NEW DELHI (2 December 2015): Yum! Restaurants along with EMC Software and Solutions won the NIPMAN Equal Opportunity Awards on the eve of World Disability Day for their contribution in providing equal economic opportunities to People with Disability (PwDs). The award event, held at India Habitat Centre in the National Capital, has been instituted by NIPMAN foundation to create awareness about equal economic and educational opportunities for disabled people in India.
The winners were selected from hundreds of applications received from across the country which were then screened and judged by an expert panel headed by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Former Secretary General, FICCI and other notable public personalities including lawyer Karuna Nundy, K Jawaharlal, Director CSR at CII, Sanjeev Sachdeva, Disability Activist and George Abraham, the founding Chairman of the World Blind Cricket Council and CEO, SCORE Foundation.
The three-month long process saw the jury sit through intense discussions to finalise the names of the winners across the categories. NIPMAN Foundation partnered with world’s leading consulting firm – Ernst & Young, who came on board as the audit partner for the entire selection process. EY reached out to more than 700 companies in India as part of the process.
Speaking at the press conference, Nipun Malhotra, CEO, NIPMAN Foundation said, “We are extremely pleased to see the enthusiasm with which corporate India participated in the latest edition of NIPMAN Equal Opportunity Awards. It is heartening to see that every year more companies are opening up to equality by providing job opportunities to people with disability. However, we should remember that only a small percentage of the entire population with disability in India are gainfully employed. The current state is disturbing, but we are hopeful that this situation will improve in the near future.”
Yum! which operates restaurant chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in India, was recognised for special initiatives taken to integrate PwDs in their operations. Their restaurant chain KFC operates nine special stores with 65 per cent Specially-abled employees. They also have 19 restaurants in twelve cities in India which are run by speech and hearing-impaired Team Members. Looking at the success they have demonstrated, Yum! Is now committed to its plan of having 50 such restaurants.
“At Yum! Restaurants India our mission is Growth with a ‘Big’ Heart where we want to grow our business along with growth for our people and the communities that we are a part of. Our speech and hearing impaired stores is an initiative to contribute and give back to the community in which we operate. Yum! has unleashed the true potential of these people through this initiative; and we are privileged and proud to be part of the journey of making these special individuals independent and self-reliant. It not only demonstrates our belief in these people, but has also proven to the world that it’s not their disability that defines them; it’s how they deal with the challenges of the disability” said Shilpa Sharma, Manager – Public Relations & CSR, Yum! Restaurant.
The second winner, EMC started a conscious effort of hiring Person with Disability in 2012 as part of their outreach programme, but this later became a successful business model for the entire organisation. EMC now has a dedicated academy ‘Asvas’ which is built specifically for the training of Person with Disability.
The special jury award winner Vindhya E-Infomedia Pvt Ltd is a one-of-its-kind IT firm to start serving the global & local market by recruiting mainly the differently abled for all its operations in data management, data entry, data processing, data conversion jobs. The IT firm which began its operations in June 2006 with five Persons with Disability (PwD), currently employees over thousand PwDs and thus becoming one of the largest employers of PwDs in the country.