Today is International Women’s Day.
Hello Mumbai Editor-In-Chief Aleem Shaikh & Entire Team Wishes All Women Happy Women’s Day.
Every year, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day across the world to promote women’s rights and honour their achievements across the political, economic, social and cultural spheres.
This day is a reminder of the grit and determination of women all across the world.
There is no force more powerful than a woman’s determination to rise.
Every life begins with a woman. Respect and encourage every woman for what she is. Women, are always respected, loved and appreciated.
Theme for today’s International Women’s Day 2022 is…
“Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
International Women’s Day was created on March 8th, 1911 to celebrate the accomplishments and progress of women socially, economically, politically, and culturally.
In honour of this special day here are 10 inspiring and successful women entrepreneurs from the Jammu and Kashmir Region who are breaking barriers and setting extraordinary examples for women worldwide.
Kashmir with its scenic beauty of the valleys, sizzling climate and apart being a tourist paradise is also a haven for business.
A new era has emerged for women entrepreneurship in Kashmir with Women Entrepreneurs being capable of achieving great heights in every field. In this special series we have featured 10 Emerging Kashmiri Women Entrepreneur’s success stories. We hope their stories will inspire to all.
Aakhiz Khursheed, Famous As Beauty Entrepreneur.
Aakhiz khursheed, a Medical student from downtown Kashmir. She has completed her 10+2 from Kothibagh Srinagar in 2018. After that she had applied for entrance exams where, in few she got selected and at the same time got rejected too. Her selection in entrance exams where done in colleges from different states but her family didn’t allow to study out of town.
During this time she thought that there is no compulsion to prove herself in Medical field only, she discovered as she has many more talents she can prove herself in those field too.
Then in 2020 she started her official instagram page named as Mehandi Fankaar Aasman. Initially she faced a lot of difficulties like lack of family support and criticism from society affected her a lot, due to this her mental health at that period was very unstable. But later on she again stood up on her feet, teaching herself to fight and not getting affected by peoples talks and only focusing on doing hardworking and as she continued to do the same today she has build her own identity through her talents. Presently, she is a Henna artist and is also working with Resin Art and Calligraphy and is doing her preparations for entrance exams too. Through her hardwork and great efforts she got a position among Inspiring Women of Jammu and Kashmir.
Rukhsana kousar, Sehrish Chowdhary, Famous As Fashion Entrepreneur.
Startup Name : Zoyish Store
Founder : Rukhsana kousar
Brand Category : Ethnic and designer wear
Area of Operation : Jammu
Find her on Social Media : https://instagram.com/the_zoyish?utm_medium=copy_link
Muskaan Hilal, Famous As Model / Aspiring Actress
Based In : Kashmir
Find her on Social Media : https://instagram.com/_muskaan_17x?utm_medium=copy_link
Sharing her professional career with us, Muskaan without mincing words said that Modelling is a riddle to a model too!
It’s not just being an ethical Model. For me, it’s also just not a mere beautiful look but to do Something Creative and mankind but creating something interesting for mankind to look at it and think about it. Also I was very much fascinated to this profession of modeling since from my early childhood as I was much crazy to enter into this profession. But as you are aware we don’t get any platforms for this kind of profession in the valley. So I thought I will not be able to do this in my entity.
Modelling is a game of feelings where both sides, there is a glamorous win!
Everyone is a model but then one needs to search it in him or herself but when we don’t pay heed to the ability within us, we murder the artists in ourselves!
Besides that Muskaan had to face unpleasant scene’s from the society and also didn’t get too much prop-up from family.
Yet, moved on, met few of colleagues who are also in this field of modelling. They prompt me to go in this profession and also supported me a lot.
Being an model involves wearing all sorts of masks, just like any other job, but the difference is we have the lingering responsibility to unearth the truth of things, Sometimes we will seem vulnerable, sometimes we will make mistakes. But the main thing is not to give up!
After that I started doing this profession of modeling and i gave my precious time in this field, And I was glad that a lot of folks appreciated my work & they gave me bunch of love,After that I got a fair amount of DM’s & comments on my social media accounts, And today I am getting various offers form copious brands from the valley etc. I am using social media a lot these days, posting images, making reels to reach many people from entire world. My message to all people from our valley this is the way that we can represent our Kashmir, culture through this profession.
