CHENNAI: A decade after closing down its pulp and fibre production plants in Mavoor, Kerala, Aditya Birla Group is planning to set up a vocational training centre in the location. The new centre is expected to come up with an investment of around Rs 100 crore, said Rajashree Birla, chairperson of the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development and director of Aditya Birla Group.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai, after delivering her views in an interactive session on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and industry (Ficci) Ladies Organisation, Ficci Flo, she said, “We are planning to set up a vocational training centre for development of various skills. The investment would be around Rs 100 crore.”
The Group has around 320 acres in Mavoor, where it established production facility for Gwalior Rayons in 1960s and later changed the name to Grasim Industries, according to information available.
The Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, the apex body for development projects spearheading the company’s CSR activities, has submitted request with the relevant authorities with the government for approval to set up the training centre in Mavoor.
The centre is expected to offer training in different segments like hospitality and computer related jobs, plumbing and electrical works. Once they get the approval, the training centre would come up and the target is to train around 10,000 people every year.
The company closed down the plants at Mavoor in 2001, pointing that the closure is “primarily due to non availability of raw materials and the resultant poor quality of fibre and overall unviable operations,” according to a company report.
According to Grasim Industries’ annual report for the year 2001-02, the company has provided Rs 55 crore during the fiscal year towards payment to the 2,300 employees at its Mavoor plants, and an obsolescence charge of Rs 19 crore towards value of fixed assets retired from active use. “Importantly, the closure of the Mavoor plants translates into savings in recurring expenditure on employees and other standing charges to the tune of Rs 27 crore annually,” said the report.
Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development currently conducts skill development and vocational training through Aditya Birla Technology Park for integrated training programme and has Vocational Training centres at most of our plants in collaboration with Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). It is providing training in around 10-15 sectors, said company officials.
The apex body is planning to spend around Rs 150 crore in the year for its regular activities. It is currently indulged in activities related to education, healthcare and family welfare, sustainable livelihood including agricultural and livestock development, microenterprises development, infrastructure development and social causes like dowry-less marriage and widow remarriage and women empowerment.