Nickey Khemchandani is the Co- founder and Chief Product Officer of BSD (Build Something Different) Education, an international team of social entrepreneurs, technologists and educators dedicated to disseminating the understanding of technology and design among students and teachers. He says the most important parts of his job include product innovation, conception and development, and, most of all, being able to help others.
Which is what brought Khemchandani and his company on to our radar. Their RefuGeek project offers free training courses in coding and web design to refugees and asylum seekers, the objective being to unlock untapped talent that otherwise may have never been discovered. “Empowering students through technology,” says Khemchandani, “gives them the confidence they need to be successful in the modern workplace, and a leg up on the competition. It provides a direct solution to what’s often the hardest part of being a refugee: finding a job.”
His work with Refugeek enables him to help motivate students who lacked regular exposure to technology, which in turn motivates him to keep on innovating. “Companies are providing financial support and also job opportunities, which are changing lives,” says Khemchandani. “I also love that the programme is now being run by a former student turned BSD team member. It allows knowledge to spread without the roadblocks of finance and education.”
Khemchandani’s one piece of advice for future techies is not to forget the soft skills. “Running BSD over the last five years has opened my eyes to how empathy plays a role in personal development,” he says. “Also, don’t be scared of taking risks — and experiment with tech early on and often. With a little effort, everyone can find a place that they love within technology.”
Outfit: Loro Piana
Watch: Richard Mille RM 028 Automatic Diver’s Watch