Hilal Shah meets Rakib Ahmad, a young man who identified deficits in the coaching eco-system and converted them into one major opportunity. The success gave the young man a sound base for growth
It was a job hunt that sent a young man thinking that jobs are better created than discovered. This helped him pull a success story for himself and many others who are now working for him.
This is the story of Rakib Ahmad, 28, a resident of Sofigund in South Kashmir, who was desperate to have a job after he finished his twelfth standard. His desperation for some earnings landed him in Jammu where he became a representative for a coaching centre.
After giving it a try, he soon discovered that more than the temperature of the place, it is the job that does not suit him. He called it a day and returned home. While in Jammu, he had picked up some basic knowledge about the operations of the coaching centres and private tuition institutions. This became his qualification and he got a job with the Srinagar based Aakash Coaching Centre. Soon, he was its Zonal Coordinator.
“I gave this job whatever I had and it paid me back,” Rakib said. “I understood the eco-system in which the coaching operations take place, its challenges, prospects and every other thing.”
Rakib gave this institute six years. It was at this institute that I would regularly read Kashmir Life. “In every issue, I found a success story, mainly about the start-ups, the new businesses,” Rakib remembers. “These stories would push me to think that if all these men and women can take risks and create their spaces, why I cannot do it? I had from childhood some idea that one day, I will have to have my own thing, a business or whatever. These stories will rekindle that hope and provoke me.”
After his twelfth class, Rakib has been an earning machine. Always working, he lacked time to attend college. So he completed his graduation through distance mode.
More than education, Rakib was interested more in the business of education. In Srinagar, he found education a huge sector in formal and informal set-ups. A hub of coaching, he found tens of thousands of students migrating from the periphery every year to get the best of the education in Srinagar – preparing for engineering, medical school, and civil services.
While studying this ecosystem, he stumbled upon a deficit. Most of the students from peripheral districts require renting space in Srinagar. In a way, it is a major challenge for the parents to find a better space for their wards.
Rakib had actually discovered a huge idea. He identified the problem and now he wanted to find a solution. Soon, he started an online platform where people looking for accommodation easily find suitable spaces without wasting their time. Finding it workable, Rakib gave up his job and formally threw open his website Boxncox.com in November 2020.
There was a quick response and faster appreciation of the effort, Rakib said. “In the very first month we got about 200 quarries and we managed to convert queries into clients and implement all,” said Rakib. “With the passage of time, the number started increasing, mostly in the month of November, December when students are landing in coaching institutes”.
Despite the challenging situation, the idea is a better performer. “We have listed a number of hostels, apartments and other properties on our website,” said Rakib. “When any student visits the website to find an apartment at a particular place, he gets the list of properties, finally as per wish he finds the space”.
This has eased the parents’ crisis to hunt for shelter. They decide on the coaching centre and then visit our website at home and within a few minutes; they are ready to move for studies. Boxncox.com is Kashmir’s first such platform that is now serviced by three workers round the clock.
Rakib said he is now hiring more people for taking this platform to a new level. The website is routinely getting six to seven thousand visitors.
However, Rakib’s interests have led him to have a basket of activities. He owns a departmental store, not far away from his home. Nowadays, he is busy setting up a restaurant for which he has hired eight youth. The food joint will be open within days after the Eid.
Besides, Rakib is running a website Digitizeera.com which is into web designing, web developments, SEO services, digital marketing, and logo designing services.
“We live in a different world, now every business requires a website,” Rakib said. “We do web designing solutions for startups, e-commerce websites, dynamic websites, responsive websites and static websites”. Boxncox.com is a recognised start-up under start-up India. “Nowadays almost students 6 to 7 thousand are visiting our site. We expect It may go up in winters” claims Rakib.