Garima Drives Diversey’s Ambition to Change Indian Attitudes to Cleaning Profession

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai – For the second year running, Diversey India has achieved the honour of being placed on the Inclusive Business List. The list was released in Mumbai on 29 November by Shared Value Initiative India at their annual Shared Value Summit event. Diversey has qualified due to the achievements of their Garima: Diversey School of Hygiene, India. “Garima” – the Hindi word for dignity – refers to the company’s skill development initiative, which offers the opportunity for India’s unemployed youth to learn the basic Science of Cleaning behind hygiene.

Achieving Dignity for the Cleaning Profession The core aim of Garima is in improving and standardizing the skill sets for the important, but often ignored, cleaning industry staff. Once qualified, trainees are helped to find a job as a Hygiene Technician with Diversey’s business partners, reflecting the underlying aim to bring dignity to the cleaning profession.

Himanshu Jain, President of Diversey APAC, describes Diversey’s strategy: “What Diversey is trying to do in India is eventually transforming the cleaning industry in all towns and villages of the country, to make a real difference to people’s lives. We’re introducing the concept that cleaning and hygiene is a scientific process rather than a chore. It’s more about disease prevention than dirt removal. Garima reflects our belief that creating a healthy and safe world (our vision is A healthy & safe world where people are free to live their lives.) is of paramount importance as we still tend to look at a cleaning professional as just a cleaner or janitor, not someone who is important in our lives.”

Diversey’s ambitious Garima project - which began in 2016 in six Indian states - is one of the very few initiatives that has focused on employment for all its trainees. The determination to alter the perception of janitorial work saw 2,500 people successfully trained in the first year. The programme is a perfect example of Diversey generating a shared economic value with their partners and for their communities.

Shared Value Brings a Fresh Approach:

Diversey’s ambition resonates closely with Shared Value Initiative. The initiative is designed to connect business and community leaders in India with a commitment to promote best practices for creating shared value among the companies as well as civil society and government organizations. Its fundamental aim is to accelerate economic and social progress towards a more equal and sustainable world. Diversey is in good company – sharing a place on the Inclusive List with other celebrated global businesses, including: HUL, Cargill, Coca Cola, Amazon, Google, and Ikea.

The fundamental idea around shared value initiatives and promoting inclusivity within business is to allow organizations to move beyond narrow existing views of Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility. This brings a fresh approach to business models, drivers of competitive advantage and in solving social problems, while ensuring value is created by firms.

Mr. Himanshu Jain – who also featured as a panellist in the Summit’s discussions – stresses: “Diversey is trying to bring about change in Indian society. Cleaners may have smaller earnings, but that’s absolutely no reason for their dignity to be any lower than other professions. Through initiatives like Garima, Diversey will unlock enormous potential in India.” He concludes: “If we can refresh India’s attitude to cleaning and hygiene, we can build a strong sustainable future. The youths from the disadvantaged sections of society that we are training are going to be key in delivering this societal change.”

About Diversey India  Hygiene  Pvt Ltd: Diversey’s purpose is to protect and care for people every day. Diversey has been, and always will be, a pioneer and facilitator for life. We constantly seek to deliver revolutionary cleaning and hygiene technologies that provide total confidence to customers across all our global sectors. These include: facility management, health care, hospitality, retail and food service; in addition to food and beverage. Diversey is a provider of cleaning, sanitation and maintenance products, systems and services that efficiently integrate chemicals, machines and sustainability programs. Everything we do is based on the implicit belief that cleaning and hygiene are life essentials and that what we undertake constitutes a vital service.
Harnessing 95 years of expertise and knowledge, Diversey develops cleaning technologies that save lives, providing a tailored, customer-centric approach that empowers sustainable solutions. Protecting and improving the environment, we operate with our customers’ needs at the heart of everything we do. Diversey’s ethical commitment is implicit in all our products and everyday relationships with our staff, our customers, and our planet. These ethics drive our commitment as pioneers of the future and creators of connection and innovation.
The Internet of Clean™ is central to our business, connecting minds with machines to ensure we turn cleaning and hygiene data insights into effective operations and generate respect for human capital. Diversey contributes to significant productivity improvements, lower total operating costs and brand protection. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, Diversey employs approximately 9,000 people globally, generating net sales of approximately $2.6 billion in 2017.


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