- by Jagruti Raval
We have introduced ‘Learn Now Pay Later’ scheme for all our five hospitality centers - Aurangabad, Dhamtari, Satara, Udaipur, Vijaywada. This scheme was started for students who are not able to pay our course fees by themselves. Using this scheme they can now pay their fees after they are placed with properties (our placement partners), thus easing them of the financial obligation at the beginning of the course.
Since its inception, we have spoken to our properties for direct deduction from students’ salaries for which we have designed a form called as ‘Direct Debit’ form. This form states that a student agrees to pay a fixed amount of EMI from his/her salary towards his/her outstanding fees and that EMI will be deposited in Pratham’s account by the properties. This form is signed by our students, the HR heads of our placement partners, and the Center Heads and a copy of the same is provided to all the aforementioned 3 parties.
We conduct interviews of our prospective students from our Central office through skype and inquire about their family background, occupations of their family members and other personal details. These interviews help us select students who we think will fulfill the commitment that we expect through this loan repayment model.
The process began from the month of October 2011 with all the branches of TAJ Hotels that recruit our students. It was later replicated for all the properties, where our students are placed. The total EMI we have received through this process until now counts up to Rs.2,70,591. Currently we have 21 properties who are supporting this process.
To help our students better, we have also tied up with Springboard, a micro finance company that supports students with their fees. It provides students with loans and helps them build a career in Hospitality Industry.
This innovative model – ‘Learn Now Pay Later’ has helped many underprivileged students complete their vocational learning and has provided them the much needed financial help, which poses as a huge barrier for a majority of the youth residing in our non-urban locations.