This 28-year Kashmir youth is moulding pipes to create jobs

Ishfaq Wani runs a GI nipple-manufacturing unit with 15,000 pieces of daily production

Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 12 2018 11:33PM | Updated Date: Nov 12 2018 11:33PM
This 28-year Kashmir youth is moulding pipes to create jobsGK Photo

All the brilliant entrepreneurs have made their businesses purely on their instinctive grasp of the industry that they are in and their innate business acumen. For them, to succeed in business it is not important to have a strong business background, lot of money and family support. All it takes to succeed in an entrepreneurial pursuit is proper execution of a good business idea. Ishfaq Wani, a management graduate has proved it in real sense.

Hailing from Lower Mundah – last village of Kashmir division, just few kilometres ahead of Jawahar Tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu Highway in Anantnag district, Ishfaq had no business background. His father worked as a tailor and mother is a housewife.

This 28-year-old in four years time has created a manufacturing unit of GI nipples with around Rs 9 crore yearly turnover and has added another assembly line of CP fittings with additional turnover of Rs 6 crore - Rs 7 crore under the brand name of Prime providing employment to more than 50 people at present.  

However, to reach that stage of a successful business, Ishfaq had to go through long struggle. Like any other Kashmiri youth, Ishfaq after completing his education started to look for a job, with first preference to the government employment.  

“After completing my MBA, I started looking for jobs in private as well as public sector. But soon I realised that a government job is not just difficult but impossible to get in our state. So instead of working for someone else in private sector I decided to work for myself,” says Ishfaq.

But to do something on its own, Ishfaq needed finances and guidance. Therefore he approached the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) to know how he can turn any of his business ideas, which he was thinking about at that time, into reality.

Ishfaq says that his visit to JKEDI proved fruitful and he got an insight about how to pursue his dream project and also a way out for the much needed initial capital to start with.

With the support of his family and research of almost seven months, visits to different units outside the state, Ishfaq was confident enough to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. He finally decided to set up a GI nipples manufacturing unit in his native district.

Ishfaq enrolled for three-week entrepreneurship development program at JKEDI to learn the business basics. After completion of training a project worth Rs 22 lakh was sanctioned under Seed Capital Fund Scheme (SCFS) to help him lay the foundation of M/S Prime Steel Works at his native village Lower Mundah in Doru, Anantnag. Though his unit required higher amount of money to start yielding results in the form of production.

With all the hard work and passion Ishfaq has been able to create name for himself in the area and today Prime Steel Works is a well-known income generating unit spread over an area of about 7200 feet in a two-storey building with separate living facilities for the workers. Manufacturing 15,000 pieces of the GI nipples a day, his unit has the highest production across North India in the segment. 

With manufacturing Ishfaq has added another business element to Prime Steel Works in the form of an assembly line of CP fittings, which includes a number of bathroom fitting items under the Prime brand. In this line he out sources the manufacturing part to different manufacturing units and then assembles them at his own factory. Ishfaq says Prime is the first company in Kashmir in CP fitting manufacturing and assembly.

Ishfaq says Kashmir has huge potential for manufacturing as it is a consumer driven economy and imports almost every thing from outside. He says all his production is consumed in Kashmir and he is not able to fulfil all the market demand, despite producing 15,000 units a day.

Ishfaq says that his success mantra was the production of quality product with less profit and bulk production. “You won’t find any hardware shop in Kashmir, were you won’t find my product,” he says with a smile on his face.      

Though the turnover Prime Steel Works and its subsidiary has been generating seems sweet but there have been many challenges and hardships as well for Ishfaq in his entrepreneurial journey. “I had no experience to run such a unit. Studying management as theory is one thing but practically it is different. I wanted Prime Steel Works to be an outcome of my efforts only.”

Besides keeping high focus on the quality of his production, Ishfaq also puts lot of stress on marketing strategy. Monthly and more frequently quarterly ‘dealer meets’ is what Wani loves to organise.

“Every three months I try to have an informal meeting with our dealers and sub dealers. They give us feedback so that we try and improve upon certain things. After all it is them who work on ground now. Lunch, dinner and distribution of gifts is what I love to do for them,” adds Ishfaq.

Ishfaq’s message to the youth is that they should not look after government jobs, rather working on creating something of their own. He says manufacturing in Kashmir has tremendous potential and says instead of venturing into trade, youth should go into production. He says due to state’s lack of sufficient manufacturing capacities, it is the neighbouring states, which get benefited.

“I am not saying that we should be in competition with the Suzuki and Tata but there are hundreds of small items which we can manufacture in Kashmir or at least assemble here,” he says.




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