the Gurukul, and decided to enrol in the program for a better life for himself and his family. At the Gurukul, he learned how to speak English well and use computers. Today a Gurukul graduate, he is earning Rs 20,000 as an employee of Clean Fanatics. He finds that he uses everything he learned at the Gurukul at his job, and his manager is very happy with the way he interacts with clients.



Salient Features

  1. 90 day fully residential program covering vocational, literacy and life skills
  2. 100% placement for every student who opts in, with 3 times the national average in 3 month retention of students in jobs
  3. Cost per student ~ INR 50,000

About The/Nudge Foundation

The/Nudge exists to alleviate poverty – sustainably and at scale.

The/Nudge was founded in 2015 by Atul Satija (Forbes 40 under 40, ex-CRO, InMobi and former MD, Google, JAPAC) with the support of Nandan Nilekani and Tata Trusts to break the cycle of poverty for rural youth through the Gurukul Program in Life Management – a 360 degree comprehensive life, learning and economic foundation program. To date, we have lifted ~4000 graduates out of poverty, providing students who opt in with a 100% placement guarantee at the end of the program.    


In 2017, The/Nudge launched N/Core, India’s first non-profit incubator with the aim to nudge top talent to solve for India’s biggest challenges. In 1.5 years, N/Core has worked with over 30 non-profits across India, impacting over 800,000 people.


In 2019, The/Nudge inaugurated the Centre for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (CSDE) in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation. CSDE is India’s first think-do-convene tank focussed on accelerating the research, innovation and scale of India’s skill development initiatives.


The/Nudge’s work has been supported by organisations such as Omidyar Network, Rockefeller Foundation, Mphasis, HDFC, HSBC, DRK Foundation, Cisco, Viacom 18, and Morgan Stanley.


Other Project Pitch

Project for Migrant Workers

Project for Migrant Workers

Frostees india pvt. ltd.
Integrated Growth and development Mission for rural Children (IGDMRC)

Integrated Growth and development Mission for rural Children (IGDMRC)

The bombay mothers and children welfare society (bmcws)

Explore Organizations

United Way Mumbai

United Way Mumbai

WWF India

WWF India