Meet The Self-Funded E-commerce Startups: Kashmiri Bazaar
Kashmir- a heaven on the planet Earth reminds us of the real meaning of beauty at its best. A land sculpted as a masterpiece by the Gods themselves, sits at the bejewelled crown of our nation. From the serenity of Srinagar, the exquisite nature of Leh, to the wild tundra of Gulmarg, all these places are a few of the many jewels embedded in the majestic crown of Kashmir. The generosity of Kashmir is shared by Pakistan and China, but India is blessed with the most of it.
Along with the unquantifiable beauty of the paradise (as described by the Mughals), Kashmir is also blessed with an immense level of cultural wealth. The sad part is that the unfathomed nature of Kashmir takes away the recognition it deserves.
Kashmiri metal sculptures and paintings often reach the West with salvaged monastic holdings from Tibet, and are assumed to be Tibetan. Despite that the truth remains unspoken that Kashmir possesses some of the best wood carvers, metal sculptors and artisans who are the real producers of the same and their work speaks for itself!
The best quality of apples in the world, Pashmina and Shahtoosh shawls which are very smooth and of high quality that it passes through a ring. Some of the most elegant wood carvings, sculptures and hand woven carpets have become an antiquity in some households as well as in the major export houses and handicraft emporiums, which are renowned across the globe.
Kashmir valley has experienced a stern economic collapse since the beginning of the 1990s. Since then, the Valley has witnessed a terrible economic bloodbath, with private business activities either perishing altogether or accruing huge losses. While some degree of economic restoration was witnessed towards the mid 2000s, the valley got caught in another economic downfall in late 2000s. Brain drain has become a new normal in Kashmir now. Most local businesses have lost viability or have moved to jobs outside the valley.
The floods of 2014 left Kashmir reeling from the shock. Leaving widespread destruction in its wake, the floods washed away most of the raw materials and damaged machinery on which the artisans used to earn their livelihood.
Out of all the turns and turmoil faced by the people of Kashmir one such man Vivek Gurkha, raised from a very basic household is now looking after a trinity of E-commerce websites focused on providing India with the most fresh and authentic Kashmiri Products. When he used to visit his hometown, people used to often request him for Kashmiri products. Putting the thought into action he created 3 unique online stores to deliver the freshest of Kashmiri authenticities all over the subcontinent.
Started in 2014, by Vivek Gurkha and his father Raj Kumar Gurkha, Kashmiri Bazaar started with a goal and Vision, “We want the Art of Kashmir to reborn and give it an online platform so that it can reach to every part of this world”
Inspired by his Grandfather Late Shri Hirday Nath Gurkha, Vivek follows the principles of Willpower, Confidence, and determination. He raised this self-funded project from nothingness, only with the help of his knowledge of modern day technology and now it stands at the apex of authentic Kashmiri product. From dry fruits to textiles, you get the freshest and the best.
Vivek has set a benchmark for all the upcoming start-ups that no matter how hard your situations and the conditions may be , “Stand up, Be Bold, Be Strong. Take the whole responsibility on your shoulders and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succour you want is within yourself”
We asked Vivek Few Questions.
Please provide a brief overview of your product / service?
Started in 2014, Kashmiri Bazaar was formed with a goal and vision to give re-birth to ‘The Art of Kashmir’ and give it an online platform so that it can reach to every part of this world. We are selling Kashmiri products online through our e-commerce website www.KashmiriBazaar.in www.KashmiriSpices.com and www.KashmiriMarket.com
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Honestly, it was not a planned business. It just started while having a chit-chat with my cousin brother. Basically, whenever I used to visit my hometown (Jammu & Kashmir) many of my friends requested me to get Kashmiri dry fruits, saffron and spices from there. The same happened on that day as well and my cousin brother asked me “Why don’t you start this business and start selling Kashmiri Products”. I took it seriously and today we are here!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Setting up a start-up is always a challenge and that too when you start it from the state where you don’t get all the facilities. Kashmiri Bazaar : Arranging Kashmiri products from Kashmir and tie-up with logistics company were the basic challenges which we faced initially.
What is your life mantra?
Life is a chance – live it and make the most out of it. Fulfil all your dreams, else when you will die you will regret about wasting your life.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Kashmiri Bazaar is self-funded. I have invested in it from my own saving and till now we did not look for any investment.
How did you overcome initial mindset challenges?
Through motivation. I was motivated by many, especially by my Guru, my Grandfather Late Shri Hirday Nath Gurkha.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
If you have all these no ones can stop you from achieving your goal.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We are totally dependent on technology. As a startup and not funded company, we use many open-source platforms to promote our business. The more we use technology, the more business we get!
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I am a technology lover and a huge fan of it. I keep following new technology which can help me to grow my business. I spend most of my time in doing online research and implement that in my business.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success: Be Self-Dependent
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid: Never be depended on anyone. If you have a plan, execute it yourself and don’t wait for others to do it for you.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now: Always be Self-Dependent and never be dependent on others. If you do, you will fail.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We are going to launch products on our own brand name and planning to open Kashmiri Bazaar retail outlets soon.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
3) Northeast India.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Enter into e-commerce business from the starting!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Stand up, Be Bold, Be Strong. Take the whole responsibility on your shoulders and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succor you want is within yourself.