Easing internet restrictions in Kashmir enable women fashion entrepreneurs to grow their businesses
Easing internet restrictions in Kashmir have enabled online businesses to operate and expand their reach. Now an array of women-run fashion brands are beginning to retail their wares online and expand their businesses while reaching new customers.
4G mobile data services were reinstated in Kashmir in February 2021 following heavy restrictions and communications blackouts after the government withdrew Kashmir’s autonomous status in 2019. The restrictions were designed to quell unrest but also meant that e-commerce entrepreneurs in the region could not run their businesses. With a return to a more stable internet connection, business opportunities abound.
“The internet means life to me,” said 27 year-old fashion entrepreneur Saira Tramboo, Eco Business reported. “It has not only helped me become independent and earn a good amount of money, but it also helped me create job opportunities for others.”
Tramboo runs online store Changing Seasons by Saira through Instagram where she retails using Whatsapp messaging, according to the brand’s Instagram page. The brand specialises in kurtas in rich velvets with metallic embellishments and interprets Kashmiri aesthetics for the modern woman. Tramboo launched her online store last year when the internet was reinstated in the region and now employs three women to work on processing orders to keep up with volume.
Although issues such as patchy internet service still exist in the Himalayan region, a strong sense of local identity and subsequent desire to support local businesses is good news for entrepreneurs. As e-commerce enables women to work from home, it is also a catalyst for more women being able to earn their own money.
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