I was always someone who could never quite sit still, wanting to explore and have my adventures. Because of this peculiar nature, my parents could never force me to complete my schooling. My father, realizing that his son’s future lay elsewhere rather than in the academic world, encouraged me to join the workforce.
At the age of 18, I started roaming around various companies with the hope of getting a job. It was hard to find decent-paying employment as owners weren’t interested in hiring someone without prior experience. Eventually, the supervisor of a light engineering workshop took pity and hired me on a part-time basis. Under his tutelage and training, I swiftly improved and soon became an expert in assembling machinery.
Even though I enjoyed working in the factory, I was still dissatisfied and wanted more out of life. This time as well, my father was the one who knew just what I should do. He strongly encouraged me to start my workshop and promised to support me at every step.
Initially, I was hesitant to take this risk with our limited finances. But due to my family’s firm insistence, I couldn’t say no. And after months of saving and collecting funds from friends and family, I finally established Firoj Steel And Rose Metal in 1990.
Despite the bumpy start, the workshop soon gained popularity among local customers. As business boomed and money poured in, it was the first time I felt content with my life.
Currently, my workshop employs seven workers and mainly focuses on producing agricultural machines. Our most popular products are rice sifting and cleaning machines which are in great demand among farmers and agro-businesses. But we manufacture other items too, like steel trunks and wooden furniture items. So far, I have managed to expand the business to various regions of Bangladesh like Bogura, Sirajgonj, and Syedpur. However, to even think of exporting abroad, the company needs a large influx of capital which is impossible to provide without hefty loans.
The covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly had shaken economies across the globe. And our small business was no exception to its malignant effects. For a long time, we had to deal with severe cash issues due to declining orders and customers being unable to pay on time. Our situation got exacerbated by rising raw materials prices and rent expenses. With all these issues, it is a miracle that we even survived. And for that, I am grateful to the Almighty because I want my children to inherit this workshop and continue it as a family heritage.
I got acquainted with LightCastle Partners when they visited my Rangpur workshop and offered to provide marketing and business development support. Overall, I am eager to collaborate with them and the B-SkillFUL initiative as I believe it will enable me to improve my business to new heights. I want Firoj Steel And Rose Metal to grow because it came about due to great effort from my entire family, especially my late father.