Connect with us

Startups

IIM-J Srinagar Off-Campus holds innovators meet

Published

on

IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet

Institute’s incubation centre ThinkIN to commence work in Srinagar soon

Srinagar, Aug 27: Indian Institute of Management Jammu (IIM-J), Srinagar Off-campus organised an innovators Meet at their Nowgam campus here.

IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet

 

The program was organized in association with Grassroots Innovations and Agumemtation Network (GIAN), Gujarat. The program was attended by more than 20 innovators from different parts of the valley, who shared their experiences and challenges in a session that was also attended by scholars, researchers and faculty members from institutes like Harvard University, Zhejiang University, NIT Srinagar, IIM Jammu, GIAN and Kashmir University.

IIM Jammu started its off-campus in Srinagar recently and the campus is set up with an aim of broad outreach and a focus on corporate training, innovations and Entrepreneurship in the Kashmir region.

The objective of this in-house discussion was to facilitate the bottom-up narrative about local innovations. The structural and institutional challenges peripheral innovators face while scaling up their innovations were identified and documented. To nurture local innovations both from the formal and informal settings, it was agreed that a robust actor-sector collaboration will be forged.

In his welcome and concluding address, Chairman IIM Jammu’s Srinagar Off-campus Dr Muqbil Burhan assured the innovation stakeholders of the valley that IIM Jammu will offer a strong platform for local innovations, traditional industries and outstanding traditional knowledge holders and play an important role in creating an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Further, he said that IIM has set up an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre at Srinagar and Jammu campuses with the sole objective of nurturing innovation and startups. The centre has also set up a business incubator with the name “ThinkIN” for startups and is going to be functional this year with the first batch of incubatees.

Dr Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, who is currently working as an innovation researcher at Zhejiang University China, also spoke on the occasion and stressed understanding the bottom-up narrative from innovators which is a must for crafting any innovation policy. Referring to the innovation policy history, he said that the top-down policy directionality has not helped local innovations. The local narrative about innovations is always wanting. For building a robust innovation system in Kashmir he mentioned that innovators perspectives are very important.

Dr Shabir Hassan, a research scientist at Harvard Medical School while congratulating local innovations, IIM Jammu and Gian spoke about the importance of organising discussions and discourses on value-based innovations and entrepreneurship for nurturing innovation culture in Kashmir. He agreed to work with the local innovations for further value addition and scaling up. Appreciating the idea of creating innovation clubs, he suggested that local innovation stops should be set up in local universities and enterprises.

Syed Nadeem, Gian coordinator, referred to local success stories documented by his organisation from the last ten years. He said that local innovations fail to create meaningful impact precisely because of institutional hurdles. Creating pro-innovation institutions and the right incentives he believed would usher an innovation culture in Kashmir.

The meet was also attended by Prof Saad from NIT Srinagar who gave his valuable suggestion to the innovators and suggested collaboration supporting a better ecosystem for innovations in the valley. Various successful Entrepreneurs from the valley like Sheikh Iqbal (Founder, Tashawur), Ufair Aejaz (CEO & Founder KMTTI), Abdul Hamid Bhat (CEO Raheem Greens) also attended the event and interacted with the innovators on the occasions.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Entrepreneurship

Exquisite in taste, Nava’s homemade jams and pickles ‘sell like crazy’  

Published

on

Homemade jams and Pickles

Syed Jesarat

Nava Shah was always passionate about cooking and creating new recipes. However, it was only after her marriage and the birth of two children that she decided to turn her passion into a full-fledged business.

After completing her MBA from the University of Kashmir in 2015, Nava started teaching in a local school. Though she was doing it with full dedication, but her interests lay in the kitchen where she would be always experimenting.

In February 2021, she said goodbye to her teaching job and started making pickles and jams under the brand name ‘Jamklejars’. With her experiments and new recipes, she was able to attract regular clients quite early on. Presently she has two more people helping her to run the affairs. They distribute items via JhelumCart, both logistics and packaging are managed by a team of three.

Exquisite in taste homemade jams and pickles 'sell like crazy'  After the jars have been cleaned and sterilised, they are filled with content in the most hygienic manner possible before being packaged. ‘Jamkle’s’ store is located inside the house itself. Nava explains, “We have a cloud kitchen, and we administer everything from there.”

