Meet Pranav, Who Has Set up Tea Stalls in London to Give Unemployed Refugees Means of LivelihoodJune 24, 2019 10:38
The lack of employment has been quite hard-hitting for both the refugees and immigrants who migrated to different parts of Europe. From a deficiency of jobs for the migrants to a proper way of living, everything was compromised upon while they were not given any opportunity to make it on their own.
Pranav, an Indian origin resident in London, came across a hard-hitting news story about three years ago, when the crisis had reached its hilt. The story was about a 12-year-old Iraqi boy who was asked by the interviewer what he thought about going back to his homeland, Iraq, to which the boy said, “I'm not happy as I know I'll die, but I have to go back with my family.” This interview certainly changed Pranav's life and how.
(Image source from: MensXP.com)
Pranav is a Delhi-born businessman and an owner of London-based tea company Chaigram (now NEMI). His social enterprise employs refugees, who work for Chaigram and help run the tea-stalls across London food markets, festivals and various events.
Chaigram helps refugees who find it difficult to find jobs, earn a steady income by employing them full-time.
"Ours is a platform where the refugees can improve their English skills, regain confidence and work on skills required to enter the United Kingdom job market. We also employ them within our business to perform commercial roles including sales and marketing, events, packaging, and distribution. We are solely impact driven and re-invest more than 50 percent of our profits back into our enterprise to help us achieve our social-impact goals," Pranav said in an interview with Better India.
Pranav, a resident of London for seven years now, felt that people who had migrated to the UK needed to be recognized with a lot more civility and respect needed an incoming source of income and equal opportunities.
(Image source from: MensXP.com)
After reading up about the Iraqi family who was forced to move back to their country from Europe, he was deeply disturbed and thought about doing something to make a difference. He understood that for the refugees, getting an asylum claim acceptance wasn't the end of their difficult journey. It was mostly acceptance in the society that they struggled with and Pranav took no time in creating a viable space for them.
After deeply researching about the refugee crisis in Europe, Pranav with his savings opened up an organization that would help refugees keep their identity and his only totem to run the initiative was 'chai'. He banked on his love and knowledge of chai and opened 'Chaigram'. He partnered with 'Groundwork London', an organization that works towards providing sustainable employment, and began an initiative to give refugees jobs and other skills.
Currently, the organization has provided work to about 18 refugees, who work in packaging and distribution along with more commercial roles like sales, marketing and handling events. Apart from that, the people working with Pranav also learn English language skills, so they can converse better. The refugees employed currently are from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, and Eritrea.
Chaigram possess stalls in two London markets and supplies tea to about 20 cafes. Chaigram sells Masala Chai, Chai Lattes, Iced Tea, along with selling loose tea blends, that are packed and blended by refugees.
By Sowmya Sangam