“Artist never lives his or her life but parts for the togetherness of the society”
Najmulnisa Showkat Ali, Famous As Beauty Entrepreneur.
Startup Category : Beauty and Art
Founder : Najmulnisa Showkat Ali
Area of Operation : Bhaderwah, (Jammu and Kashmir)
Find her on Social Media : https://instagram.com/bhaderwahi_koor?utm_medium=copy_link
Jammu and Kashmir has opened its doors for Women Entrepreneurs and more so now to Muslim Women Entrepreneurs thereby giving them an opportunity to flourish in their chosen professional career, doubtless women have since dabbled into Entrepreneurship terming it as a boon.
While many Muslim Women Entrepreneurs have opted for various businesses and are succeeding, yet another Muslim Woman Entrepreneur Najmulnisa has opted for business as an Entrepreneur. She is a self-made Woman Entrepreneur from Kashmir’s Srinagar. After graduating in Arts stream, from Amar Singh College in Srinagar, she is now pursuing for her degree in L.L.B. (law).
Najmulnisa makes it known that while in her school days she was an artist because she was amazing in painting and sketching. She has participated in all school events and has always won them all. It has been her cherished dream to emerge as an actor and it was her desire to come to the ‘Mecca’ of Hindi Films, Mumbai as she loved acting. Regardless her family support being a Muslim girl from Kashmir proved extremely difficult.
While all this has been happening to her in Kashmir’s Srinagar City she encountered many issues and people suffered a lot there. Amid this time with no work and with everything shut, Najmulnisa at random started applying Mehandi to her family members and friends for free. As days rolled by she was appreciated for her beautiful designs. She also started applying Mehandi to brides in Kashmir with payment. Response has been good for her. Later she expanded her business in Bhaderwah City and in many more places Kashmir.
Startup Name : Interior Designer of Glass Work
Founder : Qurat Rashid.
Startup Headquarter : Rawalpora Srinagar (JK)
Find her on Social Media :
My life starts from 21-feb-2000, a chilly cold winter night in Rawalpora Srinagar, a city in Kashmir as my parents was in hope of a baby boy child but a baby girl (me) was born and I was the second girl child in the family and my parents kept my name as Qurat Rashid.
I was born in a poor family as my father was a painter by profession. After my birth my parents had two more babies and both were also girls so I have 3 sisters without any brother. I started my studies and passed my 12th class but things were not easy for me from purchasing books or uniform I have to struggle but I never loose my hope and kept my patience in the hope that one day things will turn into better but by my bad luck things turn bad to worst.
It was in the summers of 2019 August when my parents parted away and started to live separately and I choose to live with my mother along with my two younger sisters and without any source of income and to the worst the situation in Kashmir turned hell as Article 370 was scraped by Union and we were at the mercy of God but we never loose the patience and somehow manage a rented room I started to do household domestic work in others home to support my family in this hope that my parents will resume their matrimonial life soon but things got even worse when the fight reaches to the court and we sisters even face the trumia of court which continues at least one year after that my parents mutually divorced each other without even thinking about us.
I was totally broken I was depressed and things started frustrating me and that was the time when I saw my cousin doing Interior Glass Designing and this fascinated me and I started asking my cousin about it and I felt interested in it, it started helping me to overcome my depression and starting doing interior designing by glass work it quickly gets into my mind and I started enjoying it. But as it is a tough task making money from your passion and as this work was male dominated profession, being a Muslim girl it was very tough for me to compete in this male dominated field, but I always believe, patience plus your hard work and best result providing by your work not by your words is the success in any field and by these principles I became successful and expanded my business in almost all parts of Kashmir valley. As I did not lose my morale and was calm and composed I proved my worth at the end. As the famous English proverb clearly says “All’s well that ends well”.
Mahreen Kapra, Famous As Beauty Entrepreneur.
Startup Name : Mahreen Kapra
Founder : Extensions Beauty Studio
Area of Operation : Srinagar
Find her on Social Media : https://instagram.com/extensionsgr?utm_medium=copy_link
One such ambitious enterprising Woman who looks up to Beauty as an added personality to a Woman is Mehreen Kapra. Even as a Computer Engineer and holding a Masters in Business Administration she has forayed unto Beauty Studio. Notably she has made her name to reckon with in the Beauty Environ in Srinagar City of Jammu and Kashmir. She has set up a leading Beauty Studio in the name and style as “Extensions” in the Barzulla area of the City in a bid to introduce the latest technology. She has given a new name to the Beauty World in Srinagar with “Extensions”.
