Giving up a well-paying job at Amazon and opening food business in Kashmir at a time when the situation in the Valley was hardly conducive for enterprise was what Javeed Iqbal Parsa did and succedded in.
Hailing from Bandipora, North Kashmir, 32-year-old Parsa says that it was six years ago that he decided to become an enterpreneur and offer jobs to others.
Parsa’s company “Parsaaz” launched its first restaurant “Kathi Junction” in Srinagar at a time when Kashmir had been through the worst floods in a century. His company has 23 outlets across J&K and outside. Besides serving traditional Kashmiri food, these also serve rolls, shwarma and Hyderabadi biryani etc.
in a century. His company has 23 outlets across J&K and outside. Besides serving traditional Kashmiri food, these also serve rolls, shwarma and Hyderabadi biryani etc.
Parsa says, “I wanted to something different and to also be a job creator. It’s definitely not an easy journey but hindrances lose steam in the face of passion.”
He admits that due to frequent hartals and disruption in normal life, business activities in Kashmir are affected and the new enterprises are all the more vulnerable to vagaries of the situation.
An alumuni of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad University, the only urdu central university in India, Javeed said his parents were shocked to know his decision to of quitting the job. “I am happy that I proved all misgivings my parents had wrong. Besides I also realised my dreams.”
Today, 'Paarsaaz’ outlets are located in all major towns of Kashmir and one each in Jammu and leh.
Asked about a general perception that there is no scope for enterprise in Kashmir, Paarsaaz says,” Yes, it’s true. Starting a venture in Kashmir is not easy because of the unpredictability of the situation yet due to major changes happening all around there are new opportunities for the young. Of course, one needs passion to make things succeed.”
For the young and educated youth in Kashmir, Paarsaaz says it’s important for them to go outside Kashmir to gain exposure and experience for launching their own businesses. He says the educated youth must work on new ideas and create job opportunities for others.
Javeed was adjuged J&K Youth icon by J&K innovators’ Forum in 2015 for his success.