Meet Abdullah Shaikh
" People at MarketPlace believed in me and sent me for training and technical workshops, even to Delhi."
Abdullah Shaikh - Design Team, MarketPlace
Abdul has come a long way. He travelled to Mumbai in 1990 from a farm in Tamil Nadu, arriving in the city with no prospects and without even knowing any local languages. Taking a job as an errand boy gave him the chance to learn Hindi and get a sense of the city. After his cousin Zia introduced him to MarketPlace, he learned to sew and make the paper patterns needed for the clothing. Now he is a valuable member of the Design Department.
"People at MarketPlace believed in me and sent me for training and technical workshops, even to Delhi," Abdul shares. He takes his responsibilities seriously because sample making and design are the basis of all production. "When the lockdown was declared, I knew design development had to continue for there to be a new collection. Since I live near the office, I could go every day to do whatever it took to keep the design process going, while staying safe."
Both Abdul and his wife, Sasitha, also help their community. Sasitha tutors children, and they have both helped students fill out school and college applications and other forms. "My mother urged me to come to Mumbai because it is so difficult to earn a living through farming. Now my son Aftab is studying to be an engineer and my son Zimran is studying science. All of this was possible because of the assistance, encouragement and opportunities I received from MarketPlace," says Abdul. But it was his dedication and hard work that took him so far.