"I am enjoying what I am doing, and at the same time I'm assisting weavers who have an incredible talent, but unfortunately are not very financially stable."
"I am Mirza Mohammad Uvais Beg, born and raised in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, a city with a rich cultural heritage and where family values are held at the highest esteem. I completed my studies at Rohelkhand University.
"Ever since I was young, I've always dreamed of working for the betterment of people living in conditions of economic hardships, and of finding a way of improving their living standards. When I was working for an export company I got the opportunity to visit Bhagalpur, famous for its hand-loomed silk products.
"I thought these weavers have magic in their hands, but they did not know the right way to reach out to people and sell their products. This is when I decided to start a small organization to promote their beautiful hand-woven pieces.
"So, I left my job and got a team of designers together, and started contacting weavers. We gave them various designs and they came out pretty good! I was really excited to be in this field.
"I am enjoying what I am doing, and at the same time I'm assisting weavers who have an incredible talent, but unfortunately are not very financially stable.
"Currently there are about 150 weavers who are working full time with us, and another 50 weavers working from home. We all work together, sharing ideas and designs – this is how we create all our beautiful shawls and scarves. There is also another dedicated team that controls quality.
"We specialize in a variety of woven and printed stoles, ties, and running fabrics. We work with a different types of silk, including Tussar, Moonga, Eri, mulberry, and Matka.
"Since we started working together, we have had the opportunity to participate in many exhibitions throughout India including Kolkata, Bangalore, Vizag, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Chennai.
"Our main aim is to generate maximum employment for weavers who are residing hinterlands of India, and dedicate our efforts to make their lives better. Reaching customers worldwide is one way to achieve this goal. I hope NOVICA is a very good platform for us; it is a great opportunity for us and the weavers we work with. We wish Novica, a great success in future.
"I would love to start my own workshop in my hometown in Rampur and help as many weavers as possible, and I am sure my association with Novica will help me come closer to my dream.
Uvais received the "Rajiv Gandhi Rashrtiye Ekta Samman 2012" Award, which is presented to men and women from various fields for their outstanding services, achievements and contributions. This yearly Award is in memory of of the late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, India’s seventh Prime Minister who was assassinated in 1991.