A brand built to create stylish, wooden timepieces with an equal focus on social responsibility, Kochiba definitely stand out from the crowd. Company founder NJ Desai takes us through the inspiration, achievements and goals of Kochiba in our latest Behind the Brand feature.
RJ: Who is behind Kochiba?
ND: The brand was started by myself, Nj Desai. My wife, Victoria, is also an integral part of KOCHIBA and handles a big part of things behind the scenes. (Pictured above with a member of the Zambia National Women’s Lobby)
RJ: What inspired you to establish the brand?
ND: I always had a love for beautiful design in anything. I’m also originally from Zambia, Africa and witnessing poverty first hand, my best friend and I would always have long talks sometimes over a few pints about how we can do something for people back home, especially as we were both in Australia and privileged to be studying there.
After resettling in the UK, I decided to start a business and when I heard about Eco friendly wood watches, the idea naturally became a reality, I decided to bring beautifully designed timepieces and create a brand that would be socially responsible and contribute to a choice of charities that I felt would make a real difference, and a name that people could relate to.
RJ: What does your design and creation process look like?
ND: Our designs are the product of countless hours of mixing colours and types of wood as well as deciding which hands or hour marks would complete each timepiece. Once we decide on a final watch style and how they may compliment different dress styles, we then work to draw up the details and work with designers in Asia to convey the completed designs, who in turn bring them to life.
RJ: What is your proudest moment so far?
ND: One of the proudest moments was to go back to Zambia and visit a charity that supports orphaned children by putting them through a school and allowing them to qualify for secondary and college education. Returning home after creating a small brand, personally being able to say that Kochiba would like to help and I could offer CINDI assistance through this was a great feeling.
RJ: If there was one ‘style icon’ that captures your brand, who would it be?
ND: Michelle Obama comes to mind when thinking of personifying Kochiba. She came from humble beginnings, excelled at Harvard and after becoming first lady of the United States was deemed as stylish and fashionable as Jackie Kennedy. I totally resonate with how she still uses her prominence and voice to help people and create positive change.
RJ: What are your aspirations for the brand?
ND: I would like to build Kochiba to be a name that is always putting out beautiful products which are affordable to everyone.
As we grow we want to bring fresh designs – be it watches or clothing – which are unique and different from anything mass produced. We also want to include a contribution to our charitable partners in product we sell. Through our social media streams we hope that people and businesses can connect and feel inspired, as many have reached out and said, and look at Kochiba as a movement that use enterprise merged with a social responsibility to help create change globally.
Kochiba’s range of wooden watches is available at Ryan James. Each purchase includes a donation to the charity CINDI – The Children In Distress Network.