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Last Updated : Oct 24, 2015 04:02 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Ikea commits to invest 30 mn euros, empower women in India

In an exclusive chat with CNBC-TV18's Priya Sheth, CEO of Ikea Foundation Per Heggenes says that the aim is to have half of its workforce as women in Ikea's India stores and to invest a total of 30 million euros in the country this year.


Ikea Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Swedish home furnishing company Ikea is partnering with companies like TCS and Mahindra and Mahindra to contribute to skilling women in India.


In an exclusive chat with CNBC-TV18's Priya Sheth, CEO of Ikea Foundation Per Heggenes says that the aim is to have half of its workforce as women in Ikea's India stores and to invest a total of 30 million euros in the country this year.  

Below  is the verbatim transcript of the interview.

Q: How much do you plan to invest in this programme?

A: IKEA for this pilot invested USD 16 million for the next three years to ensure that this programme runs through smoothly and then we have several business partners already signed up - companies like TCS and Mahindra who want to be part of creating opportunities for these women.

We have memorandums with 40 different  companies. We talk to about 100 companies and we will continue to expand the number of companies that have shown an interest in being part of this programme.

Q: Can you run us through how this fits into the entire scheme of things and how this ties-up with having women to also work for IKEA in India?

A: For IKEA it is all about life at home and children and women - families is at the core of IKEA's strategy. So, in this case IKEA is one of our business partners that will be part of the skills development and training  and will invest in that from their side for the specific type of skills they need women to have and then they will end up hiring as many women as possible into their operations. However they are just one of many partners.

At IKEA we very focused on gender equality. So, the goal for IKEA is to have 50 percent women in the workforce. So, if take a store for example, a store would have about 600 employees that are direct IKEA employees and about 1400 people working for suppliers that are supplying services to IKEA, if you take that number at least 300 people should be women of the IKEA employees in every store.

Our long term perspective is to at least try to establish 25 stores in India.

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First Published on Oct 24, 2015 12:26 pm
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