Arif Ahmad Najar, a budding business enthusiast from the picturesque Bhaderwah valley of Doda district in Jammu region quit his government job to write his "story of success."
Arif says he quit his job because he felt there was a need to bring some vibrant "element of struggle" to his life and write his story of success in a big way.
"This way I feel more competent doing things on my own and not taking unnecessary directions. I like this everyday struggle, which is now fetching my greater results," he says.
After working as a lecturer at a higher secondary school for five years, he decided to move on with something of his own. One day, Arif says his close friend Sushil once approached him to tell him about his business venture in the locality.
My friend told me about his computer institute in the town which he had started after getting trained and sponsored by JKEDI. He motivated me to be my own boss like him and got an application form for me," says Najar, a young and smart business enthusiast.
"I gave it a lot of thought and then I gathered the confidence to quit the government job and start a business venture where I could make my fortune," says Najar.
Arif opted for the Seed Capital Fund Scheme and was trained in the year 2016 for three weeks before he could start his venture.
In 2017, Arif started 'Najar Joinery Mills' at Bhaderwah with an initial investment of Rs. 12 lac. However, the start was not as good as Arif had expected.
"The first few months were frustrating for me. There were five joinery units functional in the town and the competition was tough. They had control over the entire joinery market in the area and I was a new comer," says Arif. Arif remained steadfast and decided to lessen the profit margin to gain market share.
"I kept on thinking about how to attract customers, so I decided to earn less profits initially. I also focused more on quality. This gave me some respite and I heaved a sigh of relief," says Arif. Within one year Arif could gain a major share of the market while his competitors had to wind up their businesses.
"My strategy to focus on quality and less profit margin worked well. Most of my competitors have almost closed up their business units and I am getting an increased number of customers every day," says Arif.
Najar Joinery Mills primarily deals in manufacturing of furniture items like beds, sofas, chairs, tables, dressing tables, restaurant furniture, TV trolleys, window panes etc. Within one year, Arif has been able to employ 28 skilled labourers in his venture and one manager who is a diploma holder in carpentry.
"I pay Rs 6.5 lac as salary per month to my workers. The business is picking up at a rapid pace. The annual sales turnover is Rs. 50 lacs and I am eyeing Rs. One crore (turnover) by the end of the financial year," says Arif.
There is a stock worth lac ready to be supplied to the market. Najar Joinery Mills has made its mark and the ambit of its operations has increased. Within just one year, Arif claims that his venture has created a name for itself in Bhaderwah despite cutting edge competition.
According to officials at JKEDI, Najar has been an inspiration for many young entrepreneurs in the hilly region of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We are trying our best to provide the best possible suitable environment for the upcoming young entrepreneurs in Jammu Kashmir, especially to aspiring business enthusiasts from downtrodden and far off places of the region," Communication Officer, JKEDI, Ishfaq A Mir, told Greater Kashmir.
Director, Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI), GM Dar, said "We at JKEDI are always in pursuit of making break-through for the fostering of entrepreneurship culture and creating a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem where in our aspiring entrepreneurs shall get all the facilities under one roof without any hassle." "Our goal is to provide an environment where innovation and creativity will go hand in hand," he said.