“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give” ~ Ben Carson
This saying has a deep correlation with Ravikumar Kalaimani’s journey at Samsung R&D Bangalore (SRIB). Having spent 20 years with SRIB, Ravi is one of the founder member of Samsung Employee Volunteer association (SEVA), an interest group that is dedicated to work for community outreach especially for local communities. Currently the Director of 5G Services team, Ravikumar inspires his team members ‘everyday with his balancing act of delivering breakthrough technologies and helping the local communities in parallel.
The joy of giving had a deep impact on him since childhood as he knew the feeling of gratitude while receiving love, warmth and small gifts. The journey of SEVA goes back twenty years when Ravikumar was requested to identify key areas where the organization can contribute to the society as part of its citizenship initiatives. There began the quest and how he first stumbled upon Angel Orphanage, a place that was in dire need of food supplies, essentials as there were about 30 kids. Over next few days, team members from SRIB (then it was known as SISO), came forward and raised money to help this orphanage. From then, there was no looking back and MD Dipesh Shah guided Ravikumar and his team as they started taking up employee volunteering driven CSR projects. They supported this orphanage for more than ten years with monthly groceries, paying for education, conducting events to encourage their talents, spending time with them etc. until it was self-sustained with more aid from people or reached out to him and his colleagues on need basis.
Angel Orphanage in 2010
Visit for donations during Foundation Day in Feb 2021 marking Silver Jubilee celebrations of SRIB
With so much of active work on the community part, it becomes important to understand how he balances between, home, work and social service. Ravikumar says “Weekdays are mainly for work unless some urgent requirements come in and weekends are kept for social work. Even during the busy days of 3G, 4G, and 5G, we (SEVA) managed to mobilize help for needy as there is a strong network out there to support. The scenario is like a Samsung base camp which is an example of excellent team work. My family has been extremely supportive and encouraged me to follow my heart”.
Kembodi school in Kolar before construction
Samsung constructed this block with classrooms in 2018
Today, SEVA has about more than 10 core members and 150 plus volunteers who come forward during major community initiatives. Ravikumar feels Samsung ignited his passion to help the society and supported with all the infrastructure required to pursue his passion.
“Samsung helped me in dreaming big. I could have achieved little by reaching out to a few thousand students to support for their education. But with Samsung, we could reach out to more than 100,000 students with the notebook distribution every year. Also, encourage students by giving dictionaries, school bags, exam pads and other stationaries and asked them to study well. Samsung constructed a school building in the Kolar region, ensured safe drinking water by installing water filters in more than 100 schools, and brighten lives of so many students with solar lamps in the region of Karnataka. As a SEVA volunteer, we must work selflessly without expecting anything in return as the joy remains forever. Helping the needy and letting compassion and self-discipline guide us will go a long way in our efforts towards making the world a better place to live in”.
Over a period of time, Ravikumar worked with as many as thirty Non-Profits helping different communities as part of his hobby. Their work got recognised by the Former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who had invited him along with his fifty NGO affiliates to appreciate their activities towards India Vision 2020. It was an inspiring meeting as each NGO explained their area of work and challenges and he felt immense gratification with that experience.
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