It’s been 41 years since we started our family business, and I am the second generation in this business after my father. Currently, I look after all the company’s administration, and my father looks after the accounts. Primarily I studied till grade 10 and then worked under others’ supervision. Earlier I used to work as a salesman at a stationary store. After gaining some experience I started looking after our family business full-fledgedly. Now I have 7 people working under me, in my furniture store. And I am glad to say that most of them are highly experienced workers who have been involved in this field for 20-30 years. They can easily get a job elsewhere because of their skills and experience. Yet they have been providing their loyal services to us for a very long time.
Our reach is nationwide because of the quality of our products. Our products are not just limited to furniture. We have a wide range of product line which usually includes steel, Malaysian Oak wood, and Melamine board. Our main goal is to work with these raw materials and turn them into high-quality and sustainable products for customers. Due to the recent price hike, the price of our raw materials has significantly increased, This has resulted in fewer orders from clients. As such, it is going to take me some time to recover from the losses caused by the pandemic and the recession followed by it. But I am still trying my best and I am well aware that it will not be an easy journey.
During Covid, I had to pay non-discounted store rent, bank loans, and labour fees as before, regardless of no active cash flow in the business. People were kind enough to delay payments considering the economic crisis everywhere but had to make total payments at the end of the day. This has definitely taken a heavy toll on most entrepreneurs and my story is no different.
You might wonder how we are recovering from losses and sustaining our current business days. The reason is that we don’t take any orders in credit. We take payments only in cash keeping no amount due. However, I am still facing hurdles in getting loans from banks. Because they want to see if my business has steady profit margins or not. Unfortunately, I cannot prove it to them due to past crises. But in the coming days, I want to break out of this cycle and gain the trust of investors and banks by making consistent profits. My goal is to maintain the standard for my clients to keep them returning every time. Besides, I want to expand my business depending on the market demand and strategize accordingly.
My search for better opportunities led me to find out about LightCastle Partners and the B-SkillFUL program. I have collaborated with them to gain business development support and I am very hopeful about this.
Lastly, for anyone planning to be involved in the furniture industry, I would recommend setting off with hard work, dedication, and stable financial ability to take business liability and invest accordingly to beat any risks. If you put in the hours and are consistent in your work, success is yours for sure.