Customers can choose from a wide variety of homemade jams and pickles. Due to their natural preservation and fermentation, pickles come in a wider range of flavours, including mutton pickles, chicken pickles, date pickles, garlic pickles and other veg pickles.

Nava just recently began making jams this year. Her jams and pickles are produced with fresh ingredients and contain no preservatives. Strawberry, mulberry, quince, and other fruits are among the jam varieties. She also sells organic honey in addition to jam and pickles. Fresh produce from the local market is utilised as the primary ingredient in jams and pickles. Her pickles and jams range from Rs 200 to Rs 650 and come in several jar sizes.

She has thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram, where she sells a substantial number of products under the handle ‘Jamklejars‘. Additionally, she draws clients from outside the state. Most orders are placed online through social media platforms: Instagram and WhatsApp. They provide delivery services all over India.

“I receive orders from Kerala, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and other states in addition to J&K, I already have a huge customer base within the state,” says Nava.

Exquisite in taste homemade jams and pickles 'sell like crazy'  

Although Nava had the idea for the business before, she never actually carried it out. A very ambitious businesswoman from Nowshera, Srinagar, Nava has supplies readily available and doesn’t keep customers waiting for purchases.

“At first, I tried making it multiple times until I mastered it. It took me three months to get into pickle perfection, and once I was sure in my ability to make them, only then I started selling,” she says.

Nowadays, online media gives many businesses a platform and has made it easier for small firms to reach their target markets and get noticed.  Due to the online boost, “Jamklejars” has also made progress.

“I believe that 90% of the business setup was made possible through online platforms. Additionally, I’ve visited exhibitions and engaged with visitors there, who purchased and tasted the ‘Jamklejars’ products,” she says.

Being an entrepreneur is never easy, especially for a married woman, yet Nava succeeded in achieving her ambition.

She says, “I’m grateful to have great people in my life. My in-laws, especially my husband, have supported me through the journey,”

The venture’s goal was met pretty quickly, at the very first stage. The amount of money made exceeds the expectations of owner Nava. In the future, the home-based business will be seen in the retail sector as well for its easy accessibility to consumers.

“We are considering launching a website as well, but not right now. For the time being, we are just concentrating on the retail sector because it is convenient for clients to make purchases there.”

Nava encourages potential entrepreneurs to create innovative ventures without reluctance.

“Setting goals and making baby steps toward them are always beneficial,” she says.

“Once we have faith in our aspirations, we can achieve them. Business is the finest choice one can have because jobs are neither possible nor available in the current environment,” she adds.

Launching a small business from home is a labour-intensive procedure. Nava encourages people to support and purchase local items, especially from women business owners who run their businesses from home because they have a lot to balance between family and business.

Exquisite in taste homemade jams and pickles 'sell like crazy'  

 

On the online platforms, Nova gets get feedback. One of the comments on an Instagram post states: “Jamkle genuinely has pickles of the unique recipe, I rarely have come across such great jams and pickles in Kashmir.” Another comment reads:  ” I Liked the pickle very much, it was wonderful in taste”.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

Saalas: Food and grocery app delivering happiness at your doorsteps

Published

on

Food and grocery app delivering happiness

Syed Jesarat

Over the past few years, not only eating out but ordering food home from a restaurant has become a recreational activity in Kashmir, particularly as COVID19 restricted people’s movement. However, Kashmir doesn’t have too many platforms guiding us on where and what to eat. Saalas: Food and grocery app aims to fill that gap and connect people to authentic food places.

Salaas is an application that delivers things to your doorstep by making a few clicks on your phone. Salaas is the story of a business that expresses the desire, dedication, and service of a person toward his society.

“It is just an initiative through which I can serve the people of my town and my aim is to digitalize Kashmir by bringing some tech solutions,” said 33-year-old, Farooq Ahmad Seeru founder of Saalas. The app is presently operational in Sopore town, but Farooq wants to expand its footprint across Kashmir.

