“It was the best time of my life”

Hedwig and Robert Samuel Foundation

Amit Singh, a 28 year-old former graduate of the Hedwig and Robert Samuel Foundation in India visited the Foundation’s headquarters on March 20th 2019 while on a business trip. We talked with Mr. Singh about his success story which you can read here:

Mr. Singh, tell us a bit about yourself. What is your current position and what brought you to Duesseldorf, the Foundation’s headquarters?

I am a graduate of the Samuel Foundation’s training program in Dress Designing and Quality Supervision in the year 2010. I work for Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd in New Delhi as Garment Technical Manager.

The purpose of my visit to Germany is to meet with the fashion company Esprit. They are one of our buyers and we manufacture many products for them. They invited me for a fitting session and we discussed many topics concerning the different fittings. I am happy to say that it was a very successful meeting.

That sounds great! So, this is your first time in Germany? What strikes you the most about this country, now that you are here?

Yes, it is my first time in Germany. I had been to France before and also to Hong Kong to meet with other buyers. The first thing I noticed was that Germany seems to be a pollution-free country, whereas in India we have many problems due to high air pollution.

I was especially excited to come to Germany because of the Samuel Foundation. I have really been looking forward to coming to the headquarters of the Samuel Foundation. And I heard I am the very first student from India coming here, so that is also very special.

Take us back to the year 2009, when you heard of the Samuel Foundation for the first time. How was your first contact with the Foundation and what made you apply for a scholarship?

I do not belong to a rich family. So at the time, I was in need of money and went to the market in search of a job which did not require a vocational training. The jobs offered were not well-paid. I wanted to work in the garment industry and for that you need a diploma. But all the different institutes where you can get trained cost a lot of money. Then one day, while I was on my daily morning walk through the park, my friend Anil approached me and told me about the Samuel Foundation, where he was a student at the time. He told me they offer free training. I went there, filled in the application form. Later I took the entry exam and got interviewed. Luckily, I was selected! It was the beginning of a great time.

What was it that you liked the most about the training at the Samuel Foundation?

The training at the Samuel Foundation was very compact. We would learn the same things in one year that are taught in three years at the other institutes. That meant that we had a tough schedule and that we had lots of work to do. But that was good for us, because after one year we were very well-prepared for the working life. Neha Tewari, the Director of the Samuel Foundation in India, kept reminding us of how important it is to be hard-working and to keep growing as individuals. That is why, even though it was a lot of hard work, looking back I would say that it was the best time of my life.

How did your life evolve after you graduated from the Center for Technical Education of the Samuel Foundation?

After graduating my wish was to join the best company for my preferred field which was the technical department. I quickly got a job offer with a basic starting salary, which I accepted. After 15 days, Shahi Exports offered me a higher salary so I switched to this company. 3,5 years later I left Shahi to go to a rechain company. And 1,5 years later my ex-boss from Shahi called me again. Since then I have been working for Shahi, today as a Garment Technical Manager.

What does it feel like to be here today?

I feel very proud. Where I am at today is only thanks to the Samuel Foundation. If it was not for the Samuel Foundation, I do not know what my life would be like. So I am very grateful for the help I received through the Samuel Foundation. I have recently bought a house and with the salary I earn today, I can raise my two children and also help my parents.