Newly Appointed Brand Ambassador of
Handmade Nepali woolen carpets
Mr. Reto Aschwanden
* Working with STEP – and the carpet industry – since 11 years (2005)
* First as head of communication, then as head of trade relations. Since 3 years (2014) as Director
* So my experience with the industry lies within diverse fields:
* Marketing: Visiting and organizing exhibitions at trade shows in Germany (Hannover, Köln), Italy (Milano), France (Paris), USA (New York), Switzerland, Austria
* Trade: Managing 50 accounts (= STEP license holders) both retail and wholesale from seven countries in Europe and North America; accounting for approx. 15 Mio USD in annual carpet imports.
* PR: Working with international print, online and audiovisual media; organizing events for industry professionals and the public; holdingspeeches and presentations at trade partners, museums and other events
* Carpet production: direct 5 country offices in production countries (Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran); numerous travels to regularly visit all major production countries, meetings with producers, exporters, associations and authorities
* Projects/fundraising: Managing social and environmental projects inall production countries; working with donors like national development agencies (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) and international organizations(World Bank)
* In Nepal: STEP covers monitoring and verification of 75 weaving units linking to 15 exporters. Additionally, STEP conducts awareness sessions on health & hygiene, lifestyle, and many other important issues. STEP has run projects such as establishing a day care center for children of weavers, supporting the environment-friendly production of carpets through setting up wastewater treatment plants, support non-formal adult education, setting a Living Wage, providing earthquake relief and technical guidelines for building earthquake resistant factories, creating special regulations for carpet industry, collaborating with Central Carpet Industries Association Nepal on ongoing basis and promoting Nepali carpet in the international market.
* Before STEP: Working as a journalist (freelance and press agencies)and in PR/Communication (Law Faculty of University of Fribourg; Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police)