The journey from a small time shopkeeper to an entrepreneur demanded a lot of hard work, perseverance and a dream. Mosin Iqbal had all the three and created a company with an annual turnover of one crore. UMER BEIGH reports
When he set out to work and earn, he had no money. His bank employee father could not give him any money to start a business. He had to start from a scratch, literarally.
Things started to move when relative gave him Rs 40,000 as loan. With that money he rented a small shop at Islamabad. That was the only push Mosin Iqbal, 30, of Bijbehara, Islamabad needed to work passionately. He worked there for many years.
“That period gave me a hard time as I was young and inexperienced. But I kept on working hard patiently. Moreover, I kept dreaming big!” he says.
Just five years back what seemed a dream is a reality now, he says. He now manufactures the products that he used to purchase from outside the state.
Being a franchise to a Delhi based manufacturing company “Aggarwal Food products”, served him a great deal in setting up of his own unit.
In 2007 after working hard at the shop, he was finally successful in setting up a factory.
“There was a time when I could not afford a salesman but now more than 50 men work with me,” he says.
Despite the unrest in 2008 he somehow managed formal registration of his unit naming it AFP manufacturing Co Pvt. Ltd.
He is very much keen in promoting his business to higher levels. “We are not going to compromise as far as quality is concerned. The market of our products has expanded to the whole province. I brought the concept and the product, now many people are following our products which is good, “he says.
In the beginning, in 2007, the factory’s annual turnover was around 37 lakh which increased with crossed 100 lakh during the last financial year.
“I had started dreaming of doing a business that would help other people as well,” says Mosin. “I am glad that Almighty has made me the source of income for these men associated with me.”
Mosin had left his studies early, some thirteen years ago because of some domestic reasons. He did not know that in a few years he will be the owner of a business worth crores. But he knew that he had to work hard.
“During the month of Ramadan, I remember, he used to arrive home late around 1 a.m every day. This was the level of passion for his work. What he has achieved is all his determination and I am sure he dreams to achieve more,” says his father Ghulam Nabi, who is now retired and serves the unit as General Manager.
He has executed his plans well and has the determination to take his business to a next level.
“I hope I can keep on generating new avenues for the youths as there we are deficit of jobs and employment avenues in Kashmir. There would be an increased need of semi-skilled and skilled manpower here,” he says. “As we are lacking technicians, operators I have to hire them from outside, I can’t even get a spare product of machines. For this I had to move outside many times which at times become burden,” he laments.
As Mosin moved from being a small shopkeeper to an entrepreneur he did not get any help from the government. However, he says that the state government is “very much justified in not supporting a person like me”. “Nobody helped me but I kept my patience, occasionally I was supported from few loans by the bank,” he says.
Mosin is planning set up another manufacturing unit this year. “We are hopeful this project of 25 crore rupees which is primary emphasis on manufacturing food products for a division of Pepsi Co Ltd. I think this is as good as setting up a multinational company here,” he says.