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Microsoft and SBI Foundation collaborate to create new opportunities for underserved youth; both firms announce plans to develop an AI powered marketplace

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Microsoft India today announced a collaboration with SBI Foundation to create opportunities for youth living with disabilities in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector.

The three-year program was launched by Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft and Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI at an event in Mumbai. Through this collaboration, Microsoft and the SBI Foundation will equip youth living with disabilities with the technology and training needed to better prepare them for integration into the BFSI workforce.

In its first year, the program aims to upskill 500 youth for BFSI jobs across five major geographies, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and the National Capital Region. The program will be driven in collaboration with various government organisations, industry skilling bodies and non-profits. The goal is to build a sustainable and scalable program that not only empowers youth with the skills they need to find employment in the financial services industry, but also advances cross-industry advocacy efforts to drive inclusion for and hiring of people living with disabilities.

Speaking at the event, Jean-Philippe Courtois said, “Focusing on accessibility, diversity and inclusion is central to delivering on our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With over 26 million people living with disabilities in India, it’s essential that we find new ways to use technology to enable everyone to fully participate in the 21st century economy. By partnering with SBI Foundation, we have an amazing opportunity to benefit both people living with disabilities and the BSFI sector.”

Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI said, “SBI has always striven for inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities in the banking sector. We are also helping our peer banks to do so. Our collaboration with Microsoft will help us leverage technology and our experience in training employees with disabilities will open more avenues for employment and engagement of people with disabilities not only in the banking sector, but the entire BFSI sector.”

As part of this joint effort, Microsoft and the SBI Foundation will also develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered marketplace that will enable the BFSI industry to more easily connect to people living with disabilities for upskilling and employment opportunities.

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