Devendra : Co-founder, Mentor & Advisor

Devendra is a qualified engineer and management graduate, and has 17 years experience of working with various multinational companies as Chief Production Manager.

Since his early life, he had witnessed the barren & tough life of poor villagers. He was very sensitive towards human issues. The challenges and lack of opportunity in the lives of these rural people always remained a concern area for him. “My vision was to create a fair world where everyone gets his fair piece of bread justly,” he says.

To closely understand the issues and challenges of the poor villagers, he visited many remote villages on Indo-Pak border. He was shocked at the deprived state in which the people had to live in. After spending some time with them, he realized that they still practiced their beautiful traditional art and crafts. Unfortunately, because of the lack of awareness and education, they were unable to convert their art into functional products of world’s interest and thus were losing a potential opportunity for their livelihood. “At that point I realized that there was actually a need of a bridge between them and the developed world,   which can translate their art into customers’ language and bring them closer to each other,” he shares with the team. This vision of Devendra became the back bone to form an organization which could work as a bridge between the artisans & the global world and finally ‘SETU-The Bridge To Artisans’ was conceptualized.

He believes that education and economic sustainability are the only ways to end the miseries of the underprivileged and marginalized communities. He firmly believes that there is a need to develop new resources for the artisans and make this trade more profitable and attractive. He says, “Unless we are able to attract the next generation of artisans for practicing and continuing the traditional art of their forefathers, we cannot preserve the art. We will only be successful when a parent wishes that his child too chooses his traditional art amongst all other earning options”.

He is a strong supporter of Fair Trade and says, “I think that the best way to live is to make conscious choices about the effect we want to have on the world. And choosing Fair Trade gives us the opportunity to do just that!”

Devendra always takes out time for guidance & support to reinforce company’s policies & vision plans. He still visits artisan groups in the remotest of areas to understand their problems and to suggest possible way outs. “Whenever I take one more step towards my goal of empowering all & creating equality, I feel happy and relaxed. This feeling of satisfaction drives me to work more for my dream to come true”, he shares.