The ongoing Kashmir unrest has forced several Srinagar-based companies and some national firms based in the summer capital to move their operations outside the Valley at least for now.
To ensure its smooth functioning, Al-Mahmood Builders, a leading real estate firm in Kashmir has moved its base to Delhi from where the company is now servicing its clientele, company’s Managing Director, Sikandar Khurshid, told Kashmir Post over telephone.
“We’ve are committed to our clients to deliver flats by a particular date so we could not afford to sit back. We are now operating from our Chattarpur office in Delhi,” Khurshid said.
According to Khurshid moving out has helped him to complete several held-up business transactions. “We’ve raised finance from banks worth crores of rupees and even sought funds from private financers. We even owe money to landowners in Kashmir whose plots we had purchased,” Khurshid said.
Al-Mahmood Builders has received more than 150 business enquiries ever since it moved to Delhi, he said.
Such is the impact of the unrest that leading multinational insurance firm Bajaj Allianz has moved its Srinagar operations to Jammu partly, confirmed a company official from Pune.
“We collect policies from Srinagar and get them processed from Jammu for the time being. Whenever there is some leniency/relaxation in Kashmir our employees reach out to clients to collect documents. At least 25 per cent of work is being processed from Kashmir with help from Jammu office,” said the official.
With tourism falling to lowest ebb in Kashmir, many tour and travel operators have also shifted outside.
Instead of attracting tourists here, these operators are now promoting Ladakh along with many north Indian destinations such as Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, said a representative from the travel industry.
“These operators want to recover at least their cost of operations. With Diwali holiday season approaching these operators don’t want to lose their hard earned clientele. Tour packages to Ladakh via Manali are also being sold by these tour operators while sitting in Delhi,” he said.
With the communication gag severely affecting the Information Technology sector, several software companies are also looking for alternative locations to do business.
Irked by lack of mobile internet facilities and a complete clampdown, Mehraj Gulzar of IT firm MITS Technology is also mulling of moving out soon.
“Surviving without internet for IT industry even for a day is an impossible task. We have to take this extreme step or else we will lose out on important clients,” Gulzar said.