MEET THE ARTISAN: Pradeep Kumar Has Been Carving Wood and Bone for 15 Years
Pradeep Kumar holds up his business card. He’s a proud entrepreneur. He started his own venture, Lavanya Design, in 2009, after 15 years of working for various companies in the wood-carving and bone business.
Today, he manages 100 employees. Lavanya Design is one of the larger groups that Mela Artisans works with. Located on the Ganges plain, about two hours north of Delhi, there are two main workshops – one in Saharanpur and another in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh. The villages are known for their wood-working and bone-carving skills.
Pradeep is proud of the progress these local artisans have made while working for Lavanaya:
“It has always been my ambition to start my own business. Throughout my career, I worked directly with people at all levels of industry, from production to senior management. One lesson I learned was that although most of the artisans are highly talented, they need help to translate their ideas into products that meet international standards. My aim is to help them reach that goal.”
Lavanya artisans working in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, making Timeless boxes.
An artisan dying the Fantasy in grey and indigo coasters.
“Every time we receive a new order, they are learning new designs and techniques. This expands their skill set to make products that are more desirable to a western customer. More desirable products also means more regular work and a dependable income, improving the lives of the artisans and their families.”
- Esha Chhabra