Nearly two years ago, Umar and his brother decided to introduce Islamic quotations on day-to-day things so that sense moral and religious messages are made a daily dose, and today 'Modest Attires' has become a new trend among the youngsters of Kashmir.
Coffee mugs, T-shirts , mobile covers all come with Islamic quotations and are in demand not only in Kashmir but orders are received even from outside India as well.
"Modest Attires was found in 2014 by two brothers as an idea for creating a range of Islamic souvenirs for people all around the globe. We were with a simple thought. Lets' put a little change in the lifestyle of people by introducing our quirky and interactive products with an Islamic touch. Let's give the world something cool to take back from Kashmir. Inspired by design and driven by creativity, our passionate team strives to offer a wide range of up-to-the-minute styles that is 'quality guaranteed'. Available in vibrant colors, clean neutrals and prints & patterns, Modest Attires product line defines the free spirit of the NexGen," Umar bin Ahmed, founder and CEO of Modest Attires.
These brothers run their business through orders collected on internet and then delivery is made right at the doorsteps.
A graphics designer, a photographer and two others have put their heads into this innovative business and are getting order in bulk for their products.
They also run a-women-only section, 'Eves Gallery,' under the same domain where they are providing modest and Islamic dressing for girls.
Every product you will see at Modest Attires has a history behind its design.
"The journey starts with getting raw material for the products. Then it comes up to designing and then finalizing the design and the content by our Designs Head Mohsin Ahmed. Once the design is finalised the product is all ready to be out for our beloved costumers with superior quality and a mesmerizing design," says Umar.
"At first there was no idea to initiate a startup but after completing my B.COM, I got a passion to build some lifestyle Islamic brand which will promote Islamic culture at the same time."
Both brothers Umar and Mohsin are trying to understand the increasing demand and growing market. Umar is spearheading the team to create a lifestyle brand catering to both men and women with a vision to elevate Modest Attires as a lifestyle brand driven by Islamic culture.
Talking about the challenges faced, Umar said, "The journey of entrepreneurship is always full of challenges. No success story can be completed without challenges. There have been multiple challenges that we have faced in Modest Attires as entrepeneurs.The challenges began with non availability of few resources for which we had to take help from outside. We addressed this challenge soon by getting those resources back in Kashmir at our place. Now we have been even helping some startups in Kashmir by providing them access to those resources without going anywhere."
"Whenever we have to face any challenge, being a Koshur we never stepped back we always faced it with more power and energy."
The recent four month lock down did affect the brothers too.
"The recent shutdown did affect everyone. We carry most of our business online, through social media, etc. The internet/phone is important for us and as we know the service was barred for approximately five months, it did affect the business. Moreover we have customers outside Kashmir as well and due to the recent shutdown we were neither able to receive their calls/messages nor we were able to address their demand, and because of this you tend to lose the customer base. Alhamdulillah things are now looking up and we are back with more love and more products to make our customers happy".
Customer satisfaction is the main thing these brothers are working on these days to create a mark in the business sector.
"Actually in the beginning we never thought of expanding it to the state which is at present. We had a belief that those who know us, our friends, kins would be only to shop around but Alhamdulillah things went a long way and right now we see ourselves busy and involved. The response we received in the short period is great. Off course, we believe that this change our society is ready to adopt. Besides we all know modesty as a Muslim and a koshur has been Kashmir's age old trait and modest things have value in Kashmir. We are happy and wish many brothers would take such initiates too," said Mohsin.
"To be frank enough and it may seem hard to believe that we started with Rs 3500 and we're not bragging on it, We actually did start with this small amount, what we understand is, it is never too small in fact boond boond samandar banta hai and it didn't held true for us"
As the online market is growing fast in Kashmir, the duo believes that their business is also going to flourish in that pace.
"In terms of future plans for the online presence we are going to grow in the coming years with more hundreds of categories of products which will meet every single need of the daily life of our beloved costumers. We are committed to building an equally strong Modest Attires web store that is high on experience and quality. The team also intends to continue making more products which will be having a style with a touch of Islamic culture," Mohsin.
Apart from these two brothers they have employed 16 workers and a photographer with two manufacturing units.
They firmly believe that youth in Kashmir need to fix a goal and move in that direction.
"As I said before I started with this small amount. Remember it is never too small and never too late to begin, if you truly seek the halal rizq and are sincere; Allah makes your way easy. Yes there's unemployment in Kashmir but there are means to make halal income, it is not the end of world if you don't get a job. Start something of your own, step by step. Don't be idle start now and Allah will make things easy for you. 'And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers)'," believes Umar.