IKEA takes to skill building women for retail through Disha

Tunia Cherian | | Updated on: Jan 08, 2018

IKEA Foundation, IKEA Group’s philanthropic arm, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program and the India Development Foundation has begun training women for the retail sector.

A programme was inaugurated under Disha for women in Telangana, in the presence of Jupally Krishna Rao, Telangana Minister of Panchayati Raj and Rural Development.

This is the first of its pilot programmes and will cover other states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and NCR, if successful.

The Disha programme aims to skill build 1 million women in more than 10 industries by developing core competencies and helping them get employment.

Jupally Krishna Rao, in a statement said, “We hope that like IKEA, many other companies come forward to join hands and skill build more Indian women to join the workforce.”

“At IKEA, we believe that women are the most important catalysts for change in the family. By empowering women, we can improve children’s health, education and futures. Inclusion and offering equal opportunities is the core of its recruitment philosophy,” said Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.

Under the Disha retail pilot programme, initially, 350 women from Hyderabad will be trained on retail specific roles. Of them, about 150 women will get placed in the IKEA Hyderabad store.

IKEA India CEO, Juvencio Maeztu, said: “We have a non-negotiable commitment to employ 50 per cent women co-workers in our stores at all levels. We strongly believe that Disha is a great opportunity to connect with many more women in Telangana and make them part of our India journey.”

Disha – meaning ‘direction’ – demonstrates collaboration between the private sector, government and multilateral agencies, with all parties working together towards the shared goal of helping women across India learn marketable skills and earn jobs or set up their own enterprises. The model can be replicated across the country.

The Swedish major, IKEA, plans to open doors to its first store in Hyderabad early next year. The store will employ 800 direct co-workers and another 1,500 indirectly for services. Work on the first store is now underway.

Published on November 01, 2017
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