Inspired in Kolkata, Kashmiri youth shows way for self reliance

Inspired in Kolkata, Kashmiri youth shows way for self reliance

SRINAGAR: Rouf Bhat was a salesman in Kolkatta, where he met a man repairing mobile phones on a street. The man used to work for just two hours. He would open his kiosk exactly at 2 pm every day and close it at 4 pm. In just two hours, he would earn Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 on an average.
“After two hours he would refuse to repair any mobile on the pretext that his work time is over. ‘Bhaiya ab dimag kaam nahi karega aur main nahi chahta ki aapka mobile phone kharab hojaye’ (Brother I don’t want your mobile should stop working permanently) was the answer his customers would get after 4 PM).” This was an inspiration for Bhat, who now successfully runs a mobile repairing shop-Bhat Mobile Gallery at Rajbagh.
Mobile repairing was something whose technicalities Bhat always failed to understand, but his persistence succeeded him. He learned the trade from master artist in Kolkata. But what drove him was an urge to become independent. When Bhat was back from Kolkata, the first thing he did was to find a suitable place to establish a mobile repairing shop near his home in Rajbagh.
“Though I managed to get a place to establish my venture but I had no money to invest. Then I came to know about Seed Capital Fund Scheme being implemented by JKEDI from a friend who had just heard the name from somewhere but didn’t knew what the scheme is all about. I went to EDI in 2010 and registered myself under SCFS to avail the finance I needed to set up my unit.”
Bhat’s three brothers are already in business and this helped him a lot. He had the basic know how of how to go for a small business. “My family was very supportive. Though my father is a retired government employee, he too wanted me to go for business. So nothing but finance was a hurdle for me before I opted to avail SCFS.”
Bhat availed Rs 8.60 lakh under SCFS of JKEDI out of which Rs 3 lakh was the seed money and the rest was paid as loan by the J&K Bank.
“Seed money helped me to plan my things. No doubt it goes back to the bank in the form of interest but in the beginning it definitely helped,” Bhat said.
At present Bhat is involved in repairing of mobile phones, easy recharge and provides bill payment facilities for all leading mobile service providers. Besides he also sells mobile phone accessories.
His daily sales are more than Rs 15,000 including the money he gets back through e-recharge. On an average 100 customers use the services of his unit daily.  He is now in a position to repay the whole loan amount to the bank as his income is increasing every day. “I want to repay the pending amount immediately but the bank is not ready yet. Dealing with the bank has been the one of the biggest challenges for me so far.”
Bhat now wants to go for wholesaling of mobile phones as the growth trajectory of Bhat Mobile Gallery is going very smooth. Like all successful entrepreneurs, Rouf Bhat too has a message for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Government jobs are not available, so make use of different schemes to become your own boss. And use money judiciously.”

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