KASHMIR’S YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

KASHMIR’S YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

SRINAGAR: It is a chilly morning, and Snober Malik is heading towards Arsh-ul-Hijab – a place where not only ladies clothes are stitched, but a dream is also weaved. And this dream belongs to her only. The dream is to carve a niche in the world dominated by men and that too amid stiff opposition from her family.
Snober, the owner of Arsh-ul-Hijab boutique in old Srinagar city has been pursuing her dream like anything. Non-availability of start-up finance and lack of family support could not deter her to pursue what she wanted.  Her feelings and quest inspired her to be an entrepreneur. Once she decided to start her venture without family support, finance was the hurdle.
A friend who had availed Seed Capital Fund Scheme (SCFS) through J&KEDI suggested her to follow the suit.
“I found the way to pursue my dream. I decided to be an entrepreneur despite lack of family support. Thereafter, I enrolled myself for two-week-long Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) under SCFS.”
Snober had thought that her family will cool down with time and she will get their support, but things continued the way they were. She prepared a project report for Rs 13 lakh to purchase machinery, raw material and a place to establish her unit.
“While I was yet to convince my non-supportive family about my decision, dealing with bank started giving me nightmares. Still I didn’t change my mind and remained persistent.”
Her determination had a reason behind it. The earnings of Snober’s father, a shopkeeper were not enough to fulfil all family needs and she wanted to help.
Snober’s determination finally paid well and she received Rs 2.68 lakh as seed money for her unit while the remaining amount was paid by the J&K Bank as loan on lesser interest rates.
She started her boutique with one person and one machine. Today Arsh-ul-Hijab has six modern machines and five employees are working for Snober. With monthly turnover of nearly Rs 80,000 Snober is able to save Rs 10,000 to 15,000 for herself. “The market is growing and I think in coming season the sales/turnover may go up to Rs 2 lakh per month.”
When she decided to be an entrepreneur she had completed her graduation only and when Arsh-ul-Hijab starting generating profit, Snober has completed MA as well.
For Snober the biggest challenge was to convey and satisfy her customers about the quality she provided. With time she was able to manage that part as well. One mistake she admits to have committed in her entrepreneurial journey is that she didn’t follow the real strategy for her business. “For first four months I hired workers on salary basis which went wrong.”
Snober plans to buy high-end machinery for Arsh-ul-Hijab and give employment to more women. “Formalities are always there to be fulfilled. My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to plan early and search a best site for your business unit. It is the perserverance and hardwork that can fill your dreams. Be ready for challenges but don’t get disheartened by how you would be taken in the market.”