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Hello, my name is Ravi and I am a graduate of the UP Collective programme. I now run my own social business, PAYANAM, which gives back to the refugee community whilst being kind to the planet.

I graduated UP Collective in 2019, and recently I had a chance to catch up with Ben & Jerry’s, a long term partner of the UP Collective programme, over a scoop of ice cream. You can read their interview with me below.

Ravi, what inspired you to start your business?

Mental health issues are very complex and hard to understand by others, and I’m inspired to work towards improving this global mental health problem. An art and photography group I participate in here in London helps me overcome my own trauma, so I thought about starting a platform for refugees to create art, overcome trauma, and support themselves while doing it.

Tell us more about the social impact of Payanam!

We showcase refugee art and share refugee stories. Art therapy helps refugees to overcome trauma, but there are also meaningful pieces created at the end of the art therapy process which describes a part of the refugee artist’s journey. We saw a multilayered opportunity for refugees to be able to create their products so that they can heal while expressing their stories through art, and create a new way to support themselves financially. It is very important to look after our shared environment too, so all our clothing is ethically sourced and made from organic cotton.

How can people get involved with PAYANAM?

Ravi, how did UP Collective help you on your journey to starting PAYANAM?

I enjoyed discussing my ideas with my mentor. I enjoyed testing my product and analysing the test feedback with my mentor.

Are you based in London? Do you have a business idea but don’t yet know how to get started?

This summer, why not follow in Ravi’s footsteps and join UP Collective with TERN in London?



Ravi's alumni story

alumni, story, entrepreneur, social enterprise, art

Founder, PAYANAM
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