Sheikh Asif: a successful businessman

Despite dropping out of school and seeing various setbacks at home, Sheikh Asif did not give up on his circumstances, but instead moved forward in life with unwavering determination and continued to seek ways to succeed.

Hailing from Baranpathar, Batmaloo area of ​​Srinagar, he started his first job with a meager salary of Rs. 1500 and with his hard work and dedication, today he is CEO and Founder of UK based Thames Infotech company with a valuation of Rs. 5 crores.

Asif, 28, is now a digital marketer, entrepreneur, teacher, and author. He also teaches free classes to students from all over the world.

“I am the founder, CEO of Thames Infotech, which is worth Rs. Rs 5 crore, and I am also CEO and co-founder of Saonmenu with co-founder Shama Kausar,” he states.

For Asif, the struggle began in 2000 when things abruptly changed as soon as her father Ghulam Rasool, a J&K police officer, fell ill. His illness remains a mystery to them, so they had consulted many well-known and specialized doctors in the valley as well as various healers.

Despite many attempts, the disease could not be diagnosed, forcing them to bear the costs of its treatment, ultimately leading to financial ruin.

“To treat my father, my mother sold most of the assets in the house in those days. Even she was forced to provide a loan for her treatment, ”she assures.

Recalling an incident, Asif says she can’t forget that day when she was studying in the 8th grade, the most crucial moment for her family, when she didn’t have money to buy a pen to write for final exams.

“After realizing that I was disturbed, my mother checked my school bag, a routine for her to see if I had all the necessary items before exams. But to her complete surprise she found out that she didn’t have a pen to write on exams,” she said, adding, “My mother sold copperware to buy me pens and other stationery.”

Emotionally moved by this incident realizing that her mother would repeat this again and continue to sell household products to meet the needs of her children, Asif says that it was then that she decided to leave school for good and start working to support her family. .

“I went against my mother’s wishes, as she wanted me to become a doctor like other parents in the valley, I quit my studies to support my family in financial bankruptcy,” he said, adding, “I started looking for work. at the age of 15, and I remember it was 2008.”

He says that after passing the 8th class exam, he started working at a local tour and travel agency in his hometown with a meager salary of Rs 1,500.

After two months, Asif left that job after having a heated argument with his colleague, who turned out to be well-qualified but arrogant, who often made fun of him and disrespected him for not having much of an educational background, a suitable job as computer operator.

He says that he was very interested in learning computers that his father bought for him, for which he had lent the money from the bank. He developed an interest in computers after seeing a Bill Gates interview on the BBC. Bill Gates the inspiration for him.

After quitting her job, she started working at a local store where she worked for a period of four years, from 2010 to 2014, while further honing her skills. She there she learned all the basics, including graphic design, counting, web design, etc.

Later, he left that job and started his small business with the money he saved during that period.

Since it was not much for him, the city was invaded by the floods of 2014, forcing Asif to spend his savings to meet the basic requirements, leaving him once again with empty pockets.

“The 2014 deluge caused serious damage to our house and we had been repairing or renovating it on and off for four years in a row after the floods, we were finally forced to sell the house in 2018,” he said.

Realizing that setbacks were part of his destiny, which he had been experiencing for so long since childhood, he then started looking for work again. “Whatever he had been planning seemed to me to have gotten rid of any adverse event or calamity,” she says.

He says that in April 2015 he kept looking for a job at OLX, where luckily he found one, at a company called Trimax Printing and Graphics, owned by Tajindar Singh, who had been working for a UK-based company in Hayes, Harlington, UK. United. a kind of General Store, where according to him nobody did graphic design at that time.

“While working virtually for Trimax Printings and Graphic, shortly after a few months, the Hizb commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, was assassinated, leading to the closure of the valley for about three months,” he says.

He says that in the meantime, Tajindar Singh had gone to Delhi as he kept trying to reach him by phone for about a week through a landline, but to no avail.

“Finally, after repeated attempts, I managed to contact him, after which he took me to Delhi, where our company was not showing any positive results. In fact, the business was running a loss at the time due to declining sales or orders.”

He says that as the business showed growth, seeing his talent and passion, Tajindar offered him a job in Hayes, Harlington, UK, where Tajindar’s brother was already running the business.

“I consulted my mother and signed a contract for 18 months on the condition of a plane ticket back to India,” he says, adding that they earlier changed the name from Trimax Printings & Graphics to Thames Infotech on June 6, 2016. . .

He says he first landed on foreign soil in the first week of November 2016. But the business didn’t show positive results there either, so Tajindar’s brother suggested he find a part-time job.

“While looking for a part-time job, I met a Kashmiri man, Rizwan, originally from the Baramulla district of North Kashmir, who had come to Manchester in 2000 and now owned a Riz Spices restaurant there,” he says, and adds after meeting: Rizwan offered him a space in his restaurant for free to set up a part-time business.

“After two months I met another person, Hamza Saleem, a senior software engineer at Google, who asked me to create a website for his tech company, on the condition that if he’s satisfied, I’ll get paid for it. I accepted,” he says. , adding that after seeing his website, he offered her a trade deal for 50 percent of the shares.

Meanwhile, Asif continued to meet different people, including UK natives and non-natives, and continued to look for opportunities; one of those individuals was Rudrigo Ruiz Karvajal, who used to visit the restaurant frequently.

“Karjaval offered me space in his house, which was in a good place where his father had started his business, which led him to be a successful businessman,” he says.

He says that in that place he received his first order to make a Logo to a company for which he was paid 500 pounds.

“I received my first order to do a logo for which I was paid £500 and was expecting £30-40. Even after being impressed by my work, he gave me another order to do a website for which I was paid £7,000,” he laughs, adding, “I hadn’t thought of that, thinking as if I was dreaming, the person became of the largest food chain in London, called “Zabka”.

Asif acquired Thames Infotech Manchester UK company on June 9, 2016 at a current valuation of Rs 5 crore. And in Kashmir, his office is located at Advent Colony in Nowgam, Srinagar.

He says there are 35 employees working at his company, including 32 in the UK and 3 in Kashmir, who provide services like website design and development, digital marketing, graphic design, personal branding, social media management, etc.

“Our company is one of the leading web design companies and is a winner of the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 award organized by “Three Best Rated UK” and the award for the best IT service provider 2018, 2019 organized by “Top Developers USA,” he says. .

Asif has trained around 1000 students to date, helped 40 companies in the Covid-19 pandemic, and published three books on the business, including “Digitalization in Business”, “Online Business Idea” and “To start a business”.

He says he has bagged “Entrepreneur of the Year 2022” by “The Fireboxx Bangalore” and was “Padma Shri Awardee Nominee 2022” and was honored by Google as “Digital Marketing Expert” in 2018.

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