In an exclusive chat with Restaurant India, Rahul Shinde, General Manager, KFC India shares about bringing the smart change in their services by employing the specially-abled people at KFC.
What is the training given to the disabled people to bring them to work?
Yum!’s mission is ‘Growth with a big heart’ which translates into our strong belief of giving back to the communities in which we work and live, making a positive difference in the lives of all stakeholders. One of the initiatives undertaken to bring alive this mission is to serve the community in a meaningful manner by providing employment to the specially-abled (hearing and speech impaired) which is imperative for their empowerment. This programme was launched in the country through our flagship brand – KFC. To achieve the desired goal of growth of such employees, we have worked a 360-degree approach which works right through hiring to the career progression – through training, enabling work environment, engaging with them and assisting their development for growth.
How is the response so far?
As a testimony to our achievements in this regard, KFC was awarded with the prestigious National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Dissabilities-2014 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Disability Affairs, Government of India. The award recognized our contribution as an employer of people with disabilities providing them the opportunity to harness their professional aspirations and potential.
How are they hired?
We work very closely with NGO’s like DEF Hyderabad & VRC Hyderabad, Silence Kolkata, Traain Mumbai in their respective cities to build up this noble cause. We use their expertise to recruit & sensitize our store teams. We also have an internal team that supervises and closely manages the entire program.
What is the procedure of getting them ready?
We have a detailed orientation program for our specially-abled employees. It incorporates the use of visual training aids and technology to induct them into the system. We also have an internal team that supervises and closely manages the entire program. Moreover, we have also partnered with different organizations in different cities, who train our managers and interpreters in specially-abled KFC outlets. In addition, we have instituted a special curriculum at our Yum! Academy and since its inception in November 2012, it has completed 2 batches and facilitated the training of 54 specially-abled youth.
What is the salary offered to them? Is it the same as others?
We believe in creating equal opportunities for all our employees. The pay-scale is therefore same for all. Through our initiatives we have instilled a sense of faith and belief in them, making them feel same as other employees.
What is the hiring process?
We have tied up with NGO’s like DEF Hyderabad & VRC Hyderabad, Silence Kolkata and Traain Mumbai in respective cities to build up this noble cause. We use their expertise to recruit & sensitize our store teams. We also use channels likeadvertising, pamphlets, word of mouth, database SMSing etc. to source employees. To induct them into the system, we work on a 360-degree approach which works right through hiring to the career progression. We train, engage, assist and enable a sound work environment for them to achieve desired goal of growth.
How many employees are presently disabled at KFC?
The Yum! Academy works in line with our commitment to ‘Growth with a Big Heart’ and since the inception of this program in November 2012, Yum! Academy has completed 12 batches and facilitated the training of 250 specially-abled youth. The Special KFC initiative provides employment to the deaf community and the Yum Academy provides skills to persons in the deaf community who are interested in seeking jobs in the retail hospitality sector. From having started this programme with one KFC store, it is now running successfully across 19 stores. We plan to open 1 specially-abled store for every 10 stores we have.
How does their growth look like?
Their growth looks extremely promising. Our recent achievement in this regard has been the six speech and hearing impaired Shift Managers who successfully cleared our internal process to rise through the ranks and very soon we will have our first specially-abled Restaurant General Manager soon. We have come across so many instances that accentuate the amount of affirmative change these specially-abled employees witnessed in their lives after their employment with KFC. We have witnessed an increased sense of pride not in just the specially-abled working at KFCs but also their family and peers. With this initiative, we want to give these specially-abled employees the same platform as anyone else who wants to grow in KFC’s fold.