In a meeting at the iconic Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, Washington, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company, Howard Schultz, and chairman, Tata Sons Limited, Cyrus Mistry, announced multiple new joint initiatives last week which expand the existing Tata and Starbucks relationship and strengthen the companies’ commitment to developing the Tata-Starbucks brand and building a different kind of company in India.
Creating New Pathways to Opportunities
A core value for both Starbucks and Tata is using their scale to change lives for the better. Howard Schultz and Cyrus Mistry committed to come together to provide young people in India with valuable skills training over the next five years through Tata STRIVE, an initiative which empowers India’s youth with skills for employment, entrepreneurship and community enterprise.
Since launching in 2014, Tata STRIVE has supported approximately 43,000 youth to-date. The joint partnership combines Tata STRIVE’s expertise in providing job skills training and Starbucks expertise in retail operations, which is expected to impact 3,000 disadvantaged youth in India.
“Today, we are proud to extend Starbucks partnership with Tata to enrich the lives of Indian youth and enable them to enter and thrive in the 21st century workforce,” said John Culver, group president, Starbucks Coffee China and Asia Pacific, Channel Development and Emerging Brands.
“Our collaboration with Tata underscores our collective commitment to lifelong learning and relevant career skills development. We will continue to make investments to provide pathways and opportunities for young people to realize their personal aspirations and dreams.”
According to Cynthia Rodrigues, under the ‘STRIVE Skills’ initiative, the companies of TATA will train over 60,000 students in India every year in trades relating to their core businesses. Now, under a formal programme, aptly called Tata Strive, the group has set itself a larger goal: to spread its skill-building activities across the globe.
As its mission spells out, Tata Strive seeks “to develop the required capacity to train youth for employment, entrepreneurship and community enterprise.”
Anita Rajan, Chief Operating Officer at Tata Strive, says there is a strong business case for the skill building initiative: “Companies need skilled labour and spend considerable money on skilling them. A group-wide skilling initiative will allow companies to share these costs.”
Explaining the basic idea of Tata Strive, Sudhakar Gudipati, general manager, Tata Sustainability Group, says, “The aim was to leverage the strengths of Tata companies and to create courses that would help build and supply trained manpower to companies.”
Tata Strive is built around certain guiding principles. For example, the programme aims to reach out to the underprivileged and those who have traditionally been denied access to such training, on account of gender, disabilities or ethnicity.
The quality standard for the programme has been set high — to ensure that Tata Strive will be recognised as a byword for quality skilling education in the future. Sustainability is the key to the exercise — trades or skills to be taught at a particular centre are based on the demand and the need in that region, thus ensuring that beneficiaries can benefit from a choice of job opportunities.
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