“Hi, I am Manu from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, best known as the ‘Brass City’ for its famous market of brass and other metal handicrafts. I was born in August, 1988. My friends describe me as a hardworking, humble and caring person.
“Handicrafts are in my blood. I was born into a handicraft business family. I have done my graduation, but since childhood I was very much attracted towards handicraft products. I was always amazed to see how a handcrafted product went through so many stages before taking its final shape. My passion for handicrafts was so strong that I decided to learn all about such products, their designing and crafting. My elder brothers encouraged me to learn about the process, and taught me the details of handicrafts so I could join our family business.
“Initially, when I started out, I hardly knew anything about handicraft products. I had to spend a lot of time with skilled artisans to understand the various processes involved. It requires passion to learn and dedication to work. I love to create new designs. I myself learned everything by observation and experiments. And currently I have sufficiently good knowledge about the making and process of handcrafted products.
“Slowly, with the support of my father and brother, I started my own workshop where I have a team of 10-12 workers. My elder brother also assists me at times and is my constant support. We create all types of handicraft products. The materials that we use for our products include a range of metals--mainly iron, brass and aluminum, which are available in abundance in my native place. Also wood, horn, bone and glass are used in combination with these metals to create beautiful boxes, cutlery, bowls, mirrors and photo frames. The metals used in the products are all recyclable. The main process includes casting the metal and glass in desired shapes.
“The best element of my work is the ongoing innovation. I love generating new ideas with my elder brother. It is inspiring to see a person who is not very well educated in standard terms but is a master of his/her own craft. I work with a number of such craftsmen who convert my ideas into actual products through their wonderful skills. Though sometimes it is challenging to communicate my ideas to them properly, I make them understand the quality requirements to meet the international standards. In the end, the outcome of the product is so beautiful that it makes you forget the difficulties you have had in the process.
“I get inspiration from the feedback of customers. When customers appreciate my handicraft products, I get motivated, and that inspiration keeps up my quality work for the future. The team of workers that I have is innovative, and crafts my products according to the needs of every person. Working with me has given employment to my team workers, education for their children, and a stable life.
“We have participated in IHGF and other local fairs in and around Moradabad. My dream is to expand globally and share my work on a larger scale. I am thankful to NOVICA for giving me a platform to showcase my handicraft products. I hope that people will appreciate my designs and craft.”