Oct 05, 2017

Genpact and Wrigley CEOs Headline Annual Chicago Fundraiser


Prominent business leaders, dignitaries and members of the local Indian-American community gathered in downtown Chicago for the annual Pratham Gala on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Held at the elegant Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Center, the event was attended by 300 guests and raised $260,000 for Pratham’s award-winning education programs.

“A small amount will make big difference in a child’s life forever,” explained Allstate Executive and Chapter President Suren Gupta. “Many people are astounded to learn that Pratham can educate a child with a mere $25 because its low-cost programs provide scalable and effective solutions for improving children’s reading and math skills in just six to eight weeks.” It is estimated that 100 million Indian children cannot read or write.

Guest of honor Martin Radvan, President, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and President, Wrigley Company Foundation, shared Wrigley’s “sustainable in a generation” plan and was honored for the impact of the Foundation’s partnership with Pratham in educating 100,000 children in Uttar Pradesh’s mint farming villages.

In his keynote speech, Genpact President and CEO N V “Tiger” Tyagarajan stressed the importance of educating girls: “It’s my firm belief that when you educate girls and women in society, the society changes. Women have this tremendous power of actually changing the sociocultural fabric of countries.” Pratham’s Second Chance program gives women who have dropped out of school an opportunity to finish their education and stand on their own feet.

A distinct cultural flavor was reflected in the evening’s program, which included comedian Anish Shah and tantalizing food from India Garden, and in the fashion, a mix of ethnic Indian and Western formal.

Gala co-chairs Alwar Narayanan and Smruti Rajagopalan delivered a memorable night with the support of the chapter Board, local volunteers and the following sponsors: Allstate Insurance Company, Ernst & Young LLP, General Electric, Genpact, Infosys, McKinsey & Company, Mondeléz International, Salesforce Inc., Vinakom Inc., United Airlines, and Mars Wrigley Confectionery.

View more photos from the event.