We strive to work responsibly every day, with respect for people, the community, and the environment. As one of the largest private employers of unskilled and semi-skilled workers in India, we believe that it is our responsibility to do business better – for our employees, the industry, and all our stakeholders.
The five pillars of our Sustainability Strategy allow us to align our growth with the development of people, the community and the environment. Under each of these pillars we implement multiple initiatives, both independently and in partnership with our customers and recognized non-profit organizations.
Reducing our environmental footprint by investing resource conservation and efficiency across water, energy, chemicals and waste.
Supporting our female workforce to reach their potential professionally and personally through holistic support and soft-skills training.
Skilling and Training
Building critical technical and soft skills within our factories and at our rural training centres.
Health and Wellbeing
Preventing, tackling and raising awareness of prevalent health issues among our workers and their communities.
Protecting Human Rights
Strengthening human rights at the workplace through awareness programmes and a robust grievance-redressal system.
In March 2017, Shahi incubated Good Business Lab (GBL), which aims to improve the lives of low-income workers by proving, through rigorous research, that better social well-being for workers can deliver measurable financial returns to businesses. Founded by Ach Adhvaryu (University of Michigan), Anant Ahuja (Shahi Exports), and Anant Nyshadham (Boston College), GBL brings together academic research and real-world insight, to create shared solutions that benefit both workers and firms in the following areas:
Unlocking Female Labor – Addressing the practical and societal barriers women face to joining the workforce
Closing the Skill Gap – Skilling both workers and managers to realize the full potential of the workforce
Raising Job Quality – Building comfortable, supportive work environments to ensure workers thrive and grow
GBL was Shahi’s evaluation partner for the P.A.C.E. program and is currently assessing the impact of other interventions at Shahi including soft-skills training for supervisors, providing iron tablets to anemic women and the pilot of a worker communication tool in two factories.
At Shahi, we believe in responsible business growth by integrating environmental sustainability into the heart of our operations, at all stages of production. We improve our environmental performance through resource conservation and pollution prevention, so that we consistently achieve and operate at a higher resource efficiency.
Our vision is to be the most sustainable supplier of textiles and apparels for our customers.
The Higg Index, developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), is a voluntary self-assessment tool for assessing social and environmental performance of an organization. In 2018, we conducted the Higg self-assessment of our environmental and social sustainability in over 45 factories, in accordance with Higg Index 3.0.
P.A.C.E is GAP Inc.’s proprietary holistic life-skills training program for Female Garment Workers. The garment industry employs a majority female workforce. These women often lack access to formal education and training to progress personally and professionally. P.A.C.E. has been designed to allow them to unlock their true potential and fulfil their dreams. Shahi was the first organization to run P.A.C.E. in its factories and has extended capsule versions of this program to key influencers in P.A.C.E. participants’ lives, including their male co-workers, supervisors and family members. Since launching in 2007, the program has expanded beyond factories to include women and girls in community settings.
Modules: Communication, problem solving & decision making, time & stress management, execution excellence, health, water, sanitation & hygiene, financial literacy, social entitlement
60,000+ women trained
Aim to train 63,000 female factory employees by 2024
Increased confidence and self-esteem
Stronger communication skills
Greater financial awareness and goal setting
Likely to get promoted up to three times quicker
More likely to save for their children’s education
More likely to take advantage of state-sponsored pension and health schemes
More likely to enroll in further skill development courses
With the Good Business Lab, we studied the business impact of P.A.C.E. and found a positive return on investment, which has created a powerful business case for extending the program to every worker.
P.A.C.E. beneficiaries are 20% more productive than those who have not participated in the program
P.A.C.E. creates a 258% net rate of return for Shahi, eight months after the program through improved attendance, retention, and efficiency
Watch the P.A.C.E. journey of our employee Sujatha in this short film from Gap.
S.T.I.T.C.H. is a soft-skills training program for line-level supervisors designed by Shahi in collaboration with Options and Solutions and Good Business Lab. Through modules such as problem solving, gender sensitivity, stress management, team management, amongst others, the objective of the program is to reduce harassment and improve line productivity.
