If you are passionate about doing something on your own, are a risk taker, and can’t handle a boss, well then, entrepreneurship may just be the right thing for you.
In simple terms, entrepreneurship is about selling a product or an idea, but then it is also about innovating, like what new you have to offer, about packaging and repackaging products and ideas, and having knowledge of your target market. It also is about your leadership quality and how you can manage your business and let it survive in difficult times.
Off late, many educated youth are showing an interest in entrepreneurship. Benish Nisar, studying in the final year of her graduation, aspires to start her own food outlet. She says that time is not far when “our egoistic generation” will prefer to start their own ventures than bear a boss.
“Government jobs these days are very few. I am passionate about fulfilling my dreams, so I would like to spend my golden years in them only, rather than look for any other job,” Benish said.
Parents in Kashmir have been more career-sensitive about their children, partly due to the conflict and insecurity. They find government jobs more secure than businesses.
Manzoor Ahmed Malik, a government employee who wishes his son to become an IAS officer says that every parent wants to see his child’s future secure.
“Here hartals are a routine, halting the business activities. People are forced to opt for a job even if it pays peanuts, rather than think for venture establishment,” Malik said.
He however acknowledges that trends are changing.
“During our time, starting business meant owning a retail shop. But now, trend is changing. Almost every week in newspaper, I read about some youth entrepreneur,” he said.
Who can help:
Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) is helping to develop a startup culture in the valley, by offering counselling, training, and even capital assistance to intending entrepreneurs.
If you are thinking of setting up your own enterprise, you can visit the EDI office to get Counselling and Guidance order to see how EDI can help you as per your requirements.
If your enterprise qualifies for the EDI support, you will be asked to fill an application form, along with some documents in order to receive a short-term training for your future Business Plan. The training is mandatory to receive support from EDI.
An independent consulting firm, the Silk Route Consulting Group, is also trying to make it easier for intending entrepreneurs to make the right moves.
Set up by two friends, Ejaz Ayoub and Sameer Gojwari, the SilkRoute organizes workshops where experts provide insights on various aspects of entrepreneurship. This includes information ranging from legal requirements, to creating connections and networking, to finding capital support for your venture.
“We started with a workshop attended by 10 people only which has grown now to 250 participants. Experts from J&K Bank, legal advisors and young entrepreneurs are invited to provide basic information and help,” said Ejaz.
According to Ejaz, Technology is the biggest advantage of this generation. One can sell online depending on nature of the business and doesn’t need to invest in a big space also.
Silkroute’s efforts are bearing fruit in the shape of Phamb.com, a recently launched pashmina selling e-portal, Nexcare.in which will be an online pharmacy and booking portal for doctors, and Panunshop.com, which will be selling Kashmiri art online.
Another service offered by SilkRoute is e-mentoring, where participants are mentored by successful businessmen living abroad through Skype.