Nusrat Jahan Ara is from Dadoora Village in Kashmir’s Pulwama district of India. She is a graduate of Computer Studies who had always wanted to run a business of her own. She was dissatisfied with her job and decided to quit.
This decision was a tasking one because every woman in India finds it prestigious to be referred to as a government worker as a result of its conveniences and good pay. But Nusrat had an attraction for agricultural business; she knew that her potentials would flourish within the fields.
As she thought of how to start up her own business and just then observed that the valley where she lived was naturally endowed with beautiful flowers. But amazingly there were no freshly cut flower stores in the valley. It immediately dawned on Nusrat that she could fill in that blank space. She decided to start up a flower cottage.
She approached the government for help to boost the commercial floriculture business but they refused to help her. With no aid or support, she plunged her entire savings into a little enterprise located in the backyard of her ancestral home where she grew and sold beautiful flowers. She later got supports from Jammu and Kashmir bank where she got an annual flower arrangement contract for all their functions.
Like a flash of light, her fame spread within the valley and she became the first female entrepreneur in the floriculture sector of the Valley. Her business grew from a backyard garden.
In 2004, she opened a flower showroom called ‘Petals n Ferns’ and then started her own flower plantation in Beerwah area.
Nusrat didn’t stop there; she soon discovered that the Valley also had natural herbs and plants which are known to brew the recipes for beauty products. She thought about what she could do with the mystery that no one in the valley knew about except herself. She decided to set up a company that will cultivate this natural produce and materialize them into organic edibles and beauty products.
She came up with her brand “Kashmir Essences”. A brand that is into the business of supplying fruits, herbs and essential oils to manufacturing companies who process these ingredients.
Currently, she has an in-house team of scientists who are producing locally for Kashmir essence. She also looks forward to modernizing her farms, so that they can be recognized on the global flower production map.
Nusrat’s courage and success has inspired a lot of women in India.