Despite lack of capital and opposition from his parents, Mohammad Sameem, 31, left a well-paying job in Dubai to live his entrepreneurial dream back home in Kashmir. Over the past seven years, he went through many hardships, but due to his passion for doing something on his own, he presently owns three successful businesses.
“With no business background, setting up a successful venture is not a cakewalk. No venture comes with a guarantee. But with determination and faith in your self, one can achieve any difficult task in the world. In the beginning, my parents did not allow me to choose the business as my profession, but I was determined that doing business is my only goal and proved it to them,” says Sameem, who recently opened his third business, an ethnic wear boutique.
Rubab, which Sameem opened in collaboration with a friend in Lalad, Sopore, is the first of its kind women-only ethnic wear showroom in the town.
After completing his MBA from Amity University, Greater Noida, Sameem went to Dubai to work in a reputed company there. Though he had got a handsome salary package, however, due to his passion to do something on his own, he left the job and returned to Kashmir after working for a limited time there.
“I had decided to set up my own business during my MBA only. I joined the job with the purpose to save some money so that I can start a business,” says Sameem.
Running established businesses of camping and travel agency already from the past seven years, Sameem says Rubab is a different kind of experience for him.
“I am not saying that Rubab will grow in leaps and bounds in short span of time, but the research I did before its launch, made me confident about its sure success,” says Sameem. “Ladies only, Rubab offers both readymade and unstitched fabric. Earlier, women of this area used to travel to Srinagar for shopping of clothes as they could not get their choice of clothing here. Keeping this thing in mind, we ventured into the segment to deliver as per their expectations.”
Sameem is also the owner of Green Glamping Camping Resort at Sonamarg that he had started in 2016 in partnership with his friend. The duo took the land on lease from Sonamarg Development Authority and set up a green camping site for tourists.
“Green Glamping is a camping resort where we get a good number of tourists during the main season (summer). We started this resort because I was already in the tourism business and it helped me a lot in understanding its pros and cons. Sonamarg has a continuous flow of tourists as it’s known as the meadow of gold,” says Sameem.
Sameem is also running the Tour and Travel agency on the name of Kashmir Port, which sells tour packages for Kashmir and Ladakh. He also organises events for tourists.
“Kashmir Port was the first venture that I started in 2012. When I left the job in Dubai to do business in Kashmir, I decided to open a travel agency as tourism was in boon here during that period. When I started my agency, on a single day, I earned Rs 1 lakh. Though things kept going up and down, the curve kept going up. Presently, we are 16 persons working in two different offices at Sopore and Srinagar,” says Sameem.
The hard work Sameem has put over the years for the success of his business is a testimony to the fact he is the real inspiration for the young generation of Kashmir who after the completion of their study struggle to set up a successful venture.
Initially, there were a lot of hardships for Sameem but he believes being an entrepreneur has its ups and downs and this rollercoaster ride is what makes your life exciting. “We grow not just professionally but personally and this has a lot to do with the kind of people we meet and a few encounters that take place with difficult situations.
Sameem believes that more people should choose the line of business in Kashmir as it can lift the overall economy of Kashmir. One can get the real inspiration from Sameem himself, the way he set up his business over the years and is presently earning well from his ventures.
“Parents should also support their children in setting up the business because I have seen so many people having capital available to them but fading away due to the fear of loss and non-availability of parental support,” he adds.
When asked about his future plans, Sameem says right now he is totally focused on Rubab so that he can turn it into the project he has dreamed of.
He says research is an important aspect because it can give you a clear idea before setting up any kind of business. “I have seen people launching with a lot of fanfare and then fading away. Therefore, one has to do a lot of research before setting up any kind of business,” he concludes.