Q & A with the Co-founders

We gave a fun questionnaire to our three founders. Read on to see what each of them has to say about Ladakh Basket and it is an insight into their personal lives.

 

Name: Sonam Stanzin
Position/role: CTO
Why do you have this position/role: To check the website and take [customers’] orders
Currently based in: Leh, Ladakh, India

 

On Being a Founder

What was/is the most important thing to you about founding/starting Ladakh Basket:
Ladakh Basket was founded to create [extra opportunities] and empower Ladakhi farmers and Ladakhi craft, and to get Ladakhi products all over the world.

What is your favourite Ladakh Basket product and why?
Barley flour because all the farmers in Ladakh cultivate it and it was the most used [cereal grain] before rice from outside Ladakh arrived.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned so far?
There is so much potential in this business if we do our work seriously.

What has surprised you on this journey?
The support – we have received support from many others like the government and UNDP and many more.

What is the best part about working with the farmers and producers?
Because they work in the countryside so it’s very pleasurable to be there and see their hard work.

Tell Us More!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living in the present moment.

What is your current state of mind?
I am almost fine but for a little bit of worry when we think about the future.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Not any particular word

What is your most treasured possession?
All I do is work!

In 3 words … how would your family describe you?
Caring, multitasker, freedom.

In 3 words … how would your friends describe you?
Friendly, leader, intelligent.

In 3 words … ok, so how would you describe yourself?
Athlete, free, thinker.

What is your motto?
To help the helpless.

Who is your greatest hero or person you most admire?
My dad.

What words of advice do you have for aspiring young entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up, just pivot when things don’t work.

Tell us something we don’t know about you (like your secret talent)!
I am good at athletics.

Lastly, if you could ask a question … what would it be?
Describe yourself in five years from now?

 

Name: Thinles Norboo
Position/role: CMO
Why do you have this position/role: Because I am a bit good at public relations and networking
Currently based in: Leh, Ladakh, India

 

On Being a Founder
What was/is the most important thing to you about founding/starting Ladakh Basket:
For me, since I grew up in a village, making a sustainable village is always my vision and I met my two co-founders [during a] Naropa Fellowship so we were on the same page to make sustainable villages. So we started Ladakh Basket.
Note to Readers: The Naropa Fellowship is an entrepreneurial leadership program and academic institute “shaping the future of the Himalayas.”

What is your favourite Ladakh Basket product and why?
Every product is very special for me! But one of my favourites if you ask is the organic Chamomile tea because I really like tea and as well we started our venture with these few products. Also [with] Ladakhi Chamomile tea, we’re at the top in the search list on Google.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned so far?
I have learnt so many things and especially how to deal with people, how communication skills are so important in today’s world, and of course, leadership and teamwork.

What has surprised you on this journey?
We are the first company [like this] in Union Territory Ladakh and we didn’t think we will be somewhere in everyone’s mouths.

What’s the best part about working with the farmers and producers?
Working with farmers will always be the reason for my happiness and as well, is Ladakh Basket’s value. I am overwhelmed with happiness to always work together and help them somehow to earn decent incomes for their family.

Tell Us More!
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
When we actually help someone when they needed it and we are [part of] the reason for their success and happiness, yes, that always keeps me happy.

What’s your current state of mind?
I am really optimistic about Ladakh Basket. I can see [that] Ladakh Basket will reach every corner of the world one day.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Keep learning, keep growing, the sky is the limit.

What is your most treasured possession?
True to the words and action.

In 3 words … how would your family describe you?
Daring, helping nature, unselfish.

In 3 words … how would your friends describe you?
Adventurous, social worker, helpful.

In 3 words … ok, so how would you describe yourself?
Supportive, caring and a learner.

What’s your motto?
My motto is to live happily and let others live happily.

Who is your greatest hero or person you most admire?
I am always in admiration of His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa not only [for his] spiritual way but also his leadership … this is always awe-inspiring.

What words of advice do you have for aspiring young entrepreneurs?
This is the journey of learning and setbacks but never give up.

Tell us something we don’t know about you (like your secret talent)!
I can do physical work for more than 12 hours a day!

Lastly, if you could ask a question … what would it be?
How can we make the best use of our time meaningfully?

 

Name: Stanzin Jorden
Position/role: CEO
Why do you have this position/role: [Perhaps] because I take responsibility and [I’m] able to take [and make] informed decisions
Currently based in: Leh, Ladakh, India

 

On Being a Founder

What was/is the most important thing to you about founding/starting Ladakh Basket:
One of the most important reasons behind founding Ladakh Basket for me was to create something back at home so that I can stay back and work in my region. It is also because most of the youngsters including me go outside (e.g. Delhi) to study for 7-9 years. Initially, I didn’t know what it would be but I got shaped in the process.

What is your favourite Ladakh Basket product and why?
Initially, we started with food items, and it is very difficult to pick one. One of my favourites would be the organic Chamomile tea because my grandfather got it from a foreign country and grew it for the first time in Ladakh. Nowadays my mother grows it, and it is one of the best sellers for Ladakh Basket.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned so far?
I have learned so many things and I’m still learning a lot. It was a roller coaster journey for me. Personally, I have learnt so many things about my land and the people. And professionally I have learnt about resilience, teamwork and leadership.

What has surprised you on this journey?
I think we have never started with the idea that we will get recognition or fame, but I am quite surprised with the kind of recognition we have [received so far] not only locally but I would say globally also.

What’s the best part about working with the farmers and producers?
It gives me immense happiness and pleasure getting to know new people and being able to create an impact in their lives even if the impact [for now] is very minuscule.

Tell Us More!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For me it would be helping all beings to the best of my capacity and if I cannot help them then at least not harm them at all.

What’s your current state of mind?
I am an optimistic person but sometimes things do not work your way and I do lose my composure.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Not any particular words or phrases comes to my mind, but I do believe in living in the moment and to the best of my potential. But it doesn’t mean I am able to live up to that but at least trying my best. One phrase that comes to my mind is the Spider-Man quote, “With great power comes great responsibilities.”

What is your most treasured possession?
I think I would not mind losing my materialistic possession. One thing I feel important is this life which is throbbing inside each one of us. It has so much potential not only to bring happiness to oneself but to the others around you.

In 3 words … how would your family describe you?
Reserved, caring, selfless.

In 3 words … how would your friends describe you?
Helpful, introvert, annoying (because I don’t reply to their texts).

In 3 words … ok, so how would you describe yourself?
Helpful, caring, introvert.

What’s your motto?
My motto for life would be live a happy life and seek discomfort [to challenge yourself].

Who is your greatest hero or person you most admire?
Not a particular one but I do admire my spiritual teachers and in general, people who are just honest.

What words of advice do you have for aspiring young entrepreneurs?
It is a difficult and long journey but a beautiful and fulfilling one.

Tell us something we don’t know about you (like your secret talent)!
Ha ha, I don’t think I have one. Maybe I can just listen to people for hours.

Lastly, if you could ask a question … what would it be?
There are so many. This is a spiritual one – How can one realise their true nature?