After stepping into his father’s furniture business on completing graduation, Suraj Kurne could have continued with things as they are. But he decided to do a course in interior decoration to raise his level and provide additional inputs to the business
How did you get into this line of business?
We have a furniture workshop and showroom since 1979 in Mapusa and so I thought of having a branch in Panaji. To add value to our business, we decided to expand in upholstery and currently sell curtains and upholstery fabrics also.
Your toughest task in setting it up.
The toughest task was to gather information of suppliers. It was difficult getting together dealers in India to source the best quality curtains and upholstery.
Have you achieved all your goals? If not, what remains to be done?
No, I am still on the way to achieving them.
Your best business moment.
Best business moments are many as while dealing with customers you come in contact with many impressive personalities. And earning their praise feels like God’s blessing to