Nafeesa Koslik, CHA, MBA, Owner, Nani’s Indian Kitchen
The Alaant Spotlight features local leaders and businesses to highlight the great work they are doing in our community, sharing their career advice and/or secrets to success—in their own words. They are the people making a powerful impact for good across our region.
My mantra is “work hard and play harder,” we all need to disconnect from work and find a hobby that reenergizes you that is different for each individual. my work week is very hectic; it’s just the way I like it. I own and operate a restaurant, volunteer, mentor, and I am a mom of three children and three fur babies. The best way to achieve my “balance” is to walk away from work on my day off. I like birding, gardening, traveling (when possible), kayaking, cooking for my family, hosting family and friends over at my house. I make sure I am taking care of myself daily, not just on my days off. Catching a sunset or leaving the house a little early and having my coffee at the park. I will not be a good businesswoman, mom, mentor, or wife if I don’t take care of myself. I learned this a long time ago you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Always up for an adventure, Nafeesa brings her lifetime love of hosting, cooking for, and feeding people to her brand-new restaurant, losing her dream job with Hilton worldwide as a Quality Assurance Manager during the pandemic and opening Nani’s Indian Kitchen. Initially planning the business as a food truck or farmer’s market vendor, she quickly pivoted to a restaurant model when she discovered the perfect site in Ballston Spa and went full steam ahead.
Nafeesa’s dream for Nani’s is to offer top-notch “gramma’s kitchen” comfort food, sharing the stories behind the dishes, driven to create the experience of what is it liked to live in a real Indian household. She’s brought together authentic regional recipes, portions, and presentations to deliver an irresistible “mini-trip” to India. Future includes offering cooking classes as well as sauces and spices for sale.
Raised in the Indian suburbs of Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, and Hyderabad, Nafeesa started cooking at eight years old. By the age of 10, she was planning neighborhood cookouts, talent shows, and sporting events. At 11, her journey as an entrepreneur came to life when she picked up her mom’s delicious homemade Indian pickles and sold them door-to-door to her neighbors.
After fearlessly relocating herself and her four younger siblings to New York to join their parents, she thrived in her new home and graduated from Schenectady High School. She found success in the hospitality industry and quickly became one of the youngest General Managers in the area. A natural leader, advocate, and mentor, she teaches others, “it’s all about who you are and how you treat people.” Nafeesa’s drive, positivity, and sunny disposition show in everything; she brings out the best in everyone around her. For her, there is no such thing as a bad trip or a bad day.
Nafeesa volunteers as a mentor for Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar, Advisory Board member for SUNY Delhi.
Nafeesa lives in Milton, NY, with her husband Todd and two of her three children, Taj (21) and Taamir (14). Her daughter Tarranum (24) worked for NYS and graduated from UAlbany with her BS in Informatics, the same day, Nafeesa graduated from UAlbany with her Executive MBA. Nafeesa treasures her children, family, growing community of friends, and traveling.
Nafeesa Koslik, CHA, MBA
Connect with Nafeesa on Linkedin
Denise Anderson, Manager, Talent & Human Resource Operations
Denise loves helping people and organizations find their perfect fit —whether that is helping someone find a dream job or scoping out what role a company needs to fill and finding the right person for them. In her spare time, she likes to keep physically active and this year has competed in two sprint triathlons. Denise has 2 teenagers and has logged many miles over the years following them around the country to watch them compete in their sports events. When she is able to be at home on the weekends, she enjoys being on her boat, especially during the summer.