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Florist Rubina Tabasum, a successful business woman and a role model

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Srinagar: 45-year-old Rubina Tabasum of Chadoora Budgam takes pride in being a successful florist, a business woman, an inspiring face and a role model for the educated women of the valley.

Born in a small village of Devbagh in Chadoora tehsil in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, Rubina got married when she had just completed 12th standard.

“I got married at an early age when I was studying in 12th class and there were strong feelings and devotion to do something positive for the future in me which somehow encouraged me to continue my studies before getting married”, Rubina told UNI.

Rubina has a number of state and national awards in her kitty including “Women Entrepreneur of the year” 2007 given on the women’s day, “Champion Farmer”, Best Rose Grower” award, “Innovative Farmer” besides two national awards “Emerging Women Entrepreneur” 2022 and “Innovative Farmer Award 2022 for her outstanding work in the field of floriculture.

Besides, she has several recognition awards and certificates given on the district and state level on time to time for her successful venture.

“I wanted to become a doctor, but it was not the choice of Almighty” Rubina said and added “even my in-laws and husband encouraged me to carry on studies and I did graduation and later completed Masters of Business Administration (MBA) through Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)”.

Narrating her business venture story, Rubina took 10 days commercial floriculture training from Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) in 2006 and in the same year started her venture of cut flowers for which she acquired a land on rent 2km away from her Yari Kalan home and gradually developed it.

She also developed green houses and open cultivation of plants for that she imported high value crop plants from outside the state to prepare the land for floriculture ventures. “EDI was providing knowledge in between and I was implementing them accordingly”, she said.

The devotion and dedication towards the project was so influential that Rubina took one more portion of land in the same vicinity in Chadoora on rent to produce open cultivation of cut flowers and simultaneously raised a nursery for Aromatic crops of lavender and rose.

And, After two years of hectic work when the raw material of plants needed to be spread to a huge land, she again acquired 250 kanals of land on lease in Kariva area of Arigam in Budgam district to explore her business in a big way.

“Presently there are 400-500 kanals of land under cultivation of Lavender and Rose Damascena of which rose water and oil to be produced”, she said and added “that these items are being sold in the market under the banner of Aroma all over in India and in local market here also”.

Rubina has also set up her own Oil Extraction Unit where bottling under the banner of “Aroma pure and Natural” Rose water, Concentrated Lavender oil, Geranium oil, Rosemary oil and other flowers oils are being exported to the markets locally and nationally.

Rubina said that “initially it was tough and especially during the turmoil, and unrest during abrogation of article 370 caused concern for us as there was a huge perishable material of cut flowers with us which needed to be sent to the ready markets for sale”. She said “it was a challenging phase for us and there were ups and downs in the business from 2009 till Covid period and still I think it is challenging for me”.

Rubina who is very much satisfied with her business, said, “Greatness of almighty that I could manage to cope up so far with the business”.

She said that without devotion, dedication and enthusiasm nobody can go for any purpose of job one wants to proceed.

She said “My family and husband always supported me for this venture and even now I am a mother and my children feel proud that their mother is known for her job in the community”.

She said that her flowers are being sold in the Delhi flower mandi market. “Fortunately our product is being highly appreciated and people are waiting for our “United” Products.

Rubina has a future dream…”In future I want to design a business model where Rose water and Aromatic can be used in perfumes and cosmetics which will develop an industry of it and to sell the product in India and international markets”.

She said her projects initially were sponsored by National Horticulture Board (NHB) and with financial assistance provided by Jammu and Kashmir Bank. Government also supported to some extent when it was needed, she added.

About doing justice with her family life Rubina said that “I was myself providing tuition to my children till 11th and 12th class in spite of my engagements with the business and household chores”.

She said that despite running a busy business venture she has played a role of mother and a wife satisfactorily.

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