The prime minister, who is in the Saudi capital Riyadh to boost diplomatic ties between the two countries, visited the first-of-its-kind all-women IT training centre of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), where hijab-clad women vied for a chance to click a ‘selfie with Modi’. In the strictly conservative country where women are not even allowed to drive, TCS is the first such private company office where women are working in such large numbers. TCS is also the only foreign employer with an all-women workplace in the Saudi kingdom. Usually in Saudi Arabia, women work in gender-segregated places in the government, in education and administration areas.
Indian PM Modi said, while inviting them to come to India “All of you must come to India; I assure you a very warm reception. The atmosphere I am witnessing here today has the potential to give a strong message to the world”. “For the world it is considered to be main headline news that in Riyadh today I am meeting those IT professionals who I can say today represent the glory of Saudi Arabia,” Modi added while interacting with the IT women professionals in Riyadh.
At the TCS Centre 1,000 women work in BPO Operations, 85 per cent of whom are Saudi nationals. The Indian Prime Minister spent around 40 minutes at the centre and even posed for selfies.
He also said that he would also like to “heartily congratulate TCS that in India they have set up a training centre which trains young men and women, and those trained men and women, go out in the digital world and empower the entire world”.
CEO and MD of TCS Chandrasekaran said, “It was an honour to host the Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi at our Riyadh centre, where he had an occasion to visit this unique facility and interact with our employees”. The CEO also added that the two countries have always enjoyed a strong partnership and are happy to promote economic and business ties further through innovation and human talent development in Saudia Arabia.
TCS established the first all-women Business Process Services (BPS) centre in Riyadh in 2013. The centre also works with leading Saudi universities and educational institutes to build specialized training programmes, which help to drive job creation and employment opportunities for women in the Kingdom. The TCS centre recently celebrated its second anniversary as well as the milestone of hiring 1,000 highly skilled women.