Furniture business in Nigeria is booming, supported by Nigeria’s rising population and demand for homes and office accommodation.
The industry is fast becoming attractive to young entrepreneurs who are now redefining its architecture.
Among the entrepreneurs tapping on this industry are Jumoke Dada, founder and CEO of Taeillo, and Sunday Stephen Eze, CEO of Pasich Furniture.
Jumoke Dada is the founder and CEO of Taeillo, a start-up brand that produces afro-urban furniture using African inspired pieces.
Jumoke was inspired to establish Taeillo in 2016 out of her passion to brand Africa’s culture and identity in appealing modern designs.
“What I wanted was to create a great piece because I realised that many of our traditional arts and crafts evolved overtime to include practical and decorative items, and human expressions find their way through various forms of art,” Jumoke says.
The Architecture graduate tells Start-Up-Digest that she started her business with zero capital, a computer and an idea. Jumoke says she made a profit of N12,000 from the first contract she did and used the proceeds to purchase materials for subsequent work.
After Jumoke’s first furniture piece, she began to get referrals from her initial clients, family and friends, which helped her in generating revenue she reinvested into the business.
Also, the University of Lagos graduate raised some money through grants from some local and international organisations to further increase her production capacity.
The young entrepreneur says she sources all her raw materials locally.
Since Jumoke started her business in 2016, it has grown despite a saturated market. She points out that Taeillo has continued to grow as it leverages on technology and investments in research and development.
“When we were going into the market, we understood that the furniture business was saturated, but we are still able to grow the business because we leverage on technology. Technology helped us scale our business model, coupled with the strong investment we put into research and development to continue to produce exciting designs,” she says..
It is not all rosy for Jumoke as the industry lacks the required skilled professionals. Huge infrastructural gap is also a huge challenge facing the business.
She wants the government to invest more in human capital development in order to provide industries with the needed skills.
Speaking on the business expansion plans, she says the business plans to increase its global reach through technology.
She also plans to have a furniture showroom across major Africa cities and Nigeria.
Sunday Stephen Eze
In 2016, Sunday Stephen Eze quit his pharmaceutical job to start a furniture business. His company Pasich Furniture designs, produces and installs furniture for clients across the country.
Sunday was inspired to establish his business owing to his love for drawings and creativity as well as his desire to be an entrepreneur.
To further broaden his designs and creative skills, Sunday took up a job in a furniture firm.
The pharmacist-turned-entrepreneur started his business small from his personal savings, which he spent on registration and purchase of basic carpentry tools.
He tells Start-Up Digest that through the profit he got from his first contract, he was able purchase more carpentry tools for the business.
“Well, as shocking as it may sound, our initial start-up capital was basically the money used in registering the company back then and buying some carpentry tools,” Sunday says.
“After the first job we did, the profit made was used to buy the first set of handheld tools for carpentry and from there came other equipment and tools. Our modus operandi till date is make money and then put it right back into business,” he explains.
The young entrepreneur says the business has grown tremendously since starting, as its client base keeps expanding.
“The business has grown tremendously. We have worked in over 18 states in Nigeria and our client base keeps expending.”
Currently, Pasich Furniture has 19 permanent employees and 10 contract staff members.
“The contract staff members are mostly made up of carpenters who help us carry out installation of already produced furniture in situations when we have clashing deliveries to make,” the young entrepreneur says.
He tells BusinessDay that the company sources the majority of its raw materials overseas.
Sunday says that Pasich Furniture plans to expand the size of the furniture factory by almost five times its current size before the end of 2019.
Also, the company plans to open a showroom in Abuja and subsequently other cities in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Sunday states that poor power supply has remained the major challenge facing his business and has continued to increase his cost of production.
Similarly, he identifies lack of employees’ dedication to job as another problem, as this has led to continuous engagement and disengagement of workers.
Tags: furniture business