All Krish wants for his 21st is his own firm

The Life: Krish Kumar, a recent graduate from a business programme at the University of Wollongong, describes the challenges of launching a new venture in the Emirates for young entrepreneurs.

Krish Kumar, right, the business development manager at Kiran Jewellers in Sharjah.
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With a new school season set to start in the Emirates, The Life is speaking with business school graduates to find out how they are leveraging their learnings in the real world. Krish Kumar, the business development manager at Kiran Jewellers in Sharjah, talks about turning his school-based business plan into reality - and the hurdles he is facing with the labour laws.

You graduated with a bachelor of commerce in marketing from the University of Wollongong this year. What sparked your interest in the programme?

I was always ambitious and wanted to start my own business … because I work in a family business that sells gold jewellery. I feel that when you can start up your own, you're going to work harder than when you'll work for someone else.

But you can't start up your own business yet. Why not?

I was a very young graduate. I graduated when I was 19. Now I'm 20. But the UAE's job market laws do not permit you to work [full-time] unless you're 21. You hurry up with your studies and graduate early in order to give yourself a nice platform, and then you end up with no job. I was really wondering was it a good idea to finish so soon?

You created a business plan that became a finalist in the university's Big Idea competition. How did your concept get started?

I was interested in such entrepreneur competitions to see where do I stand when I'm in university? Once I get out it's going to be a rough world. I came up with the idea of AutoScrap. I prepared a business plan, cash flow statement and forecast income statement with the help of the accounting electives I had taken.

AutoScrap is set to be an online database that links buyers and sellers interested in old car parts. There is a need for this?

Yes. I live in Sharjah, very close to the industrial area. What happens is you get scrap parts for less than one-fourth of what you get from dealers. They are in good condition and sold for pretty high margins. Many garages in Sharjah and Dubai's industrial area do not really use a computer. What they do is just call up the shops in their one-kilometre radius and check if they have the part available. If it's not there, they just buy from the dealer at a much higher price. AutoScrap is the solution we provide them.

When are you going to launch the company?

We are working on it right now. We're trying to get finance for it. I'm going to start it up in Sharjah. Again, age is a problem: if I want to be an investor partner in the business I have to be 21 - that is going to be next August. I want my name on the trade licence.