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Param Singh

Founder and managing director, UDAY

A distinguished alumnus of CQUniversity Australia and winner of the Australia-India young entrepreneur of the year award in 2013, Perth-based Param Singh is on track to give farmers across India access to a sustainable rural livelihood. His company, UDAY, focuses on developing skills and encouraging entrepreneurship.

How did you start? What made you choose this career path?

In 2011, the Australian Trade and investment Commission (Austrade) organised a 3-day visit to Asia Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines for Australian companies to know about the opportunities to work with ADB, it was then when I came across so many development challenges for India. In my heart I always wanted to do something for the poor in developing countries and this visit to ADB helped me understand my purpose to enrich the lives of youth by giving them skills training so that they can live with dignity. 

How did your Australian experience contribute to your success, or your approach to your work?

I came to Australia in 2003 as an International student and I studied at CQUniversity. Australia taught me equality, dignity of labour, and most importantly shared prosperity as a nation. One of our company’s core values is derived from what I have experienced in Australia, i.e. “Work that promotes shared prosperity”. Now ‘UDAY’ as a social enterprise only engages in projects that ensure shared prosperity in developing nations. 

"In my heart I always wanted to do something for the poor in developing countries" – Param Singh 

What made you take the leap overseas and why India?

I am blessed to call Australia home and it has given my family everything one needs to live a comfortable life. The journey to start a social enterprise in India was an internal calling that how we can enhance the lives of millions of young people who do not have the opportunity to get quality education at a price they can afford. 

What do you think is the single most influential factor in your success?

I think there are two most influential factors. First is the past track record, I used to run a boutique international education institute in Australia (The Cantillon Institute) that has won many state and federal awards, and the second is the Australian reputation for quality education. These two factors always helped me to get a first client interaction in India. 

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What’s one of your most favourite things about living and working in India?

My most favourite thing in India is its spirituality. On so many occasions I have met with people who taught me that there is more than your own self and this feeling is always refreshing. 

"Australia taught me equality, dignity of labour, and most importantly shared prosperity as a nation" 
– Param Singh

What do you know today that you wished you had known when you first started?

Hiring slow and ensuring that you spend a lot of time as a founder to instill core values in the first few employees of your organisation. It’s your employees that will make a great organisation. 

What makes you proud to be Australian? 

The human value, equality and shared prosperity for all makes me very proud to be Australian. 

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More on UDAY: UDAY provides access to vocational training and skills education to low income earners, in particular Indian youth, farmers and rural women. Since its inception, UDAY has helped 8,500 students train across key industry sectors such as building and construction, light engineering, telecommunications, retail, IT and tourism and hospitality. The company's rural prosperity initiative Project Mooo aims to double the income of small marginalised farmers via an enterprise model, to have more than 1 million farmers (a third of them women) and 3 million cattle on the Mooo App by 2021.

 

 

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