Infact, Mehreen ventured into this Beauty business with her sister Janat. As a matter of pride they belong to a reputed business family in the City of Srinagar. After successfully completing her Graduation in Computer Engineering and Masters in Business Administration, she opted for the setup of her own business venture. Her Beauty Studio caters to both men and women with all latest designs and technologies to look their best. This is the first ever nail, hair ,lash, permanent makeup and spa studio in Kashmir valley.
It was Mehreen’s cherished childhood dream to emerge as an entrepreneur rather than to go in for government and private jobs in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts. She accomplished her Mission successfullyin 2021with the launch of the “Extensions” in Srinagar. As per Mehreen, the business activities of her family allowed her conscience to drift into business entrepreneurship. She gathered intricate information, experience and learning skills from her family members and gained excellent knowledge of all pros and cons for setting up her own business venture in Srinagar. It wasn’t rosy or a cake-walk at the initial stage.
Born and bred in Srinagar, she got married in Jammu and is a proud mother to daughter Tia. Noteworthily, ‘Extensions Srinagar’ provides services like nail extensions, hair and lashes extensions, micro-balding, manicure, pedicure, head massage , permanent makeup, body massage and foot massage. According to Mehreen their venture specializes in extensions which ranks as one of its kind in the Kashmir Valley. It is not gender specific as at ‘Extensions’ offers manicures and pedicures for men and also provide hair extensions like dreadlocks and braiding for men. The motive for setting up something alien always crops up with hundreds of hurdles and this happened to Maureen.
According to Mehreen, setting up something in Kashmir is difficult as the business has yet to ease. It’s difficult to procure material and also the climate is not always doesn’t look favorable. For Mehreen her family has always been supportive and that’s what matters as it has made Mehreen even more confident to surge and grow in her business. Extension Srinagar is garnering tremendous response and queries from every part of the valley.
It is Mebreen’s firm belief that successful launch of “Extensions” Beauty Studio at Barzulla, paves the way for opening of two more Outlets at RajBagh and DownTown in 2022 as all necessary formalities are in the pipeline.
Hopefully the new outlets will start functioning in October – November, 2022 and will attract more and more clients of the Srinagar City both in Upper Town and Down town areas. Mehreen also believes that there is no iota of difference between a male and a female entrepreneur in Kashmir Valley. If you are good, and have a good idea , you can accomplish anything.
It’s a clear positive message from Mehreen Kapra to all the young and budding entrepreneurs of Kashmir valley “if you have an idea just put it to work. Don’t think about what others might say. Have faith in yourself, you are good enough. What is the worst that might happen? You will fail. So what? I have failed too. All businessmen fail at one point, then they learn from their mistakes and then get up and do it again. Failing is not the end of the world. You can never know the odds. You can’t win if you don’t play!
Asra Qureshi, Famous As Fashion Entrepreneur.
Startup Name : Kehzabr
Founder : Asra Qureshi
Area of Operation : Srinagar Kashmir
Asra Qureshi is the face behind Kehzabr, a clothing store and an online platform for shopping. Asra has done Masters in Commerce and multiple courses in computers. She started her career by working in an IT companies as web developer and
Kehzabr is located in Maharaja Bazaar behind JK bank LD branch Srinagar Kashmir, and is also running online store on Instagram/Facebook by the same name.
Five years ago I came up with the idea of Kehzabr. It was my younger sister who suggested the boutique’s name Kehzabr which means very beautiful. “Kehzabr is a kashmiri word
which we always use to praise something very beautiful. my startup was a result of my help to my elder sister who was doing stitching at home for locals.
I thought of starting my own business because it always clicks my mind when I went for stitching of cloths and I always prefer ladies to serve me rather than males .At that time I did not know about stitching. My sister who has done a course in designing, knew stitching very well, and at that time I was working with RBL Bank as a Graphic Designer and luckily it was work from home. Those years helped me a lot because during that I helped my elder sister in stitching and she always share what she learn about cloth designing. At that
time I did not have any intention of starting a clothing business but I remember what ever my sister always told me to keep an eye on how I did things. Then my sister got married and designed her own clothes for her trousseau.
