Press Trust of india

Woman entrepreneur from Bhaderwah out to make a big name for herself

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Jammu: It is a story of a small-town girl striving to make a big name for herself and who may well be on her way to her chosen destination.

Meet 28-year-old Nadiya Farooq, also a mother of a four-year-old girl, belonging to Sartingal village near the picturesque town of Bhaderwah in Doda district.

Still pursuing a graduate degree through a correspondence course from Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi, Nadiya has already been recognised and honoured by Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission as a “successful entrepreneur”.

The recognition was bestowed upon her early this month on International Women’s Day for successfully running a detergent manufacturing unit in her hometown, also known as mini-Kashmir, for the last eight years.

Manufacturing detergent bars, powder and liquid, hand washer gel,  tile cleaner, etc., under brand name Centwin, Nadiya’s unit has been employing over eight people, mostly women, generating a steady, though the meager monthly income of around Rs 30,000, to be distributed among herself and all her partners.

Nadiya might not have amassed fortunes, but she has definitely ventured into something many city youths would be afraid of taking the unusual path she has taken, a JKRLM official said.

Over eight or 10 years ago when she cleared her higher secondary examination, Nadia knew she might not be able to secure any cushy government job and vaguely entertained the idea of doing something on her own.

But she had neither the capital nor the capacity to take any risk-prone big venture.

It was amid this uncertainty that JKRLM, popularly called Umeed here, helped her chart out a definite course for herself.

Approached by JKRLM’s resource persons, she was nudged into attending the rural livelihood mission’s career counselling sessions.

“In absence of doing anything better, I just attended it as everybody else was doing it,” she told PTI.

“But these sessions were a turning point for me. After listening to Umeed’s counsellors, I saw a ray of hope in entrepreneurship,” she said, adding it is the confidence given by Umeed that “I took the plunge into the uncharted waters”.

She said she managed to set up her detergent manufacturing unit at her home itself after getting requisite training and guidance from JKRLM.

Nadiya said her venture is a female enterprise as she does much of the work herself along with some other female workers.

The business is fully owned and run by half-a-dozen woman, she said, adding the work of securing chemicals and raw materials from nearby cities and states is performed by her two male workers.

She said despite the high transportation costs of raw material reaching Bhaderwah, her soaps are good in quality and inexpensive than other brands.

She said her product has not been able to reach far off places as yet and is delivered only in the neighbouring areas as she is not yet able to make more than 6000 detergent bars and a few hundred litres of various liquid detergent materials till now.

“My unit is still in its infancy. We have to achieve a lot in terms of branding, packaging and marketing, which may work wonders for us,” she said.

“It is only by word of mouth and our individual efforts in our town that have produced these results. Adequate mechanization and other logistics can produce totally different results,” she said.

“A lot more needs to be done before making Centwin a household name in J&K and I am striving to live up to my dreams,” she said.

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