Md. Yeasin Gazi, Khulna
Choice Shoes

My father was a farmer before I was born. However, I never could find the connection with agriculture. That led me to explore something different. Something that would push me to move forward. So, the local Bazar became the inspiration for finding a business that would be perfect for me. I observed that the shoe sellers were discourteous and charged too much for the products. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do for a living.

So I took it upon myself to bring change to the ongoing problem. As I was still a university student, I had to take a loan to finance my business. With that loan and the blessings of my parents, I started “Choice Shoes” in 2018. My start was a bit rough because there was none to guide me. I learned everything by trial and error. Slowly, my sales were increasing, and I began to garner traction.

In 2019, I was off to a good start. I then knew how to run a business from experience. So, my sales started to soar, and I was selling shoes worth BDT. 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 a month. The customers were becoming loyal to me because I prioritized customer satisfaction and fair price over everything. I never thought that my business would turn profitable so soon. While selling shoes was never my dream or ambition from the start, I found this entrepreneurial journey quite fun. 

But my happiness quickly turned into a tragedy when my father became terminally ill. There was no sign of improvement, and his condition started to deteriorate gradually. At the end of that year, he passed away. I was deeply traumatized by his sudden demise. Being the eldest son of the family, I had to take responsibility for my family. So, leaving my studies unfinished, I devoted all my time and effort to the shoe business. I gradually developed my connections with suppliers to offer a more competitive price for my customers. However, it was naive to think that everything would work just the way I wanted.

From 2020 to mid-2021, nothing was going according to my plans because of the ongoing pandemic. Very few people could make a living in this dire situation. It was impossible for a small business or enterprise to make a profit. Surviving through such circumstances was soul-crushing. Still, there was no way I could give up after coming such a long way with my business. Despite all the restrictions and limitations, I sold my products to keep my business alive.

The pandemic gave me the time to learn more about business operations through the internet. I am also quite active in attending business seminars and training programs. After getting to know about Oxfam and LightCastle Partners about their work with young entrepreneurs, I participated in multiple events to learn about the business landscape. Now, I plan to expand my business once I have enough capital. Hopefully, I will rise to a new height soon enough.

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