Nanik Balani

Page - August 24, 2016

1. When and how did you first hear about Greenpeace?

In June 2011, I chanced upon the Greenpeace website, Greenpeace beckoned. I walked into the Greenpeace office and met Arindam Biswas and Teju Erappa. I had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew I was ready.

2. What were you doing before you joined Greenpeace?

After living the secure and cocooned childhood of a small town boy in Bangalore, I journeyed to Jamaica in 1971, at the age of nineteen, to begin a career in retail trading. I learnt to trade in goods that ranged from general merchandise to FMCG.

In 1976 my business interests took me to the African continent, and I started a wholesale and retail trading business in Cameroon. As the business consolidated, I travelled extensively on work to Uganda, the Congo (where I lived for 12 years) the Far East, Europe, and the United States.

The political instability in Cameroon made me move my family back to the safer environment of India (Bangalore) in 1992, but I continued to live and work in the African countries till 2009, undaunted by the politically unstable and dangerous environment, rough terrain and alien culture.

After a successful career in trading for 4 decades it was time to retire and head home to my family, but when I returned to Bangalore in 2009, I found I was not ready to hang up my boots.

3. When did you start working with Greenpeace?

In 2011, after a round of interviews, I was told I had a job in the quality team in the tele-fundraising department. I plunged in with a fresh adrenaline rush. And it has been a little over five years of learning, growth, involvement and commitment.

4. Why did you decide to work with Greenpeace?

I was looking for working in a place where I could give back to the community and preserve the environment for future generations.  I chanced upon the Greenpeace website, Greenpeace beckoned. I feel privileged to be a part of the team at Greenpeace and the great work being done all over the world.

5. Please describe in detail the work that you currently do at Greenpeace?

My work involves meeting people who already supporters of Greenpeace, giving them updates of the work we are doing and also re-initiating their support.  

6. What has been your most memorable moment at GP?

The most fulfilling and memorable part of my job was when I volunteered for the coal and forests campaign towards the end of 2011.

We were working for a cause, saving the livelihood of about 15,000 tribals by stopping their relocation from the land they had been living on for generations. We were also working to stop the destruction of the tiger reserves in the region, conserve biodiversity, wildlife and green cover, and thus prevent climate change and global warming. The campaign was a great success and attracted huge media coverage. And I have been an activist since.

7. What do you like about working for GP?

I thoroughly enjoy my work as a KDO as I get to meet and interact with people from all walks of life - IT, Medicine, Business, Finance, Theatre, Cinema, Fashion, etc. I have learnt so much with my interactions with them.

8. Personally, how do you feel working here has changed you as a person?

After joining Greenpeace, the thought of hanging up my  boots has faded  from my mind. I think I have more to do in this life, by raising funds for Greenpeace, for this organization to continue the good work of saving the environment. 

9. If you were to describe your day at work, how would describe it?

My day at work is very exciting. I get to meet and interact with people from different walks of life,and I have learnt so much interacting with people. It makes me very happy when I convince people to donate to Greenpeace for the good work the organization is doing.

10. What would you say to someone who is considering applying for a job at GP?

I would say to the person considering applying for a job at Greenpeace, that working at Greenpeace is more than just a job. It is a place of learning. A place where one gets work satisfaction at the end of the day.