AR Special: Modelama Exports’ focus now on employee welfare, HR practices

In a socially sustainable effort, Gurgaon-based Modelema Exports, which has a turnover of US$ 40 million, has engaged experts to conduct awareness workshops on critical issues of workplace safety, gender sensitisation, behavioral training for supervisors and staff, health and safety and women empowerment.

Many of these workshops were held under the supervision of labour department officials and other third-party stakeholders to ensure transparency and improving effectiveness of the programmes. The company now has five committees – works committee, health committee, anti-sexual harassment committee, grievances committee and canteen committee—to look into various aspects of workers’ concerns and grievances.

Recently they had a democratically and transparently elected Works Committee, under the external supervision and direction of a leading local NGO. This is a practice followed by very few garment companies in India.

“We had introduced professionals in the organization, particularly in HR and admin, and also involved experts from the industry for better worker relations and brand engagement. The company has made huge investment in introducing and revamping its IT department for better MIS & functioning,” shared Lalit Gulati, Founder and Chairman of Modelama Exports,

After revamping of the works committee and the organisational structure, the company has moved to systematic and sustainable policy and management practices. All the above transitions have led to reduced instances of grievances reported, and improved motivational levels among the workers.

The company is committed to continuing with its programmes for the welfare of workers and periodic workshops for capacity-building, awareness-generation and team-building. However, what the company looks forward to is some government platform and support to labour intensive industries like garment exports, which are under reputational threats on account of worker issues.

With a product mix of woven garments and outwear for men, women and children, Modelama has been able to hedge the seasonality aspect of exports to some extent. The company has had a consistent quarterly growth of 7- 10 per cent and is expecting an annual growth of 10-11 per cent in FY 2015-16.