When his heart no longer found connection with studies, Tariq Aziz from Banihal fringe left home to pick up mobile repairing skills, which later paved way to a lifetime opportunity for him, reports Bilal Handoo
40km from the main town Banihal, a boy from the Alimbach village — where power supply still makes guest appearance was getting weary with his life, shortly after passing Class 12. He wanted a change, which otherwise is eluding his village still awaiting metallic roads. He needed a reason to move out. Four years later, the same reason has made Tariq Aziz (21), one of the budding entrepreneurs of the state.
In his five member family, Tariq proved exception, by discontinuing studies after Class 12. He sat idle for a while having no idea what to do in life until one fine evening his elder brother patted his shoulder and told him: “Look, not everyone can excel in studies. I know, you believe in action. Go and choose your line of work.”
Those words pumped up Tariq, who shortly enrolled himself in two month mobile repairing diploma course. “While receiving that training,” he says, “I knew that I was treading the right path.”
Two months later, Tariq didn’t return to his village. Instead he went to Ramban, where he worked as a technician in a mobile repairing shop for the next two years. “While repairing simple as well as branded mobile phones at that shop,” he says, “my confidence peaked up. I realised that I can do it my own now.” Once such realisation struck him, he looked for opportunities.
And then one day he heard about Entrepreneurship Development Institute’s (EDI’s) Skewpy scheme. He got training and pressed the trainers to grant him finance assistance for opening up his own mobile repairing shop.
By 2013 fall, he got what he desired. Under the scheme an amount of Rs 8.5 lakh was sanctioned to him. He took a shop on annual rent of Rs 30,000 at Banihal main market.
Putting up in a rented room in Banihal, Tariq now attends a beeline of customers at his shop stuffed with mobile phone accessories. Though his is relatively calm shop in an otherwise busy Banihal market, but Tariq says things take time to take off. “I am new in this market,” he says. “But I am happy that I have made inroads into the market. Business will eventually follow.”
Among all other mobile repairing shops in Banihal, he believes he can provide much better service than others owing to his learned skills. “Not everyone can handle the trendy and branded sets—as they lack the expertise to handle them,” he says. This is where, he can create a different niche and name for himself in the entire market, he believes.
Tariq, wearing smiling eyes on his calm face, has already started thinking big, as he believes, “big is beautiful”. Though his retail shop is still at its infancy, he has already made up his mind to be a wholesale dealer of mobile phones.
As of now, however, he is focussing to create a distinct name for his shop. And for that, he heavily relies on mouth to mouth publicity. He lacks buck strength to float advertisements. But that doesn’t stop him to concentrate on expansion scheme. “This shop of mine isn’t that spacious,” he says, “so my next move will be to look for spacious shop.”
Terming mobile repairing his lifetime task, Tariq believes the demand for cars and mobiles will never saturate across world. But while attending his budding business, he remains adamant not to return to his village for a simple reason: “Let me return with the difference.”
Amid all this, he speaks high about EDI’s scheme—even describing it best for youth. “This scheme gives a youth chance to get started on his own,” he says. “One can’t get this scheme again and again, as it doesn’t ask for a guarantor.”
With his single day sale now touching four digits a day, Tariq is content that his life is rewarding him for following his heart and skill of interest.
But there was a time when he was fed up with his life while sitting idle and working for others—but not any more. “I am empowered now,” he says.