People around casually refer to me as the jack of all trades. To an outsider, it may sound like I am a dabbler who continually jumps from one opportunity to another. In reality, the name took root because, in my early years, I had worked in several jobs spanning different industries. The choice to do so was born out of necessity rather than just boredom, as I often had to switch careers to earn enough to support my family. Job prospects were slim for someone who had to leave school after class 8, so I had to do what I got at that time.
Those days were undoubtedly challenging, but they gave me a wide range of experience from machine servicing, RMG, and even retail and sales. As I built up my skill set, I gained more confidence in my abilities as an entrepreneur. I knew that I was becoming more capable of operating as an independent business owner. The nail-in-coffin moment for my job life came when I got embroiled in a heated argument with my superiors at a factory. I was appalled at their horrid treatment of the workforce and swiftly resigned with no intention of returning.
Combining my savings and loans, I managed to open Salim Furniture in Nilphamari. It was indeed a gamble, but I was more than willing to wage upon it. We operate from a medium-sized factory in Syedpur, but our household furniture items are sold in several locations around the country by the sheer force of my extensive networks. Initially, I worked on everything from procuring raw materials to ensuring delivery of the final products. Although strenuous, it allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of my business and the Furniture industry. I could utilize this 360-degree knowledge later in my business and figure out new ways to streamline operations and form key relationships.
The experience primarily worked in my favor during the Covid-19 pandemic, when businesses had to think on their feet to survive. Since I already had a proper stream of orders lined up and mainly conducted cash sales, I could avoid the burn of the crisis. However, it did negatively impact the company’s financial health and liquidity, which I hope to recover in the coming years.
When LightCastle Partners first contacted me with offers for business development and marketing support, I knew their aid aligned with my vision for Salim Furniture. In this fast-paced world, we as proprietors must learn how to make our offerings more innovative and conduct our businesses online. And this is what I want the following steps to be for Salim Furniture. So far, my experience with both LightCastle and the B-SkillFUL training programs has been good, and I have seen positive returns regarding improved margins and efficiency. Hopefully, soon I will be able to establish my firm as one of the top-performing furniture manufacturers in Nilphamari.