Gyawun talks to Pashtosh, a startup that likens Kashmiri apparel and jewellery to wearable art.
Tell us about yourself?
I am Furqan Shawl founder of Pashtosh.com . I completed my education from Burn Hall and hold a bachelor of commerce degree in computer science from Hyderabad. I really wanted to take brand “Kashmir” to a new level where in its seen more in fashion industry.
Who is your startup aimed at?
The start-up is aimed to create demand for Kashmiri apparel, homeware and jewellery at global level. We will not only act as a supplier for products, but also support artisans and manufacturers from Kashmir.
How does your startup stand out against its competitors?
Our startup is based on an ideology to cover a demand and supply gap at an international level.
There are many such start-ups already, but not many ship to customers at an international level.
We will provide a real- time dollar quote for products, which customers to get prices in dollars without having to change the currency.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
Having been in the industry of Kashmir textiles and products for quite a some has given us an understanding for the supply of these products—which are wearable art really. There is a need to supply this at an international level through proper channels. Therefore, we created Pashtosh and launched it on 11 March 2016.
We read the market for more than 2 years so we have insights into the market,
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
Our business background is Kashmiri Art and Jewellery and running retail stores in Hyderabad.
How did you initially raise funding for your company?
The funds raised for this startup was from our own source of investments
How long has your startup been in the making, and who is the team behind the business?
The startup took almost 4 months to really come into existence. The team includes developers who are well versed with in all aspects of technology. The developers hail from Srinagar and a few from The UK.
The names of team members are: Sajid Nehvi, Sheikh Danish, Iqbal, Jatinder Singh, Waseem Bashir.
Waseem Bashir is the main developer of it who made the design and code.
What is the best lesson you have learned from starting your business?
Starting a business is not really easy and some kind of resistance will be there. But it has not lowered our ambition to achieve our goals for why we started in the first place.
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a startup owner?
The biggest challenge has been to bring the startup to the public and give an impression about the company. Mainly marketing has been a challenge.
In the next few years, what would you like to achieve with your business?
We are really looking forward to take the products made in Kashmir to the international level. Even though it exists at a niche level, we want to make available through proper channels where people can purchase these amazing pieces, anytime and anywhere.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
A piece of advice would be believe in yourself, even though you may not get quick results. You may have to invest more than you earn at times but believe that in future this effort is going to pay off. Just have self confidence.