A two-day symposium on ‘Youth Entrepreneurship in Conflict Areas’ held at NIT, Srinagar on September 6-7, was organized by CHINAR International in association with South Asian Network of Impact Masters (SANIM) and IIED Center, NIT, Srinagar. The major focus of this symposium was to bring all the budding entrepreneurs together where they can share their entrepreneurial journey and help others to understand how businesses can be sustained in a Conflict zone.
It started on a high-note when Haseeb Drabu, Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir discussed about his understanding over the entrepreneurial spirit of youth in Kashmir. The symposium was further enriched by speakers like Shakeel Qalandar, Parvaiz Kaisar, Saad Parvez, Jahangir Raina, Saheel Alaqaband and others. Experienced faculties and speakers from TISS, IRMA, Kashmir University’s Business School and NIT Srinagar were present, who stated their ideas on Entrepreneurship and how it’s being received in different parts of the country. The prominent new-generation entrepreneurs like the founders of Kolahai Beverages, Winterfell Café, Eclectic Elan, L Crystals, Mid-Town Café, Kanavez and others were present who shared stories of their journey. There were woman entrepreneurs also, who were breaking stereotypes and carving their own niche in this male dominated sector. The event was hosted by Tariq Akhon who is associated with CHINAR International.
“I left my high paying job in Dubai and came back to Kashmir to start something of my own. It took me a year for market research and filing all the legal formalities. I was about to start on July 8, 2016 but unfortunately the whole valley turned into a battleground. I was stressed but hopeful that it will work out, things will be fine. Then, after all the hardships, we started in December again. What made me sail through the rough time was the passion and grit. I am happy that I got to share my journey at this symposium and inspire other people who want to carve their own destiny,” said Kamran Wani, owner of Winterfell Café.
The two-day discussion about entrepreneurship gained a huge reception by the young people, who are out there to build something of their own. The symposium ended with a plan how we can reach out more to each other on a similar platform and discuss about our concerns. The speakers of this symposium were glad to meet youth of Kashmir and hear their stories. They were impressed to know how entrepreneurs here navigate through the plan but show tremendous grit though the conditions can change instantly. It was a very hopeful and inspiring dialogue for the young minds of Kashmir.