At a time when most of the youth across Kashmir are looking for government jobs, a twenty-year old youth from Hardushiva Sopore in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district has become an inspiration by starting his own entrepreneurial venture.
The idea of starting an online food delivery venture stuck Bariq’s mind last year during Covid restrictions after he came to know that there was not a single online food delivery service available in north Kashmir.
“After the Covid restrictions were imposed across the country, I along with my friends came back to Kashmir from Mumbai where we are studying Computer Engineering. After reaching home, I was fed up with taking homemade curry for several days. I enquired from my friend of any online food delivery service available in our locality but discovered that not a single such service was available in the entire north Kashmir,” Bariq said.
He said that back in Mumbai one could easily have got food at his doorsteps by simply ordering it online but to my amusement I could not find the online food delivering service anywhere in north Kashmir.
"That is when the concept of online food delivering service came to my mind and subsequently I started the venture with the name of 'FoodHung' this year in March from Bandipora," said Bariq.
"At first my parents did not allow me to go with the idea. Like other typical Kashmiri parents they wanted me to look for a government job but I had made my mind to be an employer and not an employee," said Bariq.
"At the outset, I used to deliver food on my own and later once a reasonable number of customers started to show trust on 'FoodHung' I bought three motorcycles and hired an equal number of delivery boys," added Bariq.
"Since it was a new concept in Bandipora and initially people were reluctant to go for online food orders via our app but then slowly people started to show interest upon us," he added.
Bariq said that from August they have started to operate in Sopore also where almost five delivery boys have been hired to deliver food to people at their footsteps.
He said that at present almost a dozen of employees are associated with his venture which he is intending to expand in other districts of Kashmir.
"The beginning days were very hard to operate but I didn't give up. Almost for weeks no one turned to us which forced me to close the venture. I used to think about the fate of my newly started venture but with the passage of time people started to turn towards us," he added.
"I still remember when we did not receive even a single order and look presently we are delivering dozens of orders in Bandipora and Sopore," Bariq said.
He said that with 'FoodHung' people can order food from their favourite restaurants for which they have to pay meager delivery charges to us.
Bariq said that the most important element to keep the business alive is to have a normal and peaceful situation. It is necessary to have a peaceful and undisturbed situation to carry out daily operations. The situation at the moment is favourable and supportive and expecting the situation would remain the same.
"Since government can't provide jobs to everyone. Therefore I came up with my own venture, where I don't need to run after government jobs but rather can provide jobs to many," he said.
Bariq said that Kashmiri youth has got much talent but the need of the hour is to channelise that. He said that the youth instead of moving after government jobs should start their own ventures.