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    Lemon Tree Hotels: Bringing Opportunity Deprived Indians into mainstream

    economy | IST

    Lemon Tree Hotels: Bringing Opportunity Deprived Indians into mainstream

    One of the largest hotel chains in India in the mid-priced segment, Lemon Tree Hotels, has made its business model to hire opportunity deprived Indians (ODIs) and include them in mainstream workforce.
    ODIs include employees with disability (physical & mental) and those from economically/socially weak backgrounds.
    "Four years ago, we started working with people with intellectual disability down syndrome  and slow learners and autism. Hardly a year ago, we started working with acid survivors. We have to find ways to engage with each of these disability types, for which we take help from the subject matter expert, the NGO," Lemon Tree said.
    "When we say our business model is to hire people with disability, we mean that the way that employee will be engaged by the company, is the same way in which a person without disability will be engaged. They will work for 6 days a week, they will work for 9 hours a day, they will receive the same salary that another guest service associate will receive," it said.
    Lemon Tree Hotels is aware that their 'inclusiveness & not charity' business model could pose challenges for other employees.
    The hotel, however, is not fazed.
    "We have observed over time that people with speech and hearing impairment, in fact, might work faster & more efficiently than others. The room boys are cleaning about 16-17 rooms a day, those who are hearing and the boys who are deaf, are actually cleaning 19-21 rooms a day," the hotel said.
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