Pune: It is quite common to hear soul-stirring tales of struggling young men turning into mega achievers, but the story of Jammu and Kashmir youngster Adnan Bhatt appears slightly exceptional, as he has managed to make it big in the corporate world despite coming from humble roots.
With the number of registered unemployed youth crossing the six-lakh mark, Jammu and Kashmir has the highest unemployment rate of 5.3 percent in comparison to its four neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana.
But Bhatt, with the help of the 'Udaan Employment Scheme' in association with Bajaj Allianz, has managed to stand out as a beacon of hope for the youth of the valley, who are struggling for opportunities and recognition.
In terms of economic activity in the state, the Fifth Economic Census conducted in 2005 indicates that there are 3.24 lakh establishments in the state presently engaged in different economic activities.
As per a current estimate, the state needs at least five times that number of establishments just to provide a bare minimum level of employment. Experts say it is simply a challenge in present time and hence the youth need to explore job opportunities in other parts of India as well.
Just like many other young men in Kashmir, who manage to get an MBA degree but fail to secure a job nonetheless, Bhatt, who earned an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University in Rajouri, was staring at a dead end in his career.
Speaking to ANI here, Bhatt admitted that he had been trying for long to get out of Kashmir to look for jobs because the exposure that the candidates got outside the valley was tremendous.
"I believe that at the point of time, in the month of May 2013, I came across an advertisement in the Greater Kashmir newspaper and it was about Udaan and its association with Bajaj Allianz. So, I went for the interview and was fortunately selected," he said.
Beginning his career as an executive trainee, Bhatt slowly made his way up the coveted corporate ladder and ended up working in five different departments in a span of three years.
"I was selected as an executive trainee and it was a great achievement for me because it was an elite programme. Now, it has been three years and I'm proud to be a part of its family. My best achievement till date was when I was selected in the "Young Leaders Programme", where the candidates, who were selected from across the country, were personally trained by our MD," Bhatt added.
Some of his other achievements also include being selected as the brand ambassador of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and being a part of an elite advisory panel involved in new product development initiatives.
Asserting that there is tremendous talent in Kashmir, Bhatt called on the youth of the valley to focus and explore platforms where they can showcase their skills.
"I was a typical middle class guy, who just finished his MBA just like any other guy. I never imagined that I will reach this point in my life. My message to students in Kashmir is that all they need is a platform, which can give wings to their talent and I think Udaan can help them with that. They need to explore. If they have talent, then companies have a job," he added.
Bhatt, who is currently a project lead in 'Business on Mobile' which falls directly under the mentorship of the Head Office in Pune, said that even though life has been like a 'boxing match' where he had to pick himself up after every punch thrown at him, it's been an 'epic' journey for him.
"Khud ti takdeer badalni hai tumhe. Kitno ko raaste pe laana hai tumhe. Apni haatho ki lakeero ko mat dekho. In lakeero se aage jaan hai tumhe," Bhatt quoted in an attempt to bolster the confidence of several aspiring youth in the valley.