Schindler India employees ran Tata Mumbai Marathon
In January this year, 65 Schindler India employees ran the Tata Mumbai Marathon in support of Mumbai Mobile Creches, and Habitat for Humanity. Ashok Ramachandran, CEO of Schindler India, also took part and in this interview he tells us about his experience and why this type of Corporate Social Responsibility initiative is important to him.
Ashok Ramachandran (far right), CEO Schindler India, with running colleagues from Schindler at the Tata Mumbai Marathon in India.
Why did you decide to run the marathon?
Initially, it was about health. I’d never run a half-marathon in my life – the maximum I’d done was 10km – so I wanted to push myself. But I lacked a bit of motivation. When I found out Schindler was entering a team to support our corporate social responsibility initiatives it gave me the confidence to go for it. Thinking about the contribution we would make to communities really motivated me.
How did you prepare for the marathon?
I’ve always enjoyed running, but starting my role in India in 2018 affected my training routine. Even though I registered 3 months before the event, I couldn’t train as much as I wanted and was even contemplating pulling out.
Two weeks before the race, Mumbai Mobile Creches and Habitat for Humanity visited our office and told us how our participation would help them. After that, I knew I had to run. I was really motivated and started training harder. The last couple of weeks paid off and thankfully I completed with a decent time.
What was your favourite moment in the event?
The best thing about running the marathon was the support we received. There were people standing beside the road cheering us on - giving us water, giving us juice, giving us fruit. That was really heart-warming. There were thousands of people with cards saying, “Run for your life”, “You are awesome”, “You can do it”. For me that was the best moment.
Why is taking part in this type of event important to you?
I’ve always found sport brings people together and that was definitely the case during the marathon. Our team came from different parts of the business – from front-line technicians to Head Office management. But on that day we were all the same – when you’re running and sweating, you’re like everyone else. Even the celebrities that took part were running alongside us – they weren’t wearing diamond shoes.
Why are you proud of Schindler India’s CSR initiatives? The whole philosophy of our CSR program – “Fulfil Futures” - isn’t just about giving money to charity. It’s about having a long-term vision of what Schindler stands for in India. We want to be a leading mobility provider and see helping the community as part of this.
For instance, last Saturday, the whole New Installations team volunteered to build a house with Habitat for Humanity. And when I talked to them about their experience, it was clear that they didn’t do it because they feel obliged by the company. It’s a personal commitment to helping others. For me, this commitment is very special and will help us become the leading mobility provider in India.