After this the idea of starting up a boutique clicked my mind. “I went ahead with the idea because I knew that I will have to work with women only. I remember it was the 7th of April, 5 years ago, when I started the boutique. I started it in April because I knew that April is the wedding season in kashmir and I would be able to grab more customers in the season.
I got my first order of trousseau just after 3 to 4 days of starting the boutique. Earlier I had a Kashmiri craftsman who helped me in stitching the clothes, then as business expanded and demands of customers grew, I hired tailors and craftsmen from Allahabad. Later I realize that I will be far better to read and learn about designing so I did few online courses. Since I had done my Masters in Commerce, so knowledge of business was already there.
Instagram helped me a lot. I had an Instagram page for my boutique since day one. I always try to make sure that my customers will never suffer because of me. “I remember in the 2019 lockdown when everyone was leaving, I sheltered my employees at my home to make sure that my customers, especially brides should get her trousseau as promised. We made the trousseau and delivered it to the customers and then I told my employees to leave.
My Parents are my inspiration and especially it was my mother who strengthen and motivates me in every step my father use to helped me to do stuff that was not possible for
me to do single handily.
Dealing with customers is not as easy as I thought of after starting my business. Especially, in online business if you do not reply to your customers soon after they message, they become disinterested, I always try to reply my quires ASAP and make sure I didn’t skip any query and keep my Instagram active. Now I have more than 40K followers on my Instagram page. I gets orders from all over India and has got some international orders as well. I am very proud of my staff and the efforts they put forth. I have good number of both online and offline customers. The thing I like the most is that when your online customers become your offline customers they get more people with them. My target audience has always been middle class. I believes in minimum profit and maximum customers.
Iram Saba Malik, Famous As Fashion Entrepreneur
Startup Name : Pick N Pack
Founder : Iram Saba Malik
Brand Category : Fashion and Lifestyle Products
Startup Headquarter : Srinagar Kashmir
Find her on Social Media : https://instagram.com/pick_n_pack_online_shopping?utm_medium=copy_link
Breaking the stereotype Muslim Women are making a foray into business in defiance proving they are nothing less in the Male dominated and non-Muslim Women Entrepreneurs in the Business Profession. Muslim Women Entrepreneurs are gradually making their mark in Business on their own merits.
One such Muslim Entrepreneur is Kashmir’s Srinagar based Women Entrepreneur Iram Saba Malik. She proudly shares her Entrepreneurial Journey with Hello Mumbai news reporter Priyanka Yadav.
Speaking to Priyanka Yadav, Iram Saba aptly affirms that she is a person who believes in being unique and extremely hardworking. On the educational front, She holds a Masters degree in Commerce. She has been a Computer Trainer at Skill Pro Foundation, Hyderabad, for NGO students from different age groups. She is endowed with varied job experiences besides working for Srinagar Junk News.
Even being married and mother to two children, yet she manages to give equal priority for both work and family too.
She adds further that she always intended to dabble into business since being a Commerce Graduate. It was in 2018 that Iram set foot in her entrepreneurial journey with Pick-n-Pack Online Shopping, a multi choice products page on instagram with best quality and reasonable prices. This is an online platform through which the demands of customers from all over India are fulfilled with their unique collections. Customized requirements are also looked after/entertained.
She has garnered a massive amount of positive response for her services and demand-supply strategies on daily basis. Iram says “as a business entrepreneur she always looks forward to grow to be more professional.
Mobeen Sayeed, Famous As Artist.
Startup Name : An Artist Meraki by Mobeen
Founder : Mobeen Sayeed
Area of Operation : Jammu
Find her on Social Media : https://instagram.com/_an_artist_meraki_?r=nametag
Mobeen Sayeed, the founder of art page “@an_artist_meraki by mobeen “
I was born in Jammu city, as a child I was a very shy child but always had inclination towards nature, adventure. Rightly so, because I was introduced to road trips from the very young age. I still remember my mom making me and my brother gaze at the clouds and asked me what the shape of that cloud looked like?
I did my schooling from Presentation Convent Senior secondary school, Gandhinagar, Jammu.
My school days were full of ups and downs, usually ups in my secondary classes. I had very supportive friends and parents. Currently I am pursuing my B.Ed in special Education from MIER college, Jammu as well, sitting idle is not my cup of tea and women should be aware of the possibilities or vulnerabilities of life.
I recall a time, when I painted a tree in a certain way during my art class, for which I was mocked and laughed at, that was the last time I ever painted with happiness. I thought I am not good enough at Art / drawing. I stopped painting instantly.
