Exclusive: Komal Nasir and her Entrepreneurial Journey
Like most women, Komal has her hands full being a mommy of four with a running business that is flourishing, she has the distinction of leading a group by the name of Sirajia Travels for Hajj and Umrah every year. Her recent exhibition and showcase of bespoke shawls, scarves and stoles has firmly placed her within a niche circle of designers doing tremendous work in reviving our rich heritage and dying crafts. Her work is a labour of love which is a testimony to her sheer mastery over design aesthetics. “I think that the biggest challenge is to maintain the balance and a will to go forward,” she said while talking to Brides & You. Here is a heart to heart with the designer cum business entrepreneur who shares her experiences and an insider’s view of managing a business and taking care of her family.
Q. How do you define the term ‘entrepreneur’ in relevance to your achievements?
A. Many women give up on their dreams and forget about attaining goals when they get married but we have only one life to make an impression and do something that our heart desires and I want to make the most of it. I do not want to waste a single day. I believe that we are in this world for a purpose which is to help others. I do not only work for my satisfaction but another thing that keeps me going is the idea that my work will be providing employment to so many people. This is enough to make me achieve my goals.
Q. What made you form the Hajj group?
A. Basically after marriage I used to perform Hajj every year with my family. The idea of starting a Hajj group crossed our minds during our trip to Makkah when we realized that there was no proper guidance for the pilgrims coming from Pakistan and the fact that they were not being accommodated properly, so we decided to start our very own group and to facilitate them with personalised services. Over the years it has found a strong base and is considered to be one of the most renowned groups.
Q. Tell us of your inspiration and how did it help you in your work?
A. My inspiration has always been my mom. She was the definition of a perfect human being. Her hard work and dedication towards her work and her family motivated me to follow in her footsteps. She was the sort of a person who never wasted a single day of her life and I just hope to become half the person she was.
Q. You have been designing clothes for a long time. When did the idea begin to take its roots in you?
A. This has been my passion since my early teens. I always used to design clothes for my family and close friends and I was the sort who would spend every single penny on clothes. Later on after my marriage, I started my own boutique and at that time there were hardly any designers. It was going pretty good but then I had to leave my work due to family commitments and now I am rediscovering this talent and starting it again.
Q. What are things that are missing from Pakistan’s entrepreneurial scene?
A. The things that are missing are: Honesty and originality, a lot of even our top designers are involved in plagiarism and most importantly there is no love for our religion and culture.
Q. How far have you come in this field?
A. It has been a rollercoaster ride for me. There were ups and downs and at times it gets scary when something goes wrong but at the end of the day, it is always worth the effort which counts.
Q. Who is your business mentor and why?
A. Definitely my husband. His hard work and dedication to his work has made him reach at the top of his profession in hair transplant and cosmetic surgery in Pakistan.
Q. If you were not doing this what would you be doing and why?
A. If I was not doing this, I would have probably opened up a restaurant because of my passion for cooking.
Q. In a nutshell how do you nurture your spirit?
A. My absolute faith in God and praying five times a day.
Q. How do you keep a balance between work and family?
A. You would not want to know this. I compromise on my sleep, I wake up and sleep late and work during the early and late hours while during the day I make sure I am there for my four little minions.
Q. What are three must do items on your life’s list?
A. Go on a world tour with my kids. Perform hajj with my father and my siblings. Have a ‘chocolate room’ in my house (the keys would be with me at all times!).