‘I Would Not Want Anybody Coming In To Go Out With Empty Hands’

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“La interio’s philosophy is simple: fully understand each client’s unique needs and communicate with full transparency to deliver a superior product. The best and unique part is the availability of international furniture brands from Supreme, Durian, Verlingo, Chester Field and the brands from pepper fry, even the customised products of Godfrey and Stanley.”

Syed Bilal  

Abdul Wahab is no dragon. Despite the  fact that the owner of “La interio” is a tough investor, in real life, he is every bit the passionate businessman one might hope and is humble and hard-working Kashmiri. Starting a business requires a certain resourcefulness. Not just to build a world-class structure but also to reach out to investors, partners and customers as well.

A good network is one of the most crucial assets of an effective businessman, however, the ability to leverage that network effectively, can be the difference between a failed and a successful start-up.

Apart from tapping into the college or professional networks to recruit good talent, he will need knowledge about tools and resources needed by the venture. He will need to leverage his contacts to approach business partners and investors for the startup. Arguably, a successful businessman is constantly fire-fighting and improvising and making the best out of every situation and it is what this 27 year old businessman has been doing with great zeal.

Hailing from Srinagar, Wahab did his Master’s in business administration (MBA) from Kashmir University’s prestigious Business School. Post this, he went to Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to do his internship at Emaar Group, known for building sky scrapers, famously the Burj Khalifa. “I love the country. I’m truly passionate about the UAE, but love for the motherland is still there,” he says and adds that he will try to innovate ideas in Kashmir which he learned in a foreign country.

His father  has been in the business of making plastic furniture for the last 15 years, and has passed his beliefs to his young son. “I am blessed to have a family that instilled in me a belief that anything is possible if I wanted to put my mind to it,’’ he said, the day I joined the venture, I realized that I had aptitude for business and now Kashmir is a fantastic place to do it,” he said.

On his venture: La interio:

Wahab joined the business in 2013, and soon laid the foundation of La Interio, becoming the sole owner of the venture. The Venture is known for being unconventional.

“The day I took over, I brought a lot of practical understanding among people and was able to help them understand, in order to really let them know what they want,” he said.

His approach to his business is also unconventional, “I would not want anybody coming in to go out with empty hands and moreover if the service is good, it attracts its customers itself,” he said. “The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are doing that, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.” said a customer who had come to buy some furniture for his newly constructed home.  

“The model for the outlet was founded on trying to answer a market need as opposed to how this business had traditionally been established.” He added that he was able to create a business model that was not only unique, but also able to be profitable and would make a difference in the business of the clients they service.

On work and life balance:

Wahab has been running this venture for five years now, and has learned through experience. He attributes the success of his business to his family. “I really believe it takes a village to raise a child, in the same way it takes a family working together to create a business opportunity, I realise this as I’m getting older. The psychological pressure of running this business was growing and during the 2016 unrest as capital investment was huge and income was negligible.

Imagine you are investing 1 to 1.50 lakh a month as part of employee salary knowing the fact, nothing is going to come back in return and same continues for 5 to 6 months. But enthusiasm and ability to be passionate and purposeful still remained alive in me. I’m letting people do what they do really well. You have to surround yourself with people that are more talented than you are recognising where your talents lie,” said Wahab.

La interio’s philosophy is simple: fully understand each client’s unique needs and communicate with full transparency to deliver a superior product. The best and unique part is the availability of international furniture brands from Supreme, Durian, Verlingo, Chester Field and the brands from pepper fry, even the customised products of Godfrey and Stanley.

Apart from commercial venture La Interio is also focusing on transparency and communication. “It has been exciting to be a part of the exceptional extra ordinary growth. I think the competitive spirit of our team motivates us to go the extra mile for our clients. I belong to a financially humble background. I take the success of every project personal,” says Waseem who works here as a fielder worker and clerk from the last seven months.

Businesses require unyielding and strong-willed leadership. They also need meticulous planning, and the ability to adapt to constant feedback from the market.

“We work to quote our clients a fair, educated price for their product so they have more transparency over the true costs and can budget appropriately,” Wahab said.

And this young man feels that he will try to give his native people such items for which they were forced to travel outside the state. And he also had big future plans of setting of big unit that will provide employment to youth of Kashmir. ‘’I am already working on several projects and my family has been helping me through thick and thin.’’

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