When Aruna Jha joined Kohler Co. in 2019, she was drawn to the global presence of the company. With locations on six continents, the opportunity to collaborate was limitless—and as a Human Resources professional, she wanted to take full advantage.
As a native of India, Aruna particularly wanted to help strengthen networks across Kohler’s large U.S. and India teams, as well as among the many Indian associates currently living and working in the U.S.
“I heard some stories of colleagues from India struggling to find connections in the area, and I was experiencing the same things first-hand,” she explained. “I saw an opportunity to do something to improve our situation and potentially increase recruitment and retention.”
And, so, the Namaste Business Resource Group (BRG) was born. Founded by Aruna, the Namaste BRG has a core team of eight members who meet monthly to discuss, plan and strategize opportunities to engage and welcome new Indian associates and share cultural experiences with all of Kohler.
The Namaste team recently held a virtual kick-off event and were excited to receive an overwhelming response. They’ve already recruited more than 175 members and are continuing to grow.
“We are receiving emails every day inquiring about everything from our next events to traditional Indian recipes. This just adds to our momentum and is making us work with even more enthusiasm to plan our upcoming initiatives,” said Aruna.
But she stresses that this BRG is truly a two-way street. In addition to sharing the rich Indian heritage, they also want to build a non-judgmental platform for Indian associates to learn about American culture.
“Our BRG emphasizes that, at Kohler, we share our similarities and celebrate our differences,” Aruna added.