DHARAMSALA, 25 Oct: Padma Jewels, a Dehradun based Tibetan glass beads manufacturing company was today announced the winner of Youth Employment for Tibetans Initiative’s ( YETI) one crore rupees business plan competition.
Kalden Chophel and Ngawang Tsultrim, the directors of Padma Jewels collected the INR 10,000,000 prize money at a press conference held here at the Tibetan Secretariat.
“With a great mindset and a good plan, we will set out with confidence and optimism,” Chophel said after winning the YETI Grand Challenge.
Choephel and Tsultrim were adjudged the winner among 43 entrepreneurs who applied for the competition by a three-member jury for their proposal to expand their Exile Creations; a self-sustaining business specialised in designing and manufacturing glass lamps, beads, handicrafts, paintings and jewellery.
The duo currently employs 30 Tibetans at their workshop in Dekyiling Tibetan settlement in Dehradun with six of them being physically disabled, including four who are totally deaf and mute.
While Chophel was among the first group of Tibetans to be introduced and trained in glass bead making in 2005 by Lise Aagaard who has been designing jewellery for Trollbeads, one of Denmark’s most famous brands, for over 40 years handles the production, Tsultrim handles the administration for the smooth operation of their business.
YETI was launched on 2 April earlier this year by Tibet Innovations in collaboration with Tibetan Entrepreneurship Development (TED) under Department of Finance, CTA with the aim to recognize and support a Tibetan Entrepreneur who has the vision and skills to create a sustainable business that will employ young Tibetans in the settlements.
The organisers maintained that the inspiration for the YETI competition comes from the expressed concerns of His Holiness the Dalai Lama about the outflow of young Tibetans from the settlement camps in India and the adverse effects this was having on the culture and viability of these vulnerable communities.
The winners who run the high-end beads manufacturing company also concurred that they too face the same problem as even the best of their employees have left the job to migrate to the west.
The Tibetan glass beads maker who is one of the leading supplier of handmade glass beads in Europe and America now hopes to expand their business through Padma Jewels.
“With all the experiences and knowledge we gained thus far, its time for us to expand now by creating our own brand and generating more employment,” Kalden added
CTA’s Finance department will award Padma Jewels the prize money in a series of grants that will cover business start-up costs and ongoing operations within three years.
Thubten Samdup, the Director of Tibet Innovations described Padma Jewels as a deserving winner while CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay commended the winner by likening their workshop to those in Europe; highly advanced.