 How it works

The app is available in the Google play store for all Android phones and the App Store for ios phone users, download it, enter your location, explore all the grocery shops and restaurants in your town, check their menus, and ratings, and order right from the app and pay from your wallet. You can order from any restaurant available in the town.

“We built every feature of the app keeping in mind the location. We also analysed the pros and cons and how to go with our brand in the market through research and we have tie-ups with almost all the local restaurants and the grocery shops of Sopore town. It’s still in its initial stage. the response as of now is good and we are expecting more in the coming future as we are planning to expand it in other towns and districts,” said Farooq.

“It was initially difficult because nobody supported the idea due to prevailing conditions in the valley and secondly it was difficult to organise the unorganized food delivery concept.”

 What one can get through Saalas app?

Saalas app is presently operational in north Kashmir with delivery feet consisting of eight deliverymen delivering everything from fresh fruits to vegetables, rice to dals, spices to seasonings to any packaged products, and many more with a minimum amount of 199.

“Every day in the morning time, we have orders piling up mostly on vegetables and other grocery items and in the latter part of the day, we get orders for junk food and other items. We have kept a minimum checkout of Rs 199. We have also the option of picking and choosing different things,” said Farooq

Food and grocery app delivering happiness Farooq is a software engineer by profession presently working as head of data (artificial intelligence and machine learning) for Hyke.ai in Dubai. Hyke is a state–of–the–art technology powered by analytics AI, Machine learning, and predictive analytics, completed by a robust supply chain that balances efficiency and speed.

He also has experience working as a data scientist with Rakuten Japan. Rakuten is Japanese electronic commerce and online retailing company based in Tokyo, it business to many e-commerce platforms and is one of the largest e-commerce sites in the world.

“I have the experience of working in various countries like England, Japan, Thailand, and Dubai but, the feeling and satisfaction you get when you have the startup at a place where you have spent your childhood and among your own people is always special. And with that startup people are getting livelihood is even more special,” said Farooq.

Farooq, the youngest among four siblings, born in apple town Sopore to a family of farmers, has proved that with hardwork and proper goals in life anyone can be successful in life and considers his elder brother also a computer graduate as an inspiration.

“My brother is my inspirational it’s because of him I came into this profession,” he said.

 Customer-friendly app

Saalas is turning out to be one of the best online food and grocery apps through its poised approach. The professionalism of the people associated with Saalas has won the hearts of people.

“Saalas app has come as a sigh of relief for me because being the elder child in the family of five and a cricket enthusiast. Every time my parents used to call bring this and that sometimes in the middle of a cricket match. I have been regularly using it for the past many months and literally, it has brought inner peace in me,” said Sajad Reshi from Sopore

Food and grocery app delivering happiness“Lot of food and grocery apps were e-launched before saalas but, could not survive due is various reasons.  Saalas has laid its mark; the people associated with Saalas are professional in terms of app management and the services it provides. Saalas is a good app people should take benefit from it. We are benefiting a lot from it. It has come very much handy for us as restaurant owners. I hope they really grow more and I am one of the big supporters,” said Jibran Khan owner of Zero Miles, one of the premier restaurants of apple town Sopore.

In the coming months, Farooq Seeru owner of Saalas app is planning to start another startup on the name of Kashmir Rides to help daily commuters book taxi and bus seats online.

“Kashmir Rides is our upcoming project. We are working on it; through Kashmir Rides, one can book any taxi or a seat on the bus from Baramulla to Srinagar. If a person from any place like Sangrama has to travel Srinagar he can book the seat in sumo that seat will be kept reserved for him till the stop,” said Farooq.

“We are hopeful with Saalas and Kashmir Rides; we will continue to provide the best and most affordable service to the public all over Kashmir,” he concluded.

Continue Reading

Startups

Mahoor’s hiking expeditions connect people to their past

Published

on

heritage walks for history buffs and travel enthusiasts.

Passion with a purpose

Syed Jesarat

Mahoor Shaw, a jewellery designer and a passionate hiker, curates heritage walks for history buffs and travel enthusiasts.

Twenty-seven-year-old, Mahoor is not just enthusiastic about hiking but has a purpose. She wants to acquaint people with their forgotten past.

