Smelling a business opportunity in Jammu and Kashmir, two Gujarati entrepreneurs have planned to take a 35-member delegation to an event proposed to be held there this month-end, for the first time, on the lines of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit.
Entrepreneurs Jagat Shah, CEO of Cluster Network and Salil Patel, Director of Shree Patel Tradelink Pvt Ltd from Ahmedabad are promoting a B2B meeting titled ‘Gujarat Business Day & Musical Evening in Kashmir’ for Gujarati entrepreneurs on September 27 at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre or SKICC Auditorium in Srinagar. The event is to be hosted by former journalist and BJP’s spokesperson for J&K, Sheikh Khalid Jehangir under the aegis of Jammu & Kashmir Economic Development Council (JKEDC), which he founded six months back along with Shah.
“We are very much inspired by the Gujarat model of development which got a boost with the ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’ a brainchild of the former Gujarat CM and now PM Narendra Modi, which we plan to replicate here in Kashmir as well. This is the first time another state apart from Gujarat is planning such an event. As around 80 per cent of tourists who visit J& K are Gujaratis, we are heavily dependent on the tourist outflow emanating from Gujarat. Hence, it is imperative that we have business ties with Gujarat and other states to boost our local industry. We want more Gujarati businessmen to invest in the tourism sector here which is one of the main industries. For this programme, around 3 CEO’s from Delhi, 3 from Kerala, 5 from Bangalore and 3 from Mumbai have already confirmed their presence. The idea is to hold fruitful deliberations on how Kashmiri business and entrepreneurs can be promoted and economic development can take place,” said Sheikh Khalid Jehangir while speaking to The Indian Express.
A total of 35 businessmen from Gujarat from various sectors like ayurvedic raw materials, walnut furniture and handicraft, Pashmina shawls, textiles, solar power, construction, chemical, tourism, pharmaceutical, steel, cement will meet businessmen from the valley. A musical evening will see performances by noted singer Shibani Kashyap and Nakash Aziz & Band.
“Gujaratis are pivotal to the promotion of tourism in Kashmir. Religious tourism to destinations like Amarnath and Vaishnodevi also sees a surge of Gujarati travellers heading there. Around 1,000 people from various sectors are expected to attend this event,” added Shah.
Incidentally, a group of young Muslim entrepreneurs led by Jehangir had paid a visit to Modi to understand the ‘Gujarat Model’ when he was the Gujarat CM this April.