Supporting local communities

Nilesh B Dosa, UK

Manager, Performance Improvement, EMEIA Financial Services

Through our peer-based global award program, Better Begins with You, we recognize and celebrate EY people who have found inspiring and impactful ways to bring EY’s purpose – Building a better working world – to life. We spoke to Nilesh B Dosa, our Regional Winner, about his grassroots initiative mentoring youth in the community.

Congratulations on your achievement, Nilesh. How does it feel to be recognized for the work you’re putting back into the community?

This is one of the proudest moments of my professional career. I know that the caliber of people we have at EY is exceptional and I know of many who in their spare time run initiatives not dissimilar to mine. So, to be the winner across the entire EMEIA Financial Services region is a privilege.

However, winning this award is not the end – I’m incredibly proud of receiving this recognition but there’s plenty still to do. To that end, whilst schools were closed through the summer, we’ve worked to design an even bigger and better program for the 2017 and 2018 academic year. Our program now has: a more formalized structure; more places available; has more schools signed up; and we also have list of guest speakers which includes international sportsmen and women, and a variety of CEOs. It now even has a name – icanyoucantoo.

How did your colleagues react when you told them you had won?

The support and reaction that I have received has been overwhelming — there have been hundreds of views, likes and comments across social media and many of the messages have been from people I don’t even know. I think the simplicity of what we are actually doing, the real impact we’re making and EY’s reputation is a powerful combination, and this is what resonates with people. I also think there is something in there about people looking at me and thinking, “if he’s doing it, I can too.”

Well, hopefully others will follow your lead. Can you tell us a little more about your story? What inspired you to get involved?

Having grown up in deprived part of London myself, with parents who have no formal education, has meant that everything I have done I’ve done with empathy and heart. I think this passion is the thing that stands out – here is a guy who ‘gets it’ – who is now going back to his roots to support the next generation with opportunities that he himself didn’t have.

It has been a dream come true personally to ‘go back home’ and help those who are in a similar situation to me from when I was growing up – giving them guidance, coaching and most of all, belief. So many of the pupils lack the simple self-belief that they too could work for an organization like EY or even go to university. There are a whole bunch of kids out there, many of whom live and study a stone’s throw away from the magnificent buildings we all work in, who are in need of our time, attention and guidance. And that simply, is my inspiration.

Why do you think awards such as this one are so important?

I think it’s the nature of our organization – cutting edge, world leading, and yet, with an absolute focus on our people and the communities we live in. Sorry for the cheesy play on words here, but — this recognition program has literally given recognition to a very important set of issues faced by our communities (youth, social mobility and mentoring).

I’m so proud to be at a organization which has a strategy. Which is not just something that reads well on paper, but it something that is genuinely lived and breathed, encouraged even, on a daily basis. And recognizing my work is proof of the importance EY places on community.