“I have been a history lover since my childhood, and it is my passion to visit historical spots that is why I started these heritage walks,” says Mahoor. “First I curated the walks for my family and friends, which later motivated me to start group tours.”

Mahoor says though she started organising heritage walks in 2019 but her tour and travel registration is still pending.

A BBA graduate from the University of Kashmir with two fellowships, the Young India Fellowship and Naropa Fellowship, Mahoor is fulfilling her dream of being a travel lover by making it a small private organisation. This independent organization of hers is drawing in an ever-increasing number of clients due to its fun and historical visits. The clients are both from Kashmir as well as from outside.

heritage walks for history buffs and travel enthusiasts.She uses social media, particularly Instagram, to publicise these history expeditions and also organises all the arrangements online through her Instagram page, which goes by the name of “The Whirling Zoon”.

“I picked this graceful name since I am a drifter, and in my friend circle, I am known as Zoon (which implies moon in Kashmiri),” she says.

Hailing from downtown Srinagar, Mahoor never thought a lot about society with regard to her enthusiasm and vocation. With full family support, she figured out how to follow her energy.

“My family is always supportive and they never stop me from following my interests. I started cycling when I was a child and used to go freely around the city,” she says.

 “I love to trek and travel a lot, eat traditional food; and all that which is related to our culture is of high value to me.”

The Whirling Zoon coordinates hikes and visits to the various historical spots, but each group has a limit of 15 individuals so that each interested person is connected and gets the attention of the organisers. Mahoor does everything by herself, from administration to guiding the trekkers.

The specific rules are followed while taking individuals on hikes and walks. Protocols such as what shoes to wear and what things to carry so that trekking is hassle-free are strictly followed.

So far, Mahoor has organised trips to Buddhist Monastery Harwan, and mountain treks to Srinagar outskirts, besides various craft visits, where it was a unique learning experience about weaving and weavers for the visitors.

heritage walks for history buffs and travel enthusiasts.The first nature walk was open to all. About 40 individuals joined the group where the oldest one was 56 years old and the youngest one was 14.

“People from different areas and backgrounds show their interest to join our walks. They want to explore more. They want to be part of such trips,” she says.

 “I make it a point to familiarize all the trekkers with our traditional food that is generally served in earthenware.”

The word about ‘The Whirling Zoon’ expeditions has reached quite far. Mahoor even had some clients from Bangalore, who wanted a curated tour of Mughal Gardens.

The upcoming heritage walks would be in South Kashmir, which would be informed through ‘The Whirling Zoon’ Instagram handle. Besides, the visit to various craft centres to make them meet craftsmen, are also in pipeline.

“People get to know one another and share numerous contemplations about anything and everything. It is actually an incredible experience to meet and interact with people coming from different cultures and interests,” says Mahoor.

“Young ladies are cheerfully being a part of it and their folks are likewise permitting them, after posing me few enquiries about the visit and hikes,” she adds.

Mahoor charges a nominal fee from the trekkers so that she could manage the affairs.

“Initially, there were no charges. However, presently, we charge some fees so that we could manage the operations. However, for the students, the fee is minimum,” she says.

Mahoor is also a professional jewellery designer. She manages her business of Jewellery on the online platform, Instagram, by the name ‘Imroz Kashmir’.

heritage walks for history buffs and travel enthusiasts.heritage walks for history buffs and travel enthusiasts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I balance both my passion and profession,” says Mahoor.

The hikes she organises are about knowing the society and culture of Kashmir. Mahoor was planning for an overnight shift as well but, it has not been possible as yet for “The Whirling Zoon”.

“I maintain that people should know their own region, Kashmir has many historical spots, reach out to the local community and know about their lives, we ought to accomplish something which is really great for local people and furthermore, which does not hurt environment too,” she says.

People should follow their enthusiasm and attempt to make something out of it. She encourages all the young explorers, particularly females, to follow their passion and dreams.

“I maintain that an ever-increasing number of people should follow their passion and should not be bothered about negativity,” says Mahoor.

“Live your life, regardless of assuming that you won’t succeed, keep attempting till you reach your goals,” with this advice to her peers, Mahoor signs off.

Continue Reading

Trending