A post-graduate in environmental science, Musaib Nisar is one of the youngest entrepreneurs who, instead of going of government job started his own furniture business “Himalayan Furniture”. In this interview, he shares with Kashmir Scan’s Syed Uzma his experience about his journey and dream ahead. Excerpts:
Q: How did you get the idea to start a furniture business?
A: My father is a graduate in commerce. We had already a family business of walnut crushing, but unfortunately, we suffered losses in it. That was the time when I was studying and had no knowledge of business. In fact, I was not interested in business. But one thing was always in my mind that I will do something where I can provide jobs to others as well. I use social media quite often and I would say I got a little inspiration from Javaid Parsa (owner of Parsa restaurant). He is very active on social media and has popularized his business through it, and I thought I can also do the same by using social media for my business.
Q: How many employees are working in your factory?
A: At present, I have 18 boys working with me in my factory and all of them are young and skilled students who can use computer or do designing for manufacturing of furniture.
Q: What kind of furniture do you offer/manufacture?
A: At presently we are focusing on modular kitchen, modular wardrobes, and modular furniture, but modular kitchens are more in demand as it is becoming a new trend in Kashmir.
Q: Why did you choose social media rather than having a shop for your business?
A: My focus was on entire Kashmir. If I would have started a shop in Pulwama which is going through a lot of situation as we know, people from other districts will not come to Pulwama to shop for their home and it would have benefitted people of that district only. Now I have covered the whole district. I am getting even orders from Jammu and foreign countries including South Africa and Malaysia.
Q: What is your business goal?
A: I am working to expand my business. I have recently bought land also, and I am looking forward to buy a machine which is fully computerized and costs Rs 42 lakhs, for my factory.
Q: To whom will you attribute your success to?
A: My family has supported me from the very beginning, whether morally or financially. So I give credit for my success to my family.
Q: Did you ever try to take help from the government?
A: Once I tried, but it took a lot of time to follow up the case and so I decided to do this my own. I am happy working in the private sector rather than the government sector.
Q: There are many entrepreneurs in Kashmir. What according to you is unique about your business?
A: No doubt there are lots of people working in this business but modular kitchen are making trends in Kashmir nowadays and the quality I maintain in my product is appreciated by my customers. My customers often tell me that they love the quality of my furniture and I discuss it with the employees at the factory to maintain quality. That is what I think is unique about my business.
Q: As an owner, what are your responsibilities?
A: I have maintained a friendly atmosphere with my employees at my factory. All the boys working there share their problems with me. I try to help them out and remain available to them every time they need me.
Q: Today’s youth is much more into business than having to go after government Job. What according to you is the reason behind it?
A: Youth in Kashmir do try for government jobs. There is a huge lack of employment avenues in Kashmir. So I think this is the main reason for youth to join business nowadays.
Q: Any advice or message for people out there, who are planning to start something of their?
A: My advice to them will be to start from first step and don’t jump. People will criticize you. I also faced a lot of criticism from my relatives and neighbors. My point is no job is small or big. Don’t feel ashamed of your work.
Q: Do you have any other business plans or do you want to continue with your furniture business?
A; Yes, I have the desire to open a pastry shop and I am working on this idea.