The Maharashtra government is pleased with IKEA's gender diversity initiatives and says it is in line with the state's own development plans.
IKEA, which opened its first store in India earlier this year, is turning its attention to Maharashtra. The Swedish furniture retailer has announced that it will create over 10,000 jobs (direct and indirect) in the state as it opens its Mumbai store in 2019.
The retail giant expects to create opportunities in areas such as merchandising, store operations, supply chain and allied assembly services. The first big format store will open in Turbhe, Navi Mumbai and will employ 1000 direct co-workers and 1,500 indirect co-workers across services. IKEA’s distribution centre will be located at Chakan in Pune.
Per Hornell, Market Manager Maharashtra, IKEA India, said,
“Maharashtra is an extremely important market for us. We have been sourcing from the state for many decades and now we are ready to enter the market in 2019 with our full offer to be able to serve all the customers.”
IKEA further said that 50 percent of its hires would include women “at all levels”. Incidentally, IKEA’s philanthropic arm, the IKEA Foundation, is supporting women empowerment in India under a skill development project called DISHA. It has also roped in several public and private partners for skilling one million women and making them workforce-ready.
The company said in a statement,
“An integral part of the business at IKEA is aimed at creating a workplace that is good for co-workers, customers and business partners. Built upon the principles of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities for all, IKEA works towards creating a positive workspace which is progressive and inspiring.”
In a bid to create a better and more productive workplace, IKEA will be instituting a number of “employee friendly policies” such as daycare facilities, parental leave policy, transport policy, competence development, mentoring, pension plan, etc. IKEA is also “committed” to the local supplier ecosystem and will be focusing on “better wages and working conditions for suppliers’ co-workers.”
Commenting on the upcoming IKEA store, Hornell said,
“Mumbai is unique in terms of its lively and diverse culture, entrepreneurial spirit and creative use of space. We believe that IKEA’s core values and traditions integrate with these characteristics as we aim to be a part of everyday lives of ‘Mumbaikars’ through our solutions and services.”
The local government is pleased with IKEA’s plans and reckons it will “contribute to the development of the retail sector” in the state. Rajesh Kumar, Principal Secretary, Labour Department, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Their idea of inclusion and equality are very much in line with Maharashtra government’s development initiatives.”