Young entrepreneurs are creating a new space for themselves in Kashmir, and want to inspire other Kashmiri youth to think in terms of self-employment.
Muddasir Mir Nazir, Director of Ms Civil Engineering and Constructions, said his biggest happiness came from setting up and commissioning the Drungi micro-hydel power project, which is entirely managed by Kashmiris.
Nazir said it is time for the Kashmir youth to realize their potential, and create a niche for themselves. “Because of the current situation in the valley, big business from other areas will not come here soon. This gives the Kashmir youth immense opportunities in diverse areas. If they don’t take come forward and contribute in key sectors like education, healthcare and other areas, who will?” questioned Nazir.
Nazir stressed that entrepreneurship could not be classified as big industrial ideas alone. “Entrepreneurship can start small. It can be process betterment, product betterment or a new idea. The important thing is that we must inculcate the trend of entrepreneurship. Our youth should think about the power that comes from working for oneself than for anybody else,” he said. Nazir urged the youth to focus on thrust areas of need in Kashmir. “It is common that when people get unwell in the valley, they rush to Jammu, Amritsar or Delhi, as their pocket will permit. Herein lies the great possibility for business growth in Kashmir. Our youth must take the initiative and move into these sectors. They will have the satisfaction of creating a new business, setting up a new industry, and also providing employment to their fellow-Kashmiris,” said Nazir, who is in his mid-30s.
The good news is that young Kashmiris have started venturing into the business sector, to meet the demand for diverse services and products in the valley. About a year ago, TanveerUlHaq and Sohail Rashid co-founded Kashmir Ventures Private Limited. The two friends, both 30 years old, are first-generation Kashmiri entrepreneurs with work experience in top multi-national companies.
Tanveer and Sohail specialize in e-commerce, web applications, secure online payments, technology infrastructure and graphic designing. The duo have also developed three landmark software products, specially designed and priced for mini and small and businesses.
Tanveer said their company has empowered hundreds of Kashmiri fruit vendors, helped educational institutions in data transformation and analytics, helped traditional businesses go online, and built powerful news dissemination tools.
Tanveer and Sohail started their own business because they both wanted to live in Kashmir and be their own bosses, employ Kashmiris and help in removing unemployment. “Entrepreneurship is the need of the hour in our society. It is the only way out of the economical mess we are in. We must promote entrepreneurship so that the educated youth gets appealed towards it. In the current situation, no parent agrees to such aspirations. Entrepreneurship is still deemed as something reserved for those who could not get a government job, and are worth no better career option,” noted Tanveer.
ArshadHussainLattoo, the Director of Dolphin International, said he was happy to observe that entrepreneurship is developing as an idea among Kashmir youth. “My father was in government service, but I decided to set up a business to promote Kashmir arts,” said Lattoo. His company exports shawls and walnut furniture.
Arshad, 40, said he is a great advocate of entrepreneurship. “Kashmir has been an amazing civilization. Our heritage gives us great potential for business. Ultimately, it is better to work for ourselves. This way, we are our own bosses, and generate business and employment for our fellow Kashmiris,” he said. Lattoo said expanding his business and promoting Kashmir arts across the world gives him great joy. “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reasons for hope. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, look for the solutions and pass them on,” said Lattoo.
Courtesy by: earlytimes.in