Srinagar teacher turns her hobby into profession

Mushtaq Bhat

Srinagr, Nov, 13, : Anjum Yousuf, an M.Sc Electronics graduate and NET qualifier from Srinagar left her teaching job and started her own venture three years back to turn her hobby into a profession.
Her venture, ‘The Farmhouse¬ Srinagar’, deals with desserts, seasonal jams, pure cow ghee, and dairy products. It also deals with waer (a mixture of different spices used in cooking).
“I was part of the teaching field for more than seven years but then I quit my job three years back to start my own venture,” she says.
“My business revolves around natural and organic products keeping in view the adverse effects caused by preservatives, artificial colours and chemicals,” she adds.
She says ‘The Farmhouse¬ Srinagar’ is totally free of additives, artificial colours and harmful chemicals which are used as preservatives in packed food items.
Anjum started with dairy farming in 2012 as a hobby.
“I gradually developed interest in integrated farming which now includes apiculture, organic vegetable cultivation, seasonal jams and dairy products and vermicomposting unit,” she says.
Her venture was initially just about providing her kids with unadulterated pure milk. And then her close friends and relatives requested for the same which gave her a boost to move forward.
She set up a processing unit in Manasbal and within no time she started to receive orders.
The orders are taken online through her Instagram handle (thefarmhouse¬_Srinagar) where she has gained above two thousand followers in a short period of time.
Talking about the response from her customers, she said it has been tremendous.
“Especially after we stepped into the online/social media world, we have been getting orders not only from J&K but outside as well.”
She says her greatest achievement is customers reordering the products. Among the products she prepares, desserts like Kesar Rasmalai and Gulab Jamun are famous.
Anjum believes the biggest difficulty nowadays is the unavailability of local manpower.
“Very few people are willing to work in the dairy sector. Also, transportation of the milk from the farm to the city without any preservatives is also a challenge,” she says.
Her family has extended all possible support to her, she says, adding, “My family has been very supportive especially my mother who believed in me and helped me uncap my potential.” she says.
Talking about her challenges in the business sector as a woman, Anjum says she believes that gender has no role in defining a person’s capability.
“Everyone faces challenges when they start a new venture. Kashmir has tremendous resources available and enough talent too to make the most out of them. The youth needs to explore options other than the conventional ones,” she says.
Anjum believes that passion and confidence can take a person out of any difficulty.
“Stop procrastinating and start with whatever is available. Start with smaller investments if money is a constraint. Have a clear mission and be confident about your passion because you will be facing hurdles, uncertainties, and failures along the way.
“Your belief in what you are doing is imperative to your success and you should never give up. Remember that if things are not the way you would have wanted them to be- the Almighty has better plans for you,” she adds.
This journalist can be reached at
mushtaq971@gmail.com
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