Tiger Brands is Helping the Differently-Abled Make Their Mark in the Informal Sector – By Tshidiso Masopha

By Tshidiso Masopha

Source: Tiger Brands

The disabled are often undermined when it comes to the contribution they’re capable of making to the economy. Tiger Brands has challenged this stigma by recruiting individuals who are living with a disability, with a distinct focus on the youth.

Over the next five years, Tiger Brands has ambitions to enhance its presence in SA’s informal sector, which consists of over 150,000 spaza shops. The company has also put plans in place to increase the marketing spend for 2000 spazas.

Half of South Africa’s youth population (Roughly 4.9 million people) are unemployed. Beyond that, 68% of people living with a disability are without work.

Job creation in local communities is essential to Tiger Brands’ expansion endeavours in the informal sector. So far, roughly 300 jobs in local communities have been created.

Source: Tiger Brands

In the pilot phase of Tiger Brands’ leadership recruitment drive for unemployed youth comprises a total of 32 candidates from Soweto, Alexandra, and Tembisa. Each of these recruits will be placed on a fixed-term contract and participate in a learnership programme which will earn them a national qualification.

Source: Tiger Brands

“Tiger Brands is building a solid foundation of support to deliver with speed our route-to-market strategy in a segment of the economy that is underserviced and where there is an opportunity for us to fulfil consumer needs and grow exponentially as a business,” says Luigi Ferrini, Tiger Brands’ Chief Customer Officer.

“Our talented recruits will offer significant value to help grow our presence in these important markets with their local insights and understanding of their respective communities. Recruits will have the opportunity to gain experience and grow with agility in the spaces where they live and work,” he added.

When it comes to the practical aspect of the programme, recruits will be mentored by an experienced colleague who works in the trade daily and understands their local market and customers well.

Some of their duties will include stock takes, point-of-sale, and stock despatch.

“Tiger Brands is building a pipeline of talented young people equipped with the necessary qualifications, skills, and practical experience, which will reshape their future and have them play an active role in our economy,” says S’ne Magagula, Chief Human Resource Officer, Tiger Brands.

This initiative will go a long way in motivating other enterprises to invest in the professional growth of differently-abled individuals. Beyond that, Tiger Brands has made a much-needed impact on the informal sector and the economy at large.