After years one of my teacher appreciated my drawing and the way I presented my practical files, that worked great in terms of the confidence, self worth and belief I regained in my life. Which is why I personally, believe a child should be corrected in a certain way rather than mocking her or insulting her in presence of others.
I did my college from Govt. College for women, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu. The confidence that I gained from that single appreciation of my school teacher definitely made me trust my work . I did my B.Sc Home Science with a gold medal. Alhamdulillah. I was shocked yet thrilled to have achieved my lifelong dream of being a topper, for which I would like to thank all my teachers, parents and friends. There on, I continued with my Masters in Political Science from Jammu University, the university phase had put me in a very dry phase. For a person who would dream art and art ideas, this subject brought saturation point for me. I felt unproductive, less energy but I had to qualify this degree any how; so i continued, for many years I didn’t even touch any canvas.
In 2016, I was married to a wonderful man and in 2017, I had the pleasure of exploring my artistic side, but with pregnancy and the responsibilities of a child on me I almost forgot about my art or maybe I gave it up for the sake of my child. There were many people who would come to me and ask me to start the page and sell the art. I took their suggestions and thanked Allah for blessing me with such appreciation. But, I was too nervous and doubtful to start a page.
When I was young, I always wanted to be independent with my self sufficiency, rather financially or emotionally. This craving for independence and the radical feminist ideology that I hold made me start this page. At first it was just an art page, I had no one to support me in this page. I started this page with all my insecurities, fear and anxiety. I was exploring my imagination and creativity, soon my friends and followers started inquiring about my work and asking me if they were up for sale. I was at first uncomfortable with selling off my art pieces, because every piece that I made has lots of love, time, efforts and most important my vision in it.
Then, I thought to myself, why not spread the love of art ? Why not start selling art pieces for serving the needy? I am a mixed medium artist, I do doodles, acrylic, calligraphy, canvas, abstract, gauche, texture canvases . I am currently big fan of Resin artworks. All thanks to my mom and my husband who has let me to explore this side of mine. I hope they continue to support me.
My suggestion to everyone out there is never give up on your dreams, I know you hear this a lot but trust me your “peace of mind “should be a priority, don’t sit idle, do the needful to make yourself happy. No one will ever push you to that extend as most of us expect. So give up on that hard to go expectations. “Art is inevitable “. I have still so much to do and I am just at the first page of my ambitious checklist.
I started this page with a hope to keep my obsession towards Art alive, I know I am an inspiration to many out there and this is a huge blessing, to be able to do something for someone is the best thing anyone could experience and I thank each one of you for your support, love, motivation and appreciation.
Nuzhat Younis Bhat, Famous As Fashion Entrepreneur.
Startup Name : Knitting Forall
Founder : Nuzhat Younis Bhat
Area of Operation : Kashmir
Find her on Social Media : https://instagram.com/knitting_forall?utm_medium=copy_link
Knitting has been a well-known art amongst Kashmiris and mostly pursued by the women for decades. Knitted fabrics is gaining a huge following not only in the Valley but outside the state too.
There has been a considerable rise in the number of registered Muslim Women entrepreneurs in Jammu and Kashmir.
Currently, Kashmir is a witness to a generation of young Women entrepreneurs who are beating the challenges of unemployment, internet shutdowns, political instability and lockdowns to cash in on rising business opportunities. .
There has been a considerable rise in the number of registered entrepreneurs in Jammu and Kashmir.
Knitting is considered to be extremely popular and branded professional career option.
As of today, most Muslim. Women Entrepreneurs are into Knitting and have made themselves extremely popular and recognised in the profession.
This is the story of Nuzhat. Right from her childhood she imbibed interest into knitting since she loved doing it. Nuzhat used to watch her mom into knitting and in no time in split second of time she herself used to grab the needles and start knitting.
Even as she was gradually towards completion of her studies, she used to knit and earned out of it.
Knitting as her profession made Nuzhat Independent and she garnered good response and respect from people.
It is a matter of pride that Muslim Women have turned bold and dwelled into the earlier Make dominated profession. Today besides the traditional handicrafts, Woollen and Crochet garments, Knitted garments too have surfaced as extremely popular and one of its kind garments in Kashmir. Most of the foreign tourists, particularly prefer for knitted garments.