1100 supervisors covered in phase 1
100% supervisors will be covered by 2019
Good Business Lab study
GBL is currently is conducting a randomized controlled trial to measure the impact of the program on worker-management relations and business outcomes such as productivity, attrition and absenteeism. The results can be expected in 3-5 months.
Since 2013, Shahi has been establishing training centers across the country to skill and increased employability of rural populations, with a focus on increasing female labor force participation.
We have established partnerships with companies such as Tata Steel and Spark Minda and have set- up centers under government schemes such as Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY).
45+ training centers across India
15,000+ women trained since 2013
Best Performing Training Partner” (Category B) under DDUGKY by the Ministry of Rural Development of India
MoU signed with MoRD as “Champion Employer” with a target to train 5000 within 2 years
Best Employer Award in the Apparel Sector by Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS)
Good Business Lab Study
Shahi is setting up eight new centers in Karnataka in 2018. Using these centers, the Good Business Lab will conduct a randomized controlled evaluation on the impact of technical skilling in the garment industry on female labor force participation, women’s time use, and the welfare of women and their households.
Our ambition as company is to have a positive impact on human rights through job creation and advancement, especially for low-income women, and through development of communities where we operate. However, as a company with a workforce of over 100,000 people, we are aware that to ensure the security of human rights, we must put in place rigorous prevention and remediation systems.
Shahi Employee Handbook
Understanding that many of our workers had never been formally employed before, we have created an illustrated employee handbook in four local languages, which provides simple information for employees to easily understand their rights, responsibilities and benefits at the workplace.• Understanding that many of our workers had never been formally employed before, we have created an illustrated employee handbook in four local languages, which provides simple information for employees to easily understand their rights, responsibilities and benefits at the workplace. Topics included in the handbook include
Health and Safety
Code of Conduct
Pay and Benefits
Facilities and Support services
Committees and Suggestion boxes
Grievance redressal mechanisms
Leave and Holidays
Grievance Redressal Mechanisms
Several grievance redressal mechanisms are made available to workers voice their concerns and complaints, such as worker-management committees, suggestion boxes and a helpline managed by the corporate office. However, we realize that with a growing workforce of over 100,000, we need to innovate and create more accessible and effective channels for workers to communicate with factory and company management. Therefore, we are piloting mobile-based worker communication tools such as LaborLink and WorkPlace Options in a few factories, with the ambition of creating a Shahi-wide, technology-enabled worker communication tool by 2020.
Training and Awareness
Shahi has several worker-management committees to discuss various topics from grievances to working environment. In addition, to ensure effective functioning of worker-management committees, a holistic training has been designed for committee members on topics such as communication skills and Shahi’s HR policies. In 2018, we revamped and strengthened our Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) policy and committee, and are conducting awareness sessions for workers, supervisors, and middle management on sexual harassment, its prevention and redressal mechanisms.
The intent to invest in the development of communities and protection of the environment has been intrinsically woven into the corporate ethos of Shahi since its inception. Over the years, we have been consciously developing our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives which are guided by the following core commitments:
To contribute to social, economic, and environmental development initiatives in the communities in which we operate and the society at large
To ensure all CSR initiatives undertaken by us have a long-term sustainable and positive impact on marginalized populations
Our initiatives are based on needs assessment, and consultation with communities and local governments.
Our focus areas and key initiatives:
Education – Supporting school infrastructure development and undergraduate scholarships
Community infrastructure – Benefiting communities with infrastructure such as public toilets, and bus shelters
Drinking water – Provision of RO water plants and storage tanks at public places
Welfare of migrant workers – Supporting migrant workers with psychological, social and informational services
Environmental protection – Increasing the green cover with park development and tree plantation
Health – Providing women’s health information and services, including sexual and reproductive health and psychological wellbeing services
Research & Development – Collaboration with academic institutions and non-profit organizations for research on Industry 4.0., economic policy, and worker wellbeing in labor-intensive industries
We implement our initiatives on our own and also partner with expert organizations, specialized non-government organizations, and local implementation agencies.