Bengaluru, Feb 4: Home furnishings retailer Ikea India on Thursday announced Rs.2,000 crore investment in Karnataka with a promise to incorporate 50 percent women in the workforce. “We will set up four stores in Karnataka. Each store will come with an investment of Rs.500 crore and create direct employment to 500 people and indirect employment to 1,500 people,” said Ikea India CEO Juvencio Maetzu at Invest Karnataka 2016 Global Investors Meet (GIM).
Considering the state as a key market for the company, Maetzu said Ikea India is committed to invest both in terms of retail and supply chain operations. Making a strong statement on gender equality at a panel discussion on Promoting Women Entrepreneurship, Maetzu said: “We will continue our world leading gender equality legacy of Ikea by hiring 50 percent women workforce. Gender equality is in our DNA. Gender equality is a basic human right which is non-negotiable for us.” (Also Read: Wipro to hire 25,000 techies in Karnataka, says Premji)
According to Maetzu, 52 percent of Ikea’s global workforce constitutes women who also make up 48 percent of the company’s managerial ranks. The company has identified three focus areas in its operations: Co-workers, supply chain and community. “We have decided that all Ikea stores will have a kindergarten in India. We are now establishing what does it take to support transport, health insurance,” said Maetzu. Ikea has been sourcing in India for their supply chain for the past 30 years. Currently its sourcing value from India stands at $400 million which it wants to double it to $800 million. The company has 50 suppliers in India with 45,000 direct employees and 4,00,000 people involved in the extended supply chain. The first store of the Swedish giant in India will come up in Hyderabad in 2017 followed by stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.