IT major Wipro, along with Saudi Aramco and Princess Nourah University (PNU), on Monday inaugurated Saudi Arabia’s first all-women business and technology park (WBP), which is expected to create nearly 21,000 jobs by 2025.
WBP, a joint venture of PNU (world’s largest university for women) and Wipro Arabia, had Saudi Aramco as the strategic advisor and anchor of this initiative.
The JV is responsible for developing the facilities and infrastructure at the park set in Riyadh, as well as training and employing up to 21,000 Saudi women, Wipro said in a statement on Monday.
WBP is envisioned to be the largest engineering drafting services, business process services and IT hub in the region for industry sectors including oil and gas, government, manufacturing, healthcare, telecom and construction.
“Dedicated to working women, this business park is a first of its kind project aimed at providing knowledge-based employment for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” it added.
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Wipro’s larger rival Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) had established its first all-women Business Process Services (BPS) centre in Riyadh in 2013, where 1,000 women work in BPO operations, 85% of whom are Saudi nationals.
“The goal of the WBP is to create 21,000 jobs by 2025 and give women a critical role to play in a way that serves the objectives of the nation and to build a knowledge economy with societal and international partnerships,” Huda Al-Ameel, Rector of Princess Nourah University said.
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The aim is also to provide a start-up ecosystem to upcoming entrepreneurial ventures, she added.
“In a country where women represent about 60% of all university graduates, but less than 15% of the country’s workforce, the Women’s Business Park is poised to be a milestone initiative,” she said.
Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro, said it is the company’s endeavour to foster an environment that encourages and enables more women to participate in business and taps their leadership potential.
“It has been more than a decade since Wipro began its operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and localisation has always been an important aspect of our business strategy here,” he added.
The park in the PNU premises includes entrepreneur incubators, daycare centres and a one-stop coordination centre for government transactions.