Kashmir unrest: Many local start-ups shift outside state

Srinagar: Amid the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, many young local entrepreneurs have temporarily shifted their operations to traditional start-up hubs such as Noida and Gurgaon.
A 22-year-old entrepreneur running an advertising firm in Kashmir, has shifting to Delhi and switched over a new business line. “I took on rent some office space in Delhi though my business is partly operational in Srinagar with the help of managers operating during deal hours,” he said.
“I have also some plans about interior designing business. I am managing manpower and will start my new venture in a couple of days,” he said.
A 30-year-old entrepreneur, who had set-up a venture in 2012 providing services such as utility payments, air-ticketing, etc., from 1500 mobile kiosks across Kashmir has shifted back-end operations to Delhi NCR.
“Being an online system, lack of mobile internet proved to be a hurdle for our franchisees so we moved to Delhi three months back,” the budding businessman said.

“It was the internet blockade which forced me to shift base. The aim of my company is to reach people who don’t have access to technology. It is the communication gag which has forced me to leave Kashmir and be based in Delhi NCR,” he added.
Another young entrepreneur from Shahr-e-Khaas, who sells Pashmina online is busy searching for office space in Delhi. “I was temporarily operating from a residential house in Delhi but will soon have an office,” he says.
The shutting down of courier services and custom office in Kashmir for a long period proved to be a hurdle for exporters to run operations smoothly, he said.
“I had some international orders which needed to be delivered. This could be made possible only once I operated from Delhi,” the entrepreneur said.
An owner and founder of an e-commerce portal from Kashmir said that while procurement and processing of goods for his firm “are still happening from Kashmir but a new design centre of my firm is being set-up in Delhi”.
He said being based in Delhi it was possible for him to deliver the export orders received prior to July 8.
“We are setting up a new design centre in Delhi. I am among thousands of persons who wanted to do something and make a difference to the society. Everyone is bearing the brunt, so are the youngsters,” he said.
The persons quoted in the storey wished not to be identified by name.