The present generation of Kashmir is chartering unknown territories fearlessly and scripting their own success stories. Be it in commerce, retail, or hiring they are making a difference with their ideas. They run successful ventures and generate employment and give rise to new sustainable ecosystems.
In north Kashmir’s Sopore town in district Baramulla one such story has gone unnoticed. This is the story of 36 year old Taabish Ganai and 32 year old Asma Charoo of Model Town (A) area of Sopore.
Taabish rewrote his destiny and in this journey the brain behind his success is none other than his better-half Asma Charoo. After a few years of struggle, the couple entrepreneurs not only earn for themselves but are paying a hefty amount to four other workers too.
In 2017, Taabish had 200 rupees when he thought of starting his own business. His first sale was a failure. He started selling warm-winter blankets on handcarts sometimes while going door-to-door for delivery on other occasions. The entrepreneurial journey witnessed many ups and downs but Taabish did not give up.
“I started my business with just Rs 200. Now, there are many people working for me at our boutique; whom now I pay a hefty amount as salary. A man can’t fail until he fails himself or his mind gives up,” Taabish told Rising Kashmir.
He added, “I went to Srinagar with Rs 200 and bought a few kids' clothes. I tried to sell it but unfortunately could not sell them. I was very disappointed but there was no going back.”
In October 2017, Asma advised him to purchase blankets and sell those in the local market. But the couple had little money. They got blankets for Rs. 4000 and sold them to his relatives and neighbors. This was the start of their fortunes and an entrepreneurship.
“My second daughter was born in 2017. Family members and relatives brought some gifts and some cash. I used this amount to purchase blankets from Punjab,” he said.
Taabish, a passionate traveler and biker, drove on his bike to Jalandhar to do his first major purchase.“Not even knowing the ABC of business, I went to Sheetal Industries, a biggie in business and asked for a dealership with a sum of Rs 60,000 which was the most novice and funniest part in my business journey.”
“Later on I purchased from an outlet and came back. I went to school after school, house after house, my friends, relatives and to the outskirts in a car to sell these blankets. With no experience, I was at times ridiculed, misbehaved, mishandled and taunted but there were miles to go before I could sleep,” Taabish said.
Having Masters in Computer Management from Pune and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and an experience of several years in the private sector as project head, Tabish established a handcart in the main market Sopore and started selling the blankets, pillow covers, bedsheets without feeling any uneasiness and with a minimum margin.
“It is easy to say but tough to understand. Selling things door to door or in the market is humiliating for a guy with a Masters degree but I never took it in that way. I always looked at the positive side of it," he added
Taabish wants the youth to focus on a positive side and be an employment provider instead of an employment seeker.
"Saving money is the toughest and our youth must know how to save money in your business. When you have some amount in your pocket, then only you can think of doing big, hence saving is an important factor in establishing a great business,” he added.
Taabish believes that as a budding entrepreneur one should never lose self-confidence and remain honest to his/her job.
He said that failures are a part and parcel of life and failures only make you strong to stand up on your own legs and move forward.
“Believe in yourself and the business you are in. Ups and downs are a part of life but you should always stick to your plans, accept the challenges and improve with the passage of time,” he advices.
He said, "Financial support is important, we can't negate that part but determination and a will power to do any job is a must. Money can't buy you the courage and determination to start any business. We have thousands of youth with ample money but unable to do anything but yes great examples of top businessmen who started from zero,” he said.
After delivering blankets at doorsteps of people and pulling a handcart in the main market, Asma provided her husband with a new idea of opening a boutique in 2019. They sold their gold and started the venture.
"We started from a small shop in the main market with one tailor and a few clothes. Few stitches went wrong but we never let those failures kill our dreams. We kept on moving towards betterment and today we are here with a brand name in boutique and quality services," he added.
With their presence on social media, the Gani Joo Group Boutique Sopore claims to provide grooms and bride grooms with ideas and innovations for their wedding dresses.
Taabish is so energetic that when anyone visits his boutique, he makes sure not to let them without narrating their success story. He motivates them to start their own business and excel in their fields.
"I don't want anyone to sit back and wait for any heavenly miracle. I make sure to guide the youth, inspire them and want to see our young boys and girls working tirelessly. Let them chase their dreams and touch heights. At times I wish J&K Bank would provide me a loan so that I will prove that unemployment can be eradicated from society," he added.
Presently, the couple is proud owners of the boutique which has been named after Taabish’s grandfather – The Gani Joo Group (Fabric and Boutique) – and is a hit in Sopore town with customers visiting from different areas of the district.
Taabish is now planning to explore more avenues and employ as many as youth and help the society in its overall development.