How often do husbands want working wives; how often do they want them to join or start a business; how often does a working husband want her wife to be an entrepreneur, at least in a place like Kashmir? And how many husbands want their wives to make a contribution towards the State economy. These are the questions very relevant to Rumaisa Rajab’s entrepreneurial journey.
Rumaisa, the owner of Zehra Enterprises, Rajbagh was inspired and guided by her husband to become an entrepreneur after their marriage. Zehra Enterprises is a readymade garments manufacturing unit fetching Rumaisa a monthly sales turnover of about Rs 3 lakh.
Rumaisa was one among thousands of postgraduate degree holders of J&K seeking government jobs. After completing MA Education from University of Kashmir, Rumaisa was jobless till she opted for entrepreneurship as her career path. Family support was always in her favour. She got married and responsibilities grew especially when she became a mother. It was almost impossible for her to opt for a job outside her home, prompting her to do something of her own.
Thus began the entrepreneurial journey of an enthusiastic lady with 14-day training from J&KEDI. Knowing that readymade garment manufacturing units are lesser known in Kashmir, she chose it to make her career path.
The total cost of her project was Rs 14.75 lakh under Seed Capital Fund Scheme and she received Rs 4.97 lakh as seed money to make her project bankable.
Her supportive husband made it possible for her to start the business early by providing her some space at their home only. Rumaisa was prepared for all business risks.
“Seed money was too useful. I used that amount to launch my business by purchasing machines and gave some advance to my labourers who are mostly non-State subjects.
Zehra Enterprises has grown slowly and today there are 16 employees working for Rumaisa. The energetic lady does not hesitate in saying that her unit is one of the successful ventures of the valley.
Zehra Enterprises unit deals in manufacturing of shirts, Kurta Shalwar and kids wear. In winters Rumaisa purchases woollen cloth to make favourite winter dresses for Valley people.
Rumiasa’s feels that the biggest challenge was to satisfy people about the quality of product manufactured in her unit. Other challenge was to get good workers from outside the State. She had to face another problem as the necessary machinery was not available in J&K and she had to purchase it from Delhi. “Due to hard work and my husband’s support I was able to stabilize my unit with the passage of time.” Initially people didn’t like the kind of raw material she had chosen and this she considers a mistake on her part. Rumaisa plans to introduce machines which will stitch Jeans wear also. She wants to have a separate building for the manufacturing unit outside her home.
“In our State, it is not possible for any government to give job to every educated youth. By the help of SCFS they can establish their own business units and give employment to others as well. Though I am yet to achieve top position, but with the passage of time I have been able to understand that it is really important to care for our State’s economy,” says Rumaisa.
Her word of advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs is: “Grab the opportunity and keep two important things in mind; one is honesty and the other is courage to face problems as everybody doesn’t have a positive thinking.”
Name: RUMAISA RAJAB
Qualfication: M A EDUCATION
Unit Name: ZEHRA ENTERPRISES RAJBAGH NEAR MUSLIM SCHOOL SGR
Year of Establishment: 2012
City of Operation: SRINAGAR