What brought Felix Litzkow from Germany to join Mumbai startup No Nasties?
They say that a strong vision can attract the unlikeliest of supporters. Take Felix Litzkow, for example. This business grad from Germany is one of three full-time employees at Mumbai-based No Nasties. The company, which was launched by Apurva Kothari back in 2011, sells T-shirts made from organic and fair trade cotton, in an attempt to encourage more farmers to grow it. Think about it, a case, where a profit-making organisation can have social impact.
I spoke to Felix, to understand what brought him to India and what excites him about working at No Nasties, and how No Nasties has grown during his time at the company.
Working at No Nasties
Felix is of German ethnicity, but has grown up all around the world. He says, “I did come back to Germany to finish my studies in Business. I didn’t have a definite plan on what I wanted to do, but I knew it had to be along the lines of something that would let me use my skills to do good. So I travelled around a bit, looking for such projects and I encountered No Nasties last October.” Felix shared that other than himself, Apurva Kothari, the founder and Anushka Gupta the in-house graphic designer, the team has interns from all over the world who work with No Nasties.
No Nasties currently sells north of 500 t-shirts a month from their B2C offering, which Felix hopes will triple by the end of this year. The larger chunk of their business comes from bulk orders from corporates and design houses around the world. They have partnered with logistics players, like Blue Dart, to take care of delivery.
Felix however shared, they face a challenge in maintaining inventory. He says, “As you know, we run on a print on demand model and we only stock plain t-shirts. So stocking the right number of t-shirts is always a challenge.” However, Felix also shared that the technology isn’t that much of a problem at No Nasties, as their founder, Apurva comes with a rich background in technology.
The power of doing good through business
When asked about the motivation of working for a company like No Nasties, given the place and circumstances Felix comes from, he says, “I’ve always been fascinated with the power of being able to do good through business. All t-shirts that we sell at No Nasties are made from 100% organic and fair trade cotton. So, the more we sell, the more orders the mills get, and the benefit consequently trickles down to the farmers. It’s a for profit business that does good and I have a chance to have a positive impact on the world.” Furthermore, No Nasties is India's first fair trade licensed t-shirt brand.
Apart from this, Felix has great regard for his founder, Apurva Kothari. He says, “I think this is the case with any startup, where you need to have a good relationship with the founder and thats the case with me and Apurva as well. We are constantly learning from each other and Apurva really brings a wealth of web and professional experience.”
On a concluding note, Felix shared his personal goals of working at No Nasties. He says, “I want to help in taking No Nasties to places that we haven’t yet imagined. I say this, as there’s no limit to the extent to which we can grow. Also, I want to do this for as long as it is fun.”
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