Emblems of Empowerment: In the midst of a pandemic, she took the start-up plunge – Hindustan Times

In the midst of a pandemic, when the world was looking at business closures and job losses, Tanzeela Tanzeela Naqshbandi, 26, took the leap of faith and opened a boutique in North Kashmir’s Baramulla town.

Though the first from her family to venture into the business field, Naqshbandi’s gamble paid off. Her boutique, a first-of-its-kind in Baramulla, became an instant hit as it had clothes of the latest trends.

“To my surprise, my boutique was a hit with not just women, but men too. Many of them visit my store and compliment my work,” says Naqshbandi, who has given an indigenous name ‘Qoraab’, to her enterprise. Qoraab essentially means folded sleeves of Pheran, a long Kashmiri gown.

“In a rural town like Baramulla, it takes time to flourish in business. But I am happy and satisfied with the response of the clientele,” says the 26-year-old who plans to open more such boutiques in other parts of Kashmir.

Naqshbandi currently employs around 10 women and hopes to create more jobs.

“Though I completed my masters in English in the midst of the pandemic, I did not want to sit at home after that. I am happy that not just have I become financially independent, but have also created jobs for others,” she says.

She adds, “It wasn’t easy for me to venture into the business field. Both my parents were former government employees and had no business experience. Relatives and friends wanted me to get a government job but now they do feel proud after seeing my business venture flourishing.”

Naqshbandi is grateful for the support her family provided her. “I had meagre savings. My mother and brother played a huge role in making my venture a success. They are my biggest inspiration,” says the 26-year-old.

Her message for other girls, hoping to set out on the entrepreneurial journey: “Nothing is impossible if you want to do it; I always wanted to do something different, but I was waiting for the right time.”