Nepali Artisans Speak: Meet Nikesh
In Nepal, we partner with an Artisan Business that focuses on providing dignified work to people who have experienced or are vulnerable to exploitation. These Artisans utilize beautiful traditional textiles to create accessories our customers love. Today we’re introducing you to Nikesh, one of the material sourcers that allows our our Nepali Collection to come alive.
Nikesh’s job at our Artisan Partner Business is to source the materials for what they manufacture in the workshop. This includes fabric, leather, metal items like buckles or zippers, and any other materials used for manufacturing at the business. Nikesh’s goal is to secure the good quality material for the business to use in creating the products.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy when I go outside. If I had to stay inside all day I might feel lazy. But I have different tasks. I need to run errands and I must complete those. One of the interesting things though, when I travel to different places there are many things I can see. Maybe something fun is happening in the road or beside the road, I get to see that. So it doesn’t feel boring. It’s always interesting. Sometimes the work is challenging but challenging is good. We get different ideas from the challenges and we will learn from them.
If I were to ask your team boss what your greatest strength is, what would they tell me?
I try to find a solution to a problem as soon as possible.
Congratulations on winning the employee of the month award!
Oh, thank you very much.
How did you feel when you found out that you won?
I hadn’t imagined that I would be employee of the month. So when it was announced I was surprised! I had only been here for a few months. I was very happy. It was very nice, I am proud to be a part of this business.
We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?
Ah, my family. I am living with my mother, father, wife and now my small baby. He is 7 months old. Last week was his rice feeding time and it was so nice. That was a great day for me. When a baby turns seven months old, we do the rice feeding ceremony. For seven months we don’t feed them any rice, only the milk from their mother. There are differences between cultures, but the main thing is we feed them rice on that day and then continue from that day on.
If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
In one word? I’m thinking I would say mercy.
When have you been most satisfied in your life?
Recently. After I joined this workshop. Previously I was in Saudi Arabia, I was making money, but in my heart I was not feeling well. I felt sad because I was away from my wife and from my family. I had feelings of loneliness. Now I have this job and I can stay with my family, wife, and son. I feel satisfied. Now I am in Nepal.
How long have you worked at the Artisan Business?
What did you do before you worked at this business?
I was in Saudi Arabia. I was in a logistics transportation company. I had to handle a lot of the problems. One part of my work was to handle the emails from the customers. The customers would email about the shipments and any problems there were with the shipments. I had a lot of pressure coming from the customers. There were different kinds of problems I needed to fix and handle.
What is different about this Artisan Business from other places you have worked?
Before working here I had to work a minimum of 12 hours a day. So I sometimes I used to work 14 hours or 15 hours continuously. The main difference though is that I can work here and be with my family, but there I was without my family.
What have you learned from working at this business that you would like to share with others?
I’ve learned that this organization not only runs to do business but to provide a social service as well. This is a very good thing. We can tell other businessmen, when they do business with us, then they can also be an important part of the social service as well. There are a lot of poor people, and a lot of people who don’t have work. Sometimes when I go to the temple I see a lot of people who are begging. I feel so sad for those people. If all the businessmen would also do some social service, then poverty would be gone. Right? If every organization and every businessman had the concept of doing business as well as social service then there would be no poverty. Right?
If you had to convince a friend to apply for this job, what would you tell them?
First I would describe what this workshop does. For example, it’s not only a business organization, it’s a social organization as well. If you plan to join this team, you should want to help others, be honest, respectful and not selfish.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to watch movies. I like to visit places outside of the Kathmandu valley. Kathmandu valley used to be so nice and clean, but now the condition has totally changed. It is so dirty. I would like to travel with my family but currently I have a small baby, so I don’t think it’s okay to take the small baby so far. I love traveling to different places, but because my baby is so small I don’t have a chance to do that right now. In the future, I will visit other places. I also like to play football (soccer), basketball, and things like that. Our staff members play futsal once a week and I like that a lot.
What dreams do you have for the future?
Currently my father is without work. My future plan is to do some sort of small business also, so that my father can work there. I will continue my job here and if I do some other small business, then I can hand that over to my father. Then both of us can work. I hope that we will get a lot of orders so that the business can grow larger and then hire more people who are very poor or distanced from society.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If we keep on working on hard, each and every department, then I hope one day we will be growing. So we need to be strong, and keep doing the work honestly. Then we will not go down, just up.
We love partnering with amazing Nepali Artisans like Nikesh to help them build better lives for themselves and their families! Want to support Nikesh and his friends in the workshop? Shop our Nepal Collection.