TALENT AT THE TRADE A few young, aspiring entrepreneurs at the numaish, Hyderabad, are raring to make their mark. AMINA SAMREEN SALAHUDDIN
(Trailblazers: (L-R) Mohammed Haroom, Suguna Swaroop and Asif Ali Hamza.)
Come January and Hyderabad is brimming with more than the usual activity because of the All India Industrial Exibition popularly and locally known as the “numaish”. The exhibition was started in 1937 by the Seventh Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Asaf Jah to promote indigenously made goods and provide a market to many craftsman and artisans. Today its popularity has increased manifold as businessmen from different parts of the country sell their specialised goods here. Many have been coming here for generations and today youngsters are carrying on the legacy with some making an individual mark in the fields. They are from different parts of the country but the common factor is their age and high aims. And gender hardly seems to make a difference.
Twenty three-year-old K. Suguna Swaroop was a staff nurse until she quit to take up something that would allow her financial independence and a name for herself. Today she has a boutique in Hyderabad and has put up a stall in the exhibition for the past two years. Suguna outsources her stock from her boutique. Ask about her aim and she quips, “I want to open two more boutiques in the city with my own money.”There are some who are learning from their father like Asif Ali Hamza, 19, from Srinagar, Kashmir. Asif is seriously involved in his father’s business for the past six years and has already got his father to put up a Kashmiri handicraft stall in Shilparamam, another exhibition in Hyderabad. Does Asif’s father follow or listen to his advice? “Of course. This year I wanted a lot of variety and moderate investment; he agreed and allowed me to make some decisions.” Ask him whether he would carry on his father’s business or make his own career, he says, “There are no opportunities for graduates in Kashmir, so there is no other option.”
Carrying on the business and expanding it seems to be the perfect choice for Irshad Sheikh, 24, who manages the national and international affairs of his father’s business: Kashmiri jewellery and handicrafts. Irshad exports to countries like South Africa. Mohammed Haroom, a 25-year-old from Chennai, presently handles his father’s business which specialises in Farungi (lungis), which are very popular in Chennai. Haroom plans to start a handloom companyand thus create a leading brand in lungis. What’s more, he has already finalised 70 per cent of the work. Regarding his stall, he says, “it’s now a legacy I am carrying on. I have some fond and loving memories with my father here,” says Haroom.Another youngster is Mohemmed Rizwan, 20, from Jaipur, Rajasthan, who specialises in jewel cutting and polishing for the past three years. He wishes to start his own business and is gaining experience under his uncle who runs a business in Rajasthan. Youngsters today are making their presence felt in every field. Gen Y are truly trailblazers, chalking their own routes!
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