Women empowerment is a process of giving women the ability to live a respected life in society. It involves decision-making, education, economic upliftment, and many more. Syeda Mohsin Taj is one such ambitious woman who, with her innovative skills, initiated and established S H Fashion Design Institute.
Syeda Mohsin Taj’s decade of rigorous hard work has helped women from the vulnerable section gain employment and thus enhanced the process of uplifting them. She has travelled around the country, giving sewing and tailoring training to women in remote areas.
Taj has taken up big challenges and, with innovative and ever learning abilities, overcame the hurdles quite efficiently. She is a blessing to the rural fashion industry and has made the workplace accessible to many women.
Let’s see what Syeda Mohsin Taj has to say about the fashion industry, her institute, and the journey so far.
What was your inspiration behind venturing into the respective industry?
I worked for Usha International Ltd as a sewing school inspector for eight years. For that job, I had to travel all over Karnataka to appoint schools for Usha Company, including Army, Navy, and Air force training centres. I conducted teachers’ training programs along with Usha courses. And I issued certificates to candidates after completion of their course. I had to resign, so I thought of starting my skill training institute after that.
Please give a brief description of your institute.
S H Fashion Design institute is based in Bangalore and is one of the central businesses in the field of fashion designing. It is widely famous as a fashion design institute that provides several courses in the fashion arena. Some of the distinct courses are embroidery classes, hobby classes, and more.
There are various diploma courses conducted that vary from six months to one year. Apart from the diploma, there are crash courses like fabric painting, machine embroidery, computerised machine embroidery, tailoring, and many more.
Additionally, we conduct government-sponsored training programs for underprivileged women to train them and make them self-reliant. Besides this, we also conduct Canara Bank training and MSME training to provide a steady hand to women in this business.
Can you describe SH Fashion Designs Institutes’ journey so far?
I started the institute in January 2012. The journey from being an employee to an entrepreneur has been very challenging on various fronts. Initially, I faced a lot of financial crunches; hence I had to opt for taking loans. Even after the loan was granted, I had to take financial assistance from external sources.
To clear the loan and expand the business, I travelled to Dodbalapur to conduct training sessions for women in Mahila Samaj.
Formerly known as Alhamudullia, which is now SHFDI, will complete a decade of a journey in the upcoming year. Besides this, my journey has always been about travelling. I have travelled to remote villages like Raichur, Dharwad, Bellary, Kolar, Gulbarga and have conducted residential training programs as well.
What were the initial challenges you faced while venturing into the respective industry?
A venture is nothing without challenges. To achieve something, you must face hurdles and make your way through them. My biggest challenge has always been financial difficulties. From applying for loans to clearing them, I have had to do various parallel things. I had to take up travelling and contract training from MSMEs and NGOs. These parallel training sessions helped me get contracts and clear my loans.
What professional values and strengths do you think your clients value in you and SH Fashion the most?
I have done my professional training from different institutes, because of which I am a Certified Trainer now. One of my biggest strengths is that I can conduct skill training within a short notice period at any given time.
Further, my talent lies in practising an innovative way of thinking that has always been beneficial to the client and the company. Therefore, I am thinking of starting business counselling for women.
As an experienced professional, what would you like to advise the budding aspirants?
The field of designing is not looked at as something which will give you stable earnings and a promising future job. But that is not the case; it is so fast expanding and growing that it generates huge revenues.
I would like to tell the budding aspirants to select and opt for professions they enjoy doing instead of looking around for what their relatives and parents believe in.
How do you envision S H Fashion Design institute operations eventually, concerning the changing scenario of your niche, post-pandemic?
Talking about the pandemic, it has been the protocol of the entire world. It did not spare any industry, nor was there any escape from it. From the beginning, we have faced many challenges; the lockdown was one among them. I am glad that close to two years have passed, and finally, we are out of it currently.
In the post-pandemic era, bringing the company back on the wheels was a major challenge. For doing the same, we had to be innovative as we all know that there is no end to innovative ideas. We must be very creative and keep experimenting as the market requires new things regularly.
Besides innovation comes learning. The pandemic gave me the time and space required to learn new things and explore my creativity. It also gave me an opportunity to create new patterns of teaching that are easy to understand for the public.