Shamim Ligar Furniture

If I were to say that my entrepreneurial life has been full of colour and joy, it wouldn’t be true at all. Growing up in a lower-middle-class family, I never in my wildest dream thought I could be capable of doing something out of the ordinary in life. So, if you ask me, “Was it your lifelong dream to become an entrepreneur?” Then, I’ve to admit that it was never the plan. I just figured it out on the way of life. Even after almost 15 years of business, it still feels surreal sometimes that I own a business!

So, my story had an atypical beginning. My family was not in any position to finance my studies. The only option for me was to look for opportunities to support my family. I indeed had no luxury to choose my fate in the beginning. However, things started to look better when I joined a furniture company as an employee in the early 2000s. After working there for a while, some problems started to arise. So, I decided that it was time for me to do something on my own. Well, you can probably guess what happened afterwards. I started my business in my son’s name in 2007.

You might be wondering that I probably had enough savings to start the business. But the reality is, I built the business on just 15,000 BDT! While I did not have any factories or machines back then, I had my skills and determination. With those, I started my journey by making ready-made furniture with only 2-3 fellow workers. The good thing was that I did not have to look for customers because our work spoke for itself. Thus, the sales started to flow in and my business saw rapid growth in the first few years. I established a factory and bought all the necessary machines to increase our productivity and efficiency. At the moment, more than 20 workers are involved with my business.

Apart from the usual credit problems, and operational inefficiencies, the incident that hurt us the most was the pandemic. We have never seen anything like that before and did not know how to sustain the business. I mean, it’s not possible to run a business when I have no production and demand. Only I and my workers know how we managed to survive through all of those difficulties. Even when the market was getting normal, my sales did not go up because the purchasing power of my customers had fallen significantly in the past 2 years. Still, there’s no time to brood over things that are not in our control.

Now, I’m planning to try new marketing methods to increase sales. Because when my business has more sales, only then do I have enough profit margin to reinvest in the business. The thing that helped me the most was the B-SkillFUL project by LightCastle Partners. I got to know more about business development and marketing strategies from them which will support my business to reach the targeted goals. So, for the future, I can only pray to the Almighty for growth and prosperity.

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