Kashmiri entrepreneur offers free space in Bangalore to start ups throttled by internet gag

SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri entrepreneur is offering free of cost space and internet in Bangalore to Kashmir based start ups run down by the communications shutdown in the Valley.
Shahid Ansari’s Start up Kashmir will offer office space for up to 50 Kashmir based entrepreneurs in central Bangalore till the time internet gag continues.
Kashmir has been under an internet gag since August 5 when the GoI announced abrogation of J&K’s special status and its statehood.
The communications shutdown, which initially also included a shutdown of landline and mobile communications, has put brakes on businesses in Kashmir, and led to losses of approximately Rs 10,000 crore to the economy.
“I have come to know how entrepreneurs have closed down, or are at the verge of shutting down their ventures. This is very painful. I gave a thought to it and the idea of offering them space came to my head,” said Shahid Ansari, a Srinagar based entrepreneur leading a strategic firm and an initiative offering mentorship to start ups.
“In this regard, Start up Kashmir has set up an office facility in Bangalore to provide a workstation with internet connection for each person representing any valley based firm. This facility is free and has been set up in short term in view of the prevailing ground situation,” he added.
Shahid said he has managed the space from his friends who have been willing to help Kashmir. He will also assist them in getting accommodation at fair rates.
So far, he said, he has selected a Kashmiri entrepreneur who came under ‘bad debt’ due to suspension of internet.
Shahid said the space at Bangalore will help the entrepreneur to reconnect with his overseas clientele and give a new lease of life to his business.
Shahid is a passionate, London returned entrepreneur.
Since 2016, he has launched three start-ups which are working on developing new market platforms for walnut and handicrafts.
“I have seen what it means to see a start up dying, not because of lack of skills, grit and passion, but because of internet shutdown. I too have lost one company due to same. I hope my humble contribution will help some survive his dreams,” he added.

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