Belonging to a well-to-do family of doctors, Faizan Mohammad of Hyderpora, Srinagar instead of following the family path to become a doctor wanted to do something on his own. That is why he chose to become an entrepreneur.
“My parents never wanted me to be a businessman because my father is a doctor and my brother is an engineer. So they wanted me to choose the same line but I always aspired to be an entrepreneur who can create employment opportunities for others as well,” says 26-year-old Faizan.
Faizan says this ‘entrepreneurial bug’ has bit him very early and he started his first venture at the age of nineteen.
With the financial help of his father, Faizan started cookware manufacturing business with an investment of Rs 1 lakh. He manufactured pressure cookers, frying pans and many such other items under the brand name of Samzan.
“I was just in my 2nd year of BBA when I started this business. Initially there were lot of hurdles as being new to this field, but I never lost hope. I managed both my study and business easily,” says Faizan
“My goal to become an entrepreneur is grounded in the fact that we need to solve the problems, which we deeply care about. If we address an issue or need felt in the society, it impacts a huge number of people and makes their lives better. Ideas don’t have barriers and success today is not always counted in the currency of our past generations.”
In October 2017 after completing his MBA from Amity University, New Delhi, Faizan with the help of his wife Syed Samiya laid the foundation of a fortified salt unit under the brand name of Samzan salt in collaboration with Ankur Chemfood Ltd, one of the largest salt refineries in India. Presently Samzan is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, a renowned and trustworthy manufacturer and supplier of FMCG cookware and household products. The couple is successfully managing the whole business with the help of other employees.
“My wife has been always supportive to me through thick and thin. It was the collective decision from both of us. I took help from J&K Bank because the need of fianance for my project was beyond the limit of EDI funding, so I found J&K Bank more suitable,” says Faizan.
In collaboration with Ankur Chemfood, Samzan produces salt.
Established businessmen such as Faizan view their success, especially during volatile times, as a sign of possibility because it can create more job opportunities for the unemployed youth of Kashmir
“More people venturing into business mean more job opportunities will be available for the people of Kashmir,” Faizan says, but cautions that it should not be a blind jump.
“One should always go for market research before launching any kind of business. Being the successful businessman is not everybody’s cup of tea. It needs lot of determination to survive in a particular business,” he adds.
Optimistic about Kashmir’s entrepreneurial opportunities, Faizan says, “Access to capital and sense of belief in the system that Kashmir can produce global products that is the direction we all should move in.”
“When you aim to redefine your business the challenges are very big but that also helps in getting better. Our salt sample was rejected by Jammu food testing laboratory, though it was accepted by the Kashmir lab. But I didn’t lose hope and sent my sample to a premier institution of the country, Central Food Laboratory, Kolkata, and my product passed all quality norms there,” he says.
“Although I faced lot of difficulties, my team of employees are very much dedicated they supported in every possible way,” says Faizan.
As Faizan has now tasted success and his profit is good, he has decided to run a foundation for the help of needy people. Faizan says, he will contribute 5 percent of his profit to the foundation.
“We have a number of future plans but my first priority will be the foundation, where we can do something for our society in Kashmir,” he concludes.