Srinagar: Sheikh Asif, 26, was forced to leave school when he was in Class VIII due to financial constraints.
His perseverance and never-say-die attitude always kept him in high spirits. Hailing from Batamaloo, Asif did odd jobs to sustain, but Information Technology (IT) always remained his first love.
His passion helped him get several IT related jobs despite having no degree. Now, Asif owns a web-designing company based in Manchester, UK and is also about to publish a book on digitization in business.
“In 2016, I got a job with Thames Infotech – a company based in the UK. Initially, I was working through a virtual office from here but later I was called to the UK. However, the company got shut. Later, I met one person working for Google who helped me to set up my own company. I managed to get a godown type shop from where we started working and in the meantime, I also bought Thames Infotech from the previous owner. Now, our company has 25 employees in the UK and seven here in Srinagar. These days we are working from home due to the lockdown. Several groups including Zabka London – the Polish food chain are our clients,” Asif told The Kashmir Monitor.
After dropping out of school in eight standard, he worked in a tour and travel company, but he was always interested in IT.
“I worked for local IT companies later and managed to get a job in TataSky through OLX. When I went for an interview, I told them I have no degree but I can do tally work. They hired me as an accountant and after seeing my efficiency, I was also given other computer related works like sales etc,” said Asif.
“Later, nobody asked for a degree and others hired me based on my experience. I also worked for Vodafone in Srinagar till 2014 before joining the UK based company as a graphic designer,” he added.
Asif, who is presently working from home in Srinagar, said interest and a desire to learn was more important than degrees and he was now giving free IT coaching to students in the Valley.
“I have also started giving free IT coaching to the youth in Kashmir. I have started online digital marketing classes to create IT awareness after I saw institutes fleecing students in the name of IT. They only take money but don’t teach much and have outdated syllabi. I learnt mostly on my own because of my interest and dedication. There is a lot of scope in IT and the youth only need guidance. I especially give free training to dropouts like me so that they too can excel in IT where skills are more important,” he said.
Asif said his book ‘Digitization in Business’ would get published soon and he intended to write more books on the subject.