Tata Starbucks: Riding the wave of values & culture

Not only did Tata Starbucks continue paying full salaries to its employees throughout the lockdown, it also kept its promise of no job cuts


Despite layoffs and salary cuts giving sleepless nights to employees and employers across industries in 2020, Tata Starbucks did not resort to any of these drastic measures to save costs. In fact, it undertook several employee-welfare programmes, and managed to successfully retain their employees and also maintain their employee satisfaction levels.  Some of the several initiatives launched by Starbucks for the wellbeing of its employees across all levels are as follows:

Brew of balance

Talking about the ‘Brew of Balance’ initiative, Navin Gurnaney, CEO, Tata Starbucks, says, “Motherhood is a challenging phase for every woman. However, we are open to giving a fair chance to mothers who wish to come back on board even after they have given up due to commitments of motherhood. In fact, we do not differentiate in terms of gender when it comes to getting back on board. Even if men wish to join us again, we readily provide them a fair chance. For women, however, we have a special programme under which we provide them an opportunity to work part time, during the school hours of their children.”

Gender pay parity has always been our priority. We have actually never differentiated between genders when it comes to pay scales or hiring

Navin Gurnaney, CEO, Tata Starbucks

Some coffee shops under Tata Starbucks are run entirely by women, and the Company has not compromised in any way when it comes to the safety of these women partners. “We wish to make sure that all our women partners reach home safely. Our values and culture ensure that. All our coffee shops are secured with guard rails and security personnel are stationed to provide 100% safety to our partners,” says Gurnaney.

The goal of Starbucks is not just to make the workplace safe, but also ensure that people can enjoy their work at their own convenience. “We always prefer that our people commute for not more than one hour. In fact, there have been instances, where, keeping in mind the convenience of commute, we have transferred women employees from one shop to another, sometimes even to another part of the country post their marriage,” claims Gurnaney.

Gender parity

A report published by Tata Starbucks states that it achieved “100% pay equity for women and men in 2019, which demonstrates its commitment to gender equality globally.” Commenting on this, Gurnaney adds, “Gender pay parity has always been our priority. We have actually never differentiated between genders when it comes to pay scales or hiring. So, there arises no question of attaining this goal separately. Everyone is welcome on board and Starbucks has always been very culture oriented.”

No pay cuts

On how Tata Starbucks has been supportive towards its partners during the distress period of the pandemic, Navin Gurnaney elaborates, “I can proudly say that we did not resort to any pay cuts or salary cuts during the pandemic. In fact, we prioritise the safety and well being of our workers above everything. We believe that employee satisfaction is as important as customer satisfaction. All our partners who were staying away from their homes went back to their villages, but continued to have their salary credited throughout the lockdown period, even when our shop floors were not operating.”

He further adds, “We did not have to face any extra challenge while bringing the workforce back on the floors post lockdown. Following a gradual process and abiding by all the safety guidelines, we did not open all stores at once. We got our partners back on the shop floors proportionately. At times companies find it difficult to maintain the promises or programmes announced by them, due to changing business scenarios. However, for us, it was a proud moment to have come to the end of the lockdown without compromising on our promise of no salary cuts.”


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