For Zubair Bhat, wood is life and life is wood. In 2011 he launched his startup, Butt Joinery Mills for making wooden doors at the Khonmoh Industrial Estate while fighting all odds on a personal level.
“During my growing up days, in 2003, my house was gutted in a massive fire. I was forced to do a clerical job to support my family & that experience also helped me later on in my venture.” But now there is no looking back as he aims to make an entry of his brand “Shoob” into other cities across India this year and to other countries of Asia by 2020.
Bhat’s entrepreneurial journey is full of twists and turns. Soon after securing an admission in civil engineering during 2009, this Khanyar resident made a thoughtful transition as he moved to Bangalore for pursuing BTech in wood technology from Institute of Wood, Science and Technology. Soon after his studies, Bhat’s vast practical knowledge spurred the growth of his firm.
With limited availability of labour and technology, Bhat initially made a few doors while managing to meet his factory expenses and repay bank loans on time. The game changer moment arrived in 2013 when Bhat procured a machine for making modular wooden doors and kitchens, something that the physical carpentry was unable to do.
“Today I am able to produce dozens of modular doors supplying to top most stockists in Kashmir every day but I plan to achieve a target of 100 doors per day. I would need at least 120 employees and new techniques”.
In his endeavor to provide skill-based training among youth, Bhat has approached various Polytechnics in Kashmir and offered them to train students in wood technology at his firm.
Bhat is also venturing into wooden flooring which has become quite popular in Kashmir. To run a profitable venture is a milestone, which Bhat has already achieved.
“I am a relieved man that I have not ended up being a defaulter or a failed unit fortunately. Recently during the unrest when things came to a standstill, I was about to move out to Canada but my passion for Kashmir made me stay back,” says Bhat.
He has braved all the struggles in his life with a smile and never let any constraint stop him. He earned for his home and for his own studies.
“Humiliation inflicted by poverty though made me realize the importance of being humble and modest but could not deter me from realizing life’s goal. Perhaps I had a tryst with destiny and destiny made definite plans for me,”
“Small Scale Industry receives subsidies in transportation, advertising etc but we should not entirely be dependent on these subsidies. A strong passion and a sound business plan are keys to success,”. He signs off saying, “Continuous brooding over fate will not offer you a platter of solutions. Learn to define your own destiny and tread the path accordingly.”