Mr. Ahmed Dulla is the creator of Dulla Shoes which is an established company manufacturing beautiful leather products. He shared his life experiences with Glocal Khabar about going with the flow in life can also be a success.
Being a mischevious child, he was sent to India for his studies at a very small age. He was a very poor student, failing multiple times in different subjects. Dulla said, “With such failures in my life, I was thinking to become a taxi driver believing it is an easy job to drive a taxi and make a living.” He shared this thought of being a taxi driver with his father and his father did allow. Also, his father mentioned that he would love to see him working hard even as a taxi driver. He was never interested in books and was aimless even after completing his high school.
Dulla was passing his leisure time, but could gradually sense that his friends were getting engaged in preparation classes, settling their future. He shared, “I found myself empty with no aim and one day while opening my computer I had a home page of Google on my screen. While playing with my thoughts with Google on my fingertips, I happened to type a question: What can Humanities Student do in life?. I was amazed by the options google gave me. So I was wondering what am I suppose to do?”
Weird career choice
He was surfing further and one word caught his eyes i.e. ‘Footwear Technology’. He loved playing basketball and always used to stay updated on the fancy and beautiful basketball shoes. The course was impressive for him as it was only 20% of theory and 80% of practical classes. He recalled, “I was shocked as my application was a weak competition for the seat of 60 students from India.”
He shared about the course with his father. As the course was not a familiar course, his father doubted.”Even today many people do not know about this course and my relatives were giving different reactions back then. Many people made fun out of me and my career choice. But, I haven’t heard the word “Mochi” (Cobbler) for last 10 years.” emphasized Dulla.
Even after getting enrolled, he was still having second thoughts during the payment of his tuition fee. He was in a situation where he could neither back out nor be unsure and move forward. He shared, “I was sitting in front of the office before payment and I had only one question in my head: ‘Are you really interested?’ And I got my answer as yes so another question aroused: ‘Then? What are you waiting for?’. I smiled and walked in for the payment.”
Shaping his career
He was not only sitting and designing shoes but repairing, learning about the leather in the market, researching about the different types of leather available, methods of identifying the leathers, machine operations, every detail of shoe construction. He was so into the course that he never bunked his classes. He said, “Those three years of my life were the easiest breath out of my life.”
He was making his own shoes with the materials available at his college and used to sell them to his friends. Personally, it would cost him around Rs.500 and he used to sell it at Rs. 5000. He shared, “I used to work like one man army all by myself. At exactly this point in my life, I was creating my market, hustling around.” After his college life, he applied for an internship in Bombay. He was designing shoes for big brands and was introduced to the brand structure and its success. According to him, the internship was very useful for him as he was able to do basic MS office, paperwork, and every tiny bit of works important for the brand as his base.
Despite every different hustling factors, he was able to submit his first collection concept to his boss. And his boss asked him to throw one of the designs in the dustbin. He added, “I threw it. But before leaving I couldn’t stop myself from clicking on the picture of my hard work. As I was feeling low, I decided to share the picture with no caption on my facebook wall. Within a short time, I was getting a number of orders and queries for the design. I learned a lesson that one man opinion is not the final journey of my life.”
He quit the job and came back to Nepal where no premiere shoe brand was established. He was well familiar with the market in Nepal. He expressed, “Then I created ‘Dulla’. And all I hear now is ‘Dulla Ji’. I can now see how a confused person like me made a career with 10 years of hard work.”
Message to youth
Dulla concluded, “Entrepreneurs are confused with the creativity and passion. Stick to the idea and go for it. Unwanted advises and distraction should never fade a passion.”
By: Sampada Dahal