Aijaz says owning own industry better than govt job
PULWAMA: While thousands of Valley youth were jobless after pursuing higher education, a young man from a far-flung village of Shopian has started his own business and has even provided jobs to 60 persons at his company in Lasipora Industrial Area of Pulwama district.
Aijaz Ahmad Wani, 31, a resident of Shopian’s Keller village, started his career as a medical representative, earning Rs 6,000 a month. He has now become a recruiter for Divine Industries, an apparel business unit, situated at Lassipora.
Aijaz, who is Divine Industries’ chairman-cum-managing-director, said that the unit was established in 2013. Before starting his own business unit, Aijaz was searching for a job for a couple of years.
“I started this business with four people on board and the same number of machines. But now around 60 people are working here on handsome monthly salaries, and we have more than 40 automatic machines,” Aijaz said.
Many entrepreneurs deal in readymade garment-making here, but what makes Divine Industries different is that it has been well organised with a manufacturing unit spread over two Kanals of land. The company brands its products – pants, coats, shirts, trousers and uniforms – under its Divine tag, and to Aijaz’s satisfaction, the label has been doing well.
“The Divine trouser has become popular among locals, touching every class of people. It captured a sizeable segment of the market,” Aijaz said.
After getting a good response locally and registering an annual growth of 20 percent for the last four years, the company is planning to enter the national market.
“We will work at the national level by 2020,” Aijaz said, adding that they will in time recruit more people for the company’s expansion. He said they have also started making school uniforms this year.
“Founding your own business gives you more time for more innovations and expansion of your abilities. Those who are educated must take a relevant field and work hard for four to five years and they will get satisfaction by their work,” he said, adding “I feel a government job has less worth than having one’s own business or industry.”
An MBA, from the Central University of Pune, Aijaz left his job as a sales trainer in a corporate outfit in Mumbai to start his dream project in Kashmir. “Besides full-time employees, who get Rs 15,000-20,000 salaries, we also have people working here on a commission basis who earn almost Rs 1,000-1,500 a day,” Aijaz said.
The idea of establishing an apparel unit came to him after he saw a number of Kashmiri business men searching Mumbai markets for school uniforms.
Subsequently, he applied at the District Industries Centre, Pulwama, for land and started construction on his project, which within only five years became a leading job provider for youth.
Gulzar Ahmad Bhat, a father of four, is one such youth. He, after suffering losses in trade, became unemployed. It was on the insistence of a friend that he applied at Divine Industries as a tailor. Bhat is today getting a monthly salary of Rs 16,000.
Bhat said he was satisfied with the salary he gets from the company along with other benefits given to company employees as well.
“We get a rebate on every purchase we make in Divine,” Bhat said, adding that the company also provides its staff boarding and lodging facilities.