Female entrepreneurship is vital for our future. Collectively we can make a change by closing the gap between men and women in the workforce.
Entrepreneurs are those adventurous, daredevils who drive deep into the pressing problems of society and try to find solutions to them, not by leaving the responsibilities in the reins of the government or business, but by trying to change systems as a whole and persuading societies to take new initiatives
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.
Likewise Muslim Women Entrepreneurs have gradually made their mark in their business profession. They are proving nothing less in the business field as Women Entrepreneurs.
Notably the Union Territory is identifying & empowering Women Entrepreneurs that includes Muslim Women Entrepreneurs as role models.
There is no field- political, social or economic in which the women of Jammu and Kashmir haven’t earned accolades and prestige. Infact, the social status of women in the society of Jammu and Kashmir is very much better than other parts of the country.
In our Entrepreneur series today we are introducing you a very dynamic and popular Entrepreneur of Srinagar Kashmir who is known for her remarkable and outstanding performance in the field of Clothing and Fashion Apparels who always believes in Women Empowerment. Yes we are talking about Asra Qureshi , she share her Entrepreneurial journey with Hello Mumbainews.com Correspondent Priyanka Yadav.
Startup Name : Kehzabr
Founder : Asra Qureshi
Brand Category : clothing and fashion apparels
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.
News Input by Dr. Bazillah Yussuf