Letter From Jaspal Bindra, Ceo, Asia, Scb

Welcome to Goal, our community programme that empowers girls by giving them the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

At Standard Chartered we are well aware that women who are economically empowered are a powerful force for development. As a Bank, our business cannot prosper in the long-term without empowered women as our customers, clients and staff. Yet in many of our key markets, women’s ability to contribute to economic development is hindered. For example, India, where we piloted Goal in 2006, misses out on an estimated US$32.6 billion in growth each year because of the number of girls that are not in school.1
Goal addresses issues of personal, social, and economic empowerment of adolescent girls from low-income families. It increases participants’ knowledge of key life skills they need to succeed, using both sport training and education modules. Girls that take part can go on to deliver the programme themselves, and later receive training and access to finance so that they can go on to achieve their own personal and professional goals.
At the heart of Goal is the desire to transform girls’ opinions of themselves and their role in the world. One young participant from India, named Rakhi, told us that she had little confidence before she started, and rarely got attention, even from her own family. All of that has changed since taking part in Goal; Rakhi’s brothers now tell their friends how she will achieve something. “Someday,” Rakhi said, “I’ll prove that I am no less than my brothers.” 
The challenges faced by adolescent girls across our markets are great, but surmountable if we work together. Goal is a multi-stakeholder partnership, and the participation of NGOs with firmly established roots in the community is crucial to the programme’s success.
By bringing Goal to young women around the world, we can put them on the path to follow their dreams and become leaders in their families and communities. Let’s give girls like Rakhi a chance.
Jaspal Bindra
CEO, Asia, Standard Chartered Bank


1. Plan International, Paying the price: The economic cost of failing to educate girls [2008]