At Shahi, we believe in the power and potential of the 100,000 people who make up our workforce. And we wanted the world to get to know them better. In 2017 we commissioned Behind the Seams, a project to tell their unique stories.

Garment workers together form a truly diverse and talented industry. The majority of our employees are female; in fact we are the largest private employer of women in India. In a country where female participation in the workforce has dropped from 35% to 27% since 1990, we’re especially proud of our strong female talent base who have, in some instances, overcome huge challenges to take up formal employment with us and become economically independent.

Tausif

Junior HR Executive, Unit 16

13 years and still learning.

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Woman

His Story

Tausif is quiet at first. It takes a few questions for him to warm up. But soon he is interjecting his responses with laughs and wide smiles. Born in Madiwala, Tausif is a Bangalore boy who now lives with his wife, two children, and parents. He has worked at Shahi for 13 years. From digitisation to personal growth, these years have changed the way he perceives himself and his abilities.

“If you had asked me back then, I had no idea I could do so much and learn this much in 13 years”, he says, his voice is steady and humble.

Tausif started at Shahi as an office assistant. He was in charge of punching cards, filing applications and handling paperwork for new employees.

But Tausif could shoulder a lot more responsibility than both he and the company realised. One day in 2006, his boss was in a traffic accident and was unable to come to work on a very crucial day, the day all salaries had to be deposited to employees. Tausif had already observed the process over time and knew the basics, but he had never been in a position to execute such a large task on his own. The moment was desperate and Tausif chose to act. He handled the entire staff salary processing overnight without a single glitch.

He laughs as he tells us how every month becomes crazy between the 25th-30th. Since he now works in the Compensation and Benefits department, the end of the month is extraordinarily busy. “I don’t know where the day goes, I start work, and before I know it, it’s late in the night.”

In 2010, Tausif got married and he now has two young sons to go home to everyday. He enjoys relaxing with family when he gets home and spends time playing with his children and eating dinner together. The future of his sons’ education is on his mind. “I have already filled out the Right to Education application, I want them to get the best education.”

Tausif himself had finished only his 2nd PUC (the equivalent of finishing high school) when he first joined Shahi. But as the years rolled by, he was exposed to more work and saw the potential to improve his role. Shahi helped him understand the value of higher learning. It was a simple realization; if he truly wanted to grow, he had to study further. A few years ago, he started a correspondence Bachelors in Commerce degree course. He smiles coyly and admits that his wife was the one who helped him in studying for his exams and even helped teach him some of the syllabus. He tells us that his wife has always been very intelligent and a big reader. He admits that she is a big part of him graduating with a BCOM in 2016. Strong women have always been present in Tausif’s life - when he was younger, it was his mother who took care of everything while his father worked in Saudi Arabia for years.

If you had asked me back then,
I had no idea I could do so much and learn this much
in 13 years.
Woman

Today, Tausif is confident and has strong skills in areas he had no knowledge of before. He is known for being one of the only guys who eats lunch with people outside his own department. When the festival of Eid comes along everyone at his office knows to expect a box of homemade biryani.

“13 years is a long time, and It’s almost hard to believe the amount of progress I’ve made, I might even do an MBA soon too, why not?”