At times, life feels a bit overwhelming when I look back on 6 years ago. Because that was when my business, Bhai Bhai Furniture took off. But the story of creating a business from scratch was never an easy task. I was pushed into the furniture industry because of our family’s financial liabilities. Even my studies had to be left undone at an early age. However, I don’t have any regrets regarding my studies as I had my family’s responsibility to fulfill.
Well, let’s start from the beginning. My introduction to furniture landscape was due to my job. I used to work at a furniture manufacturing factory where we used to sell ready-made furniture at many business expos and festivals. However, after working for a while, I knew there was something more to achieve in life. With that thought and clarity, I paved my own way with the help of my family. Truth be told, without the support from my family, I would not even think of starting my own business.
After getting to know the ins and outs of furniture making, I established Bhai Bhai Furniture in 2016. From year one, I was getting enough sales to make profits that were beyond what I expected. I was genuinely thrilled to see my business thriving because, at that time, it was the biggest step I had ever taken at being self-independent. Even after 2/3 years, my business was doing well in the local market and I was taking orders from other parts of the country. So, there were 30-50 pieces of furniture sold every month.
Now don’t let my success misguide you to believe that there are no complications in the furniture business. No business is without problems and mine has tons of them. Starting from the operational blunders to financial discrepancies, every aspect of the business fell victim to these types of problems. However, there was no obstacle that I and my workers could not push through. For that, I’m always grateful to them for sticking with me for so long.
Still, there are some hurdles that we just can’t win against. The Covid-19 pandemic was one such hurdle. You can’t even imagine what became of my successful business within months because of the lockdowns. When I started the business, there were only 3 to 4 workers. With time, the number got increased to almost 15-17 workers. However, the pandemic paralyzed every worker’s living. I could not even go to the factory to work. The sheer hopelessness, followed by the uncertainty of our survival, was truly a test of the Almighty.
The financial burden of the yearly loans I take was weighing me down heavily. I was late to pay the installments for a few months but still managed to pay the loan when the situation started to get better. While the condition of the market is getting better day by day, it’s still not enough to recover my losses for the last two years.
Associating myself with the B-SkillFUL project from Swiss Contact & LightCastle Partners allowed me to reevaluate my position in the market. Along with the rigorous training and monitoring, their advice to restructure the operational and financial aspects of my business was quite beneficial. In the future, I obviously want to continue selling furniture in my locality. If we get the accurate price for our furniture, then I’m confident that my business will become a big name one day.