Rifat Masoodi, a woman from Jammu and Kashmir lives like any other woman. But there is one aspect which makes her special.
She runs the only bat manufacturing unit by the name of Masoodi Arts and Sports (MAS) in Srinagar.
It was not an easy journey for her.
Speaking to TopYaps, Rifat said that it would have not been possible without the support of her husband.
Keeping all societal taboos aside, Rifat always thought about success for her business and to make quality sports products.
She said, “Initially I was reluctant to start this business being a housewife. But the support of my husband always inspired me to excel in this business.”
Showkat Masoodi, Rifat’s husband, is a football coach and also runs a football academy. According to him, she faced a lot of problems in the beginning but now she is handling everything herself.
“I was having very busy schedule after my father’s death. I handed over the business to her,” he said.
When Showkat’s father died in 1997, they would have shut the business but they thought about the employees who were working with them from past so many years.
“We both thought about their livelihood. This business was running many families and we can’t shut it in one go. We let this business to run keeping our employees in mind.”
Another aspect which makes their business special is that they sell their bats under their own name, MAS.
Due to the turmoil for the last two decades in the state as well as lack of sports infrastructure in the Valley, many bat manufacturing units were closed and it is only her unit left now.
The couple said that they sell more than 10,000 bats a year. Most of them are sold in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
Rifat wants to sell bats in Kerala and many other cities of India. “ If everything goes well, our bats will reach throughout India and world,” she said.
Mumbai is the biggest market for their bats. Rifat said that in future, their unit will soon start to sell bats to the dealers in Kashmir in order to make a mark in the Valley also.
“Names of brands strikes the youth in Valley. They get bats like Nike, MRF and Greynicols, this is the reason we do not sell bats here. But we are planning to sell bats in Kashmir also.”
One big reason that they want the youth of Kashmir to pick up bats is to prevent them from falling victim to drugs.
“Drugs are destroying our youth. We are trying our best to engage them in sports activities. This is only way to keep away them from bad things.”
Both the couple suggested that youth should keep themselves away from those things which can harm their lives.
Rifat is also concerned about the girls who are talented in sports but are showing reluctance to participate due to many reasons.
“They still believe that sports is made for boys only. They should realize that they are not less than boys in any aspect.”
Rifat’s zeal and success in this business is an inspiration for many in the Valley.