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RAI & TRRAIN to organise retail inclusivity summit

By Retail4Growth Bureau | November 21, 2023

‘EKAM’ - the All Inclusive Summit, positioned as a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at celebrating and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the retail industry, will be held on December 5, 2023 at Hotel Taj Santacruz in Mumbai. 

The Retailers Association of India (RAI) and TRRAIN (Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India) are jointly organising retail industry’s first inclusion summit to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion within the retail sector.

RAI, Trrain trust logo unit

The first edition of EKAM – All Inclusion Summit 2023, will be held on December 5, 2023 at Hotel Taj Santacruz in Mumbai.

“The Summit aims to raise awareness, felicitate learning, foster collaboration and drive change through open dialogues between thought leaders, policymakers and stakeholders from various sectors to collaboratively work towards a more inclusive society,” informs the compay statement.

The Theme for the first edition of the EKAM Summit is ‘Fostering Inclusion: Celebrating Differences, Driving Social Change’. The theme underscores the importance of recognizing and celebrating the rich tapestry of human differences, including backgrounds, perspectives, and abilities.

Speaking about Inclusion in the retail industry, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI) said, “We, at Retailers Association of India, are proud to witness the industry's growing commitment to inclusivity, especially as we co-organize the EKAM Summit with TRRAIN. This summit symbolizes focus towards embracing diversity and inclusion. The retail sector has always been an industry with high diversity in the kind of people that are employed. We acknowledge that while progress has been made, much remains to be done. Our goal is not just to discuss the necessity of inclusion but to actively drive actionable strategies that integrate people with disabilities and marginalized communities into the workforce. The EKAM Summit is a testament to our dedication to not only recognize the potential in every individual but also to provide them with the opportunities to excel. WE are excited about the collective knowledge that gets gained in an event meant for inclusion. We are committed to turning these discussions into real-world impacts, ensuring the retailers as well as all the eco system industry players become a beacon of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Speaking about the Summit, Ameesha Prabhu, Co-Founder and CEO, Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India said, “Since inception, TRRAIN has remained steadfast in its commitment of empowering Persons with Disabilities. Our core objective has consistently revolved around equipping Persons with Disabilities with retail specific skills and opportunities, enabling them to thrive in customer service jobs across industries. Till date, TRRAIN has skilled over 25000+ Persons with Disabilities and 9000+ young women from marginalised backgrounds and provided them with sustainable livelihoods. With placements of our beneficiaries through our channel of 1500+ recruiters, TRRAIN aims to continue building an inclusive and equitable community.”

Rekha Sharma, the Chairperson for the National Commission for Women added, "As the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, I am honoured to be a part of the EKAM Summit, a pivotal initiative by the Retailers Association of India and TRRAIN. This summit is not just an event; it's a beacon of hope and a catalyst for profound change. It represents our collective endeavour to build a retail industry and a society that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. As we discuss 'Fostering Inclusion: Celebrating Differences, Driving Social Change,' I am reminded of the incredible resilience and potential of Indian women. Through my talk on 'Indian Women Breaking Glass Ceilings,' I aim to illuminate the path of countless women who have surmounted obstacles and emerged as trailblazers in their respective fields. This summit is a testament to our unwavering commitment to create a world where every individual, irrespective of their background or ability, has the opportunity to thrive and contribute meaningfully to our vibrant nation."

Speaking about the Summit, B. S. Nagesh, Founder TRRAIN, said “Over the past 12 transformative years, TRRAIN and RAI, was a vision we brought to life. TRRAIN has been unswervingly committed to the noble cause of empowering Persons with Disabilities and young women from marginalised backgrounds, whereas, RAI are the stalwarts in supporting and advancing the retail industry in the country. Together, they have turned our vision into reality, and being the driving force in bridging the gap between social impact and retail excellence. Ekam – All Inclusive Summit embodies a shared commitment, fostering a collective movement across diverse industries, aiming to transform mind-sets, company policies, and cultivate safe, inclusive ecosystems. Moreover, I take immense pride in the remarkable journeys of Ameesha Prabhu, Co-founder and CEO of TRRAIN and Kumar Rajagopalan CEO of RAI, and thank them for their dedication, who have scaled great heights through their tireless efforts and taken TRRAIN and RAI to greater achievements.”

The Summit will touch upon various aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with discussion and insights around topics such as 

1. Inclusive Leadership: Strategies for Creating a Diverse and Equitable Workplace

2. Paradigm Shift: Building Inclusivity from the Ground Up

3. Building Inclusive Communities: Challenges and Opportunities. According to the ministry of social justice and empowerment, the last Census in 2011 noted 2.21% of the Indian population with disabilities. The Indian retail sector that ranks second in terms of employment after agriculture, continues to employ less than 1% of its workforce from the pool of people with disabilities, despite a doubling of this number in the past year.

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