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Ajaz Ahmed Kachroo
Ajaz is a management graduate from Amity International. After completing his studies, he worked for Hindustan Computer Limited (HCL) technologies and was earning a handsome salary that included a residential flat and a car from the company. He was happy with his job and had great potential for promotion, but destiny was leading him in another direction.
Ajaz belongs to a working class family; his father was a doctor and his mother works in the education department. He is the first from his family pursue entrepreneurship and was supported in his decision by his mother. He says, “My mother had firm belief in me and she supported my decision of settling down in Kashmir and doing something of my own.”
He failed in his first attempt to start a construction business, but with determination and a second chance, he succeeded in starting a surgical equipment enterprise. He approached the bank for financial support, but he was refused. Then, he joined a training programme of 15 days on entrepreneur development from the JK Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) in which he received support including financial assistance through a Seed Capital Scheme. Ajaz states, “JKEDI provided me with every possible means of support to complete the trainings. And with the grace of God and JKEDI’s help, I finally established my venture.” In 2010 he started his enterprise under the name Zareen Business Systems with the seed capital of Rs. 6.5 lakh that serves the healthcare sector. He recalls, “I was affiliated with the renowned surgical companies of India like Shree Umiya Surgicals, Ahmedabad, Pricon Surgicals, Jodhpur, and Futura Surgi-care Ltd. Bangalore. I was lucky enough to get the CFA (Consignment & Forwarding Agent) for the whole of Jammu & Kashmir, which was the first success for me.”
They had firm belief in him. Ajaz explains, “I had a zeal, caliber, strength and dedication to do something, but for a first generation entrepreneur there are always missing channels and it is difficult for him to have a smooth take off to start a new venture.”
He considers lack of financial availability as the biggest hurdle for starting his business in Kashmir. “Banks are reluctant to finance new ideas and first generation entrepreneurs,” says Ajaz.
Zareen Business System employs seven staff members on the payroll and many others off the payroll. The company provides all necessary surgical equipments to private and public hospitals in the valley. Zareen Business System currently has three branches but is looking forward to opening a new branch and expanding the business due its enormous scope and an increasing demand for its products.
The only piece of advice that Ajaz wishes to share with budding entrepreneurs is, “One should not be afraid of challenges and downfalls in business and should always take a right step towards the right direction with the help of expert people. One should not expect fruits from day one. We should give ample time for our business to flourish at its fullest.”