Srinagar January 8: The executive body of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by President Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad called upon the Chairman & CEO J&K Bank Parvez Ahmed here at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters today.
President KCCI outlined the calendar of activities of the Chamber for the promotion of tourism industry, starting with a Mega Show in Malaysia; promotional activities in collaboration with FICCI, ICCI, Export Promotion Council etc for promotion of handicrafts and other Kashmir art with the aim to bring tourism and handicraft industry of the state on growth trajectory.
The KCCI he added was also planning to participate in India Trade Expo, ASEAN Buyer Seller Meet and Dilli Haat Exhibition in the month of February.
The delegation requested the Chairman for setting up of a Joint Advisory Committee comprising members from the bank & Industry to brainstorm on the progress & challenges in the sectors besides deliberating on the resolution of stressed assets of the bank in these sectors.
The President KCCI assured the Chairman that the Chamber would play an active role in resolution of such cases. Seeking Bank’s support he said that KCCI was coming up with a new Chamber House at Rajbagh and expected support from J&K Bank in its development.
The Chairman after hearing the delegation, appreciated the initiatives of the Chamber and said, “Bank has undertaken a strategic Shift in its lending operations which has been directed to the productive sectors of the state economy to revive growth in the core sectors of horticulture, tourism & handicrafts besides nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state. The Bank is proactively working on enabling economic activity in J&K through capacity building interventions and improved outreach within the state. A total of Rs 12000 Cr of net credit has been added in the J&K state business over the last two years. Despite the evident stress in some of the sectors the bank has adopted the handholding approach for the business community and the assurance of the KCCI president to play an active role in resolution of some of the stressed assets is a welcome reciprocation”
“The Bank is very keen to replicate the successful model of Apple Project, wherein the Bank proactively collaborated with the apple growers, in the handicrafts sector for reviving the growth. Worthwhile to mention that the artisan who is the most important entity in the handicraft industry is empowered as was the focus of the Bank in case of Apple Project to empower the grower. Let us strengthen artisan by enabling him to innovate in line with the changing tastes of the global consumers besides preserving the heritage design. Thorough research was required to ensure development of the handicraft industry on modern lines” he added.
The Chairman also conveyed to KCCI to come up with a plan with regard to the development of village clusters in respect of handicrafts for better and directed interventions. This he said will also help in creating a conducive ambience for the artisans to work so that they can produce world class products.
During the meeting it was decided to constitute a Joint Advisory Committee Bank’s Executive President P K Tikoo, Presidents Mohammad Maqbool Lone and Arun Gandotra were nominated as representatives from the Bank while as KCCI nominated its Senior Vice President Nasir Hamid Khan, Secretary General Farooq Amin and Joint Secretary General Sheikh Gowhar Ali.
Meanwhile, president KCCI said that a proposal with regard to revival of carpet industry had already been submitted to the bank especially with Sumbal/Sonawari area in focus where there was a large number of active weavers.
The Chairman instructed the President Credit to look into the matter. Earlier during deliberations the Chairman also suggested the Chamber to encourage businesses to get them rated from the rating agencies for the larger benefit of their businesses.
On the demand of the chamber, the Chairman also directed for exploring option for creation of a new hassle free customized credit product for Tour & Travel industry and launch the product expeditiously. The meeting concluded by vote of thanks presented by Senior Vice President KCCI Nasir Hamid Khan.
Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company
Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.
In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.
Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.
Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.
After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.
Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.
“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them. We started off as delivery boys and would pick up the products ourselves,” recounts Sami Ullah.
The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.
However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.
The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.
The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order. It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.
At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.
They have five people working for them.
The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.
They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.
The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.
The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.
No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing
Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.
Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.
A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.
In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.
The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.
Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.
Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”
JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt
Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.