Disabled & elderly a key part of coffee chain Hatti Kaapi's workforce
At 87 years, S Neelakanta Rao is as keen and enthusiastic as any other employee at Hatti Kaapi, the coffee chain. He is among the many senior citizens hired by Hatti Food and Beverages at its 63 outlets spread across Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi.
26% of its workforce is made up of senior citizens and the disabled. The coffee chain is promoting the concept of working retirees at its outlets, and is offering seniors who want to keep working, a chance to be occupied.
Rao has been with Hatti Kaapi for the last five years and he is involved in keeping track of the Sodexo coupons collected from various outlets in and around Bengaluru.
He travels 30 kilometres a day from home to work and loves every bit of it. With him is 77-year-old G T Arasu, who also manages the company accounts and runs errands.
Hatti Kaapi has been recognised for making sure that a sizeable percentage of its staff is made up of the elderly and disabled. It won the NCPEDP Mindtree Helen Keller Award 2017 for promoting equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Its Kuvempu Road Metro station outlet is entirely managed by four disabled workers.
It also has tie-ups with 8-10 NGOs and hires people with a range of disabilities, including autism and visual impairment, and trains them for various jobs at outlets.