India is growing at a pace that is neither escalating nor plunging. Rather, it is eccentric with an element of unpredictability, which both repels and fascinates many. For instance, the current affairs scream ‘unemployment’ in bold. With giants such as Jet Airways crashing, BSNL struggling, it is quite a scary scenario. However, where there is darkness, there is a ray of shine also. And that ray is coming to India in the form of furniture giant IKEA, which is all set to open its second store in the country, in Mumbai. But, that’s not all. With this feat, IKEA wishes to create nearly 10000 jobs in a span of 3 years!
“We are planning to recruit 5,000 directly and an equal number will be hired indirectly over the two to three years,” Anna-Carin Mansson, IKEA India’s People and Culture Manager, quoted to Firstpost. These numbers, however, will not be achieved in one go. In its first year, IKEA India aims to hire 1000 people directly, and 1500 people indirectly by way of services.
Adding to this statement, Rajesh Kumar, Principal Secretary, Labour Department, Government of Maharashtra, says, “As IKEA will launch its store in Mumbai next year, they will create around 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities contributing to the growth of the retail sector in the State. Their idea of inclusion and equality are very much in line with the Maharashtra government’s development initiatives.”
In sync with the aforementioned statement of Kumar, it can be safely said that IKEA is planning to tap numbers, albeit with a touch of diversity. Since its inception, IKEA has always had a policy of hiring 50 percent of women as its employees, and they wish to do nothing different on that front, even now. In fact, they have gone a step ahead and opened the doors for all the communities, including the LGBT.
Today’s employment scenes are riddled with dissatisfaction and friction between the employer and employee, leading to high attrition rates almost everywhere. IKEA wishes to make a difference here by being as employee-friendly as possible, with an array of policies such as parental leave, transport, competence development, pension plan, and more.
IKEA truly wishes to be a company with its ethics in place, at the same time with its eyes on its goals to achieve its all-round vision. It wants to achieve the same with its benevolent sister concern IKEA Foundation, which, in partnership with the UN’s Development Program is training underprivileged women in India, and readying them for a career. When IKEA has opened its first store at Hyderabad in India, they had trained a number of women under Disha, their program un Telangana, which led to the employment of nearly 80 of them at their Hyderabad store. As per Mansson, IKEA aims to train a million women, and this is barely scratching the surface.
IKEA’s plans of expansion post its second stint are grand. It plans to open smaller-format stores across India, six months after inaugurating its ambitious store in Navi Mumbai.
Being the first major brand retailer to get FDI approval, IKEA plans to utilize the same over a span of 10 years. The brand wants to open various stores, with their major touch-points being Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Delhi/NCR. They have already captured the market of one and initiated the process at another. Let’s see what more does IKEA achieves post the promise of employment boom that it has brought.