As an individual, all of us had to compromise at least once in our life and live at a place which we were not fond of, but there was nothing we could do. Everyone dreams of having a place designed only and only as per their taste and preferences, to suit their wants and needs. But the same dream is crushed when we have so many challenges in front of us, and the solutions are scattered. What if all of this was available under one roof? Sounds fulfilling right? Furnish Me bring to you this fulfillment and allows you to design your place exactly as you want.
Based out of Patna, they are operating in 6 cities, namely Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Ranchi, Siliguri, Bhagalpur and Patna itself while also focusing on tier-2 and tier-3 cities to provide people the service they deserve but are not able to receive the same. Their services consist of Architectural Design, Interior Designs, Landscape, Restoration, Renovation and Project Management solution. So now you can just sit back, relax and get your dream place designed hassle-free, right from the base.
Everyone faces challenges but only a few have the courage to rise against them and make a mark. Mr. Akshay Kapoor is one such personality who has the determination to go against the tides. He believes success is not measured by money alone. He gives his 200% and leaves his clients untroubled, contented and with a radiant smile on their faces. That is the power of good, rather excellent work. Despite facing so many hurdles, he never left hope and has been climbing the ladder of success ever since. Let us know more about the journey of Furnish Me from Mr. Akshay, the founder and the soul of the firm in an exclusive interview.
1. What is the source of inspiration behind the name of your venture?
Pratyush one of to-be co-founder was brainchild behind this name. We were planning to startup in Interior and Architecture segment and so we decided to go with Furnish Me as the brand name.
2. Who all are your target audience/clients?
The most important thing we are working out right now is to reach to every individual, corporate who even thinks of getting his land, office, home, space designed/renovated/improved. Think of design, think of us. We are in the 2nd stage of expansion. We are bootstrapped since inception and that has been a really big challenge for us, our customers are from the age group of 50+ who are about to retire or newly settle down people from age group 35+. Corporate clients, Start-ups, Hospitals are some of our clients.
3. Your current operations are located in which regions and Where are you based at (city, state, country)?
We started our operations from Patna. Our prime focus is tier-2 and tier-3 cities where such presence is not available. We are currently working in Patna, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Ranchi, Siliguri, and Bhagalpur. We plan to take care of all the tier-3 cities in eastern India because east India has less service providers for the clients, who provide a genuine solution to the client’s problems.
4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
We provide Architectural Design, Interior Designs, Landscape, Restoration, Renovation and Project Management solution for all of them. Our dedicated team takes cares of all the stuff. We provide a detail BOQ which is a bill of Quantity with the design solutions. The client gets to know the actual cost of the project. Addition to that we provide Project Management Consultancy (PMC) which is the USP of our start-up. We take care of the project as our and charge a nominal fee over it, We are available to the clients both for execution as well project management.
5. Would you like to Share the idea or story behind the foundation of Furnish Me?
We started, Furnish ME on 13th of October 2016, giving a solution to the problems faced by us while renovating my house, says Amrita (Co-Founder). We faced the same tussle and ended up spending a lot more money than required. This was the budding point when we had decided to put up this as a solution for all the people who can avoid such situations and build a better home, office, shops or buildings.
Having done more than 100 projects in Bihar itself we are now providing services in Bihar, Odisha, Delhi-NCR.
We provide Architectural Design, Interior Designs, Landscape, Restoration, Renovation and Project Management solution for all of them.
6. Do you face any rivalry and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
We are not focused on any rivalry rather we are focused on better products and we see ourselves growing up the ladder.
7. How do you identify your co-founder? Would you like to tell us something about them?
Let me introduce you to my co-founder and our team:
We are a very small team of core 4 people, 3 architects and one mechanical engineer striving towards the change in the way people need small to a big solution in the real estate and design needs.
Amrita Jena – Chief designer. An innovative thought process, she has she thinks to the problems and sites from a different aspect and angle which helps us to make the project quite different.
Akshay Kapoor – I look more over the business growth and strategy making and a QA- quality analyst for both the designs and site. An architect by profession, I try to introspect each problem by a different angle
Anurag Verma – The transformator – He believes in turning the pieces of paper into reality, having good on-site skills, his presence reduces the even last tension of the clients.
Amlan Jena – An engineer by profession but a problem solver by nature. He sees different ways in which we can address to the problem a client faces. His innovativeness and promptness in solutions help the client base to grow.
8. What is your idea of team formulation? What type of qualities do you search for in your team?
I particularly believe in team making, a group of people handing a set of projects. A team leader coordinating with the new leads and passing it to a set of their coordinates to get the complete design done and coordinating with design chief with new concept and materials. Similarly, we have a team for execution who manages the entire stuff. Apart from design skills I look out for problem solver by nature and a jolly person who brings more positivity to the board.
9. What are your growth or expansion plans for the next 2 or 5 years?
In the next 2-5 years, we are planning to change our working design verticals. The design which is a long-term process which we plan to cut down short and deliver the execution rapidly hence decreasing the project duration further by 18%.
We plan to see ourselves having our design offices in 3 cities and execution completely in 5 states.
10. Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?
A difficult question to answer, maybe as a serial entrepreneur.
11. What are your short-term goals?
I plan to solve the continuous project flow system as soon as possible. Once we attain the constant project flow system, other targets can be attained.
12. Have you risen any funding yet? Are you looking for the same?
We were bootstrapped since inception. We have raised a small amount from some angel investors this year. We are recognized by DIPP-Startup India and Startup Odisha( Govt. Of Odisha).
YES, We plan to raise funds for better team building, a vertical system in the office. We are in some talks for funding.
13. Please share your incubation days struggle issues while setting up this venture, and how did you resolve them?
The initial days were good as we had projects, the difficulty lies in maintaining the cash cycle.
1. Bootstrapped – A challenges in itself.
2. Cash Flow- People in the east are smart of getting the work done and turn deaf ears to you. So the cycle of cash flow breaks which delays the project
3. Brain Drain- Consistency of people, is one of the reasons for less number of people staying up in the state
4. Marketing Issues
We face problems every day and are solving it through the “JUGAAD” system of Indians.
14. What was or has been the most challenging part of your journey? How do you overcome the same?
The most challenging part of our journey had been a continuous flow of work. As a startup we need enough funds for marketing and advertisement so that people can be familiar with the brand. We have been coming up continuous brand building process on social media.
15. What is your idea of stress management?
Stress Management is what I do is to go to any open ground, I preferably like (Gandhi Maidan- during evenings) or a cup of coffee or play with Dogs at our office.
16. What do you do to escape the work life in your leisure time?
Entrepreneurs find it difficult to maintain a proper time balance b/w professional and personal life. I personally like to go for movies, or driving on long routes, unplanned trips are one of my favorites.
17. Where would you like to escape to for a holiday?
We friends usually plan to escape to BALI or Goa for a holiday, but personally, I would like backpacked trip to Bir & Billing( Himachal).
18. Whom do you consider your idol/role model or biggest motivator and why?
I Have met various entrepreneurs of various age, three people I like listening to my Father(Mr.Ajay Kumar Kapoor), Ritesh Agarwal( Founder-Oyo Rooms), Mr.Gautam Agrawal( Prakruti Group).
Note: The Interesting fact is Ritesh and Gautam were batch mates in their school days.
19. What makes entrepreneurs different from service class professionals?
1. Salary does not excite us, rather lead converting into project excites us.
2. We don’t find peace till the problem is solved, as at the end you are responsible.
3. It is easy for entrepreneurs to do all kinds of job whether it is meeting or following leads or cleaning the office or making up coffee for the team.
20. Which part of your life would you like to rewrite if given a chance to restart with your career today?
If given a chance to restart with careers today, I will re-write my college life and spend the entire team in making social and business contacts.
21. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Initially being an entrepreneur was not easily accepted but the family has been supportive since they understood the intentions. The family has been also an angel investor in the startup. Yes, social life is somehow compromised on starting up as you are not able to spare time, but one gradually finds time for it.
22. Is there anything, you’d like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is basically all about contacts and networks then skills and secondly after following this entire fascination startup space for almost 6 years, I believe a successful entrepreneur is one who is seriously building a different product in a niche market or if you are inspired or are having a copied model you need to focus on the money you will have in your galla(drawer) by the evening as funding is not easy to attain.
23. Tell us something about your education & family background.
I belong from a small town in Bihar, Bhagalpur. I had done my both early and secondary education from Bhagalpur itself. I had been into Mount Assisi School followed by DPS Bhagalpur. I shifted to DPS because I had flunked a year in Assisi, I took a fresh admission and had repeated the same class in DPS and DPS had engulfed in me this entrepreneurship attitude. I later had done my architecture from BIT Mesra.
I belong from a Punjabi Hindu family. We had been a joint family and roots of culture and living together has been imparted from that time itself.
24. What is your USP or biggest strength that makes you stand apart from your competitors?
We offer fast execution solution. We deliver the project in 60 days or we pay back you the money. Every firm has a good design team but we try to catch the nerves of requirements of the clients and we love to experiment. Clients initially hate it but on later stage the love the final outcome.
25. Why do you think start-ups are so vulnerable to the external business environment? What according to you are the threats to their stability?
Less of continuous funds flow, less marketing and people not easily accepting the products.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Not yet, but one day I will. Success is not measured by money or turnover, yeah they are parameters in business. It is by how much you learn and how much you contribute to society or how much change you can bring with it.
Get Connected with Furnish Me:
Mr. Akshay Kapoor
Address – Furnish ME, Kankarbagh Main road, Patna-20, Bihar.
Phone – 9934186150
Email – [email protected]
Website – www.furnishme.in