‘Women have been trained even to operate forklifts’
Employment of women on the shopfloor is common in most of the textile mills in the region. A pumpset manufacturing facility here also has only women workers on its production lines.
Kirloskar Brothers Limited started its plant in Coimbatore in 2011 at Kaniyur to manufacture pumpsets for domestic use.
The management decided to have women employees on the production lines as they can understand the product better.
As many as 62 women work on the shopfloor, making 34,000 pumpsets per line a month. The plant and production process have also been designed according to their requirement.
Most of the women employees are aged between 19 and 32 and have studied up to Class VIII or Class XII. They reside in the nearby villages and undergo in-house training when they join work. “We used to recruit through advertisement. Now, the existing employees bring in their friends,” says R.V. Rajkuumar, division head of the Coimbatore plant.
From production to packing the product, the plant has only women employees. Men are employed mostly for security, loading and unloading and gardening.
Women have been trained even to operate the forklifts, he says. The plant initially aimed at assembling a pumpset in 69 seconds. Now, it takes just 20 seconds and is working towards assembling a pumpset in less than 10 seconds.
Apart from their regular work, many of them also continue education as the company has a tie-up with the Industrial Training Institute. They are equipped so that even if they leave the organisation, they can go in for self-employment, he adds.
The company recently received the “Best Organisation for Women Talent Development” award at the Africa Women Leadership Awards, organised by the Africa India Partnership Summit.