Crafting Cashmere

A typical young and restless from Old Srinagar was yearning to hit big, but life was no cakewalk for him. He took his odds head-on and in less than six years established himself as a successful entrepreneur. Bilal Handoo profiles the boy next door who has created a niche in cashmere crafts     

Ashiq Hussain

In those commerce classes during his college days, his head would often lad among starts. Instead of concentrating on accounts, capital, assets or liabilities, Ashiq Hussain, 28, was imagining himself as a business tycoon. But the reality of his life wasn’t a dream-stuff. Like those scores of youngsters of Old Srinagar, Hussain too wanted to hit big in life but lacked resources. But he lacked no abilities. He put his potential in practice and in less than six years, he created a niche for himself in cashmere crafts.

Hailing from Old Srinagar’s Kawdhara locality, Hussain in last December received a budding entrepreneur award in Dastkaar Mela in Srinagar’s Badam Vari. (He was one of the top ten entrepreneurs felicitated during Mela by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for netting close to Rs I crore turn over within a year.)

But before emerging as the promising entrepreneur, Hussain was sweating hard in the heat of Delhi. He had gone there to end the financial impasse at his home soon after finishing his graduation. He worked as the chief accountant for a firm selling Kashmiri handicraft. But apart from taking care of ledger, he was also learning the nuances of the trade.

After stabilising the financial condition of home, he was then rearing to return home to start his own venture. It was 2009 when he started his unit Cashmere Crafts. But his enthusiasm soon frizzled out due to financial hindrance. He required big money to sustain his venture in Kashmiri handicrafts. And for the time being his ambitious plan hit the roadblock. “But then,” he quips, “chances favour the prepared mind.”

And soon he saw an advertisement calling an application from educated youth of Kashmir for starting up their own entrepreneurship units with the help of J&K Bank. He sniffed an opportunity and went on to register himself at Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) in south Kashmir’s Pampore town. After receiving a brief training at EDI, he received Rs 8.60 lakh as project money from J&K Bank. He invested good amount in making of Pashmina Shawls and Kashmiri embroidery.

After adding many items to his kitty, Hussain then sharply focussed to channelize his products across markets. He believes mere manufacturing of goods isn’t good enough: “One should have an ability to market the products as well.”

And while his contemporaries were mostly busy in offline marketing, Hussain took over to online platform to promote his products. And with the same aim he launched a website The website, he believes, has taken his products at national as well as international levels. “The website really helped me in amassing a good turnover,” says Hussain. “I am satisfied because I really worked hard to explore new markets.”

The aim of his company, he says, is to constantly provide the best quality to the clients across the globe and ensure consistent improvement on all parameters. “The company works with the motive of achieving maximum client satisfaction and hence, success and growth have come its way,” he says.

His Cashmere Crafts, which was a small start-up in 2009, is today proving expertise in the field as Manufacturers and Suppliers of “excellent quality” ladies fashion accessories. The company, Hussain says, has a wide collection of ladies fashion accessories includes ladies shawls, ladies stoles, ladies scarves and ladies mufflers.

“My professional team at Cashmere Crafts is proficient and has years of experience in making one of the finest creations for our clients across the country in the most cost effective way,” Hussain says. “These professionals are well versed with the latest trends and designs which are incorporated in our products as well.”

While manufacturing ladies fashion accessories, Hussain makes use of “high quality” fabrics. “All the raw material is well tested to be skin friendly and easy to wash,” he says. “The embroidery threads and embellishments don’t lose their quality even with regular wash.”

The best quality, beauty and competitive price, Hussain says, makes his setup unique among the best suppliers for Handloom Fabrics. “We understand that Handlooms are an important craft product and comprise a major share of the Cottage Industry of India,” he says. “For this, we have managed to keep consistency of the prevailing traditions in Indian Textile Handloom.”

The last six years of relentless efforts have put him at a fairly good position. But Hussain says he hadn’t a hunch that he would strike big in entrepreneurship. But then, it was just a matter of time before life put him on (cash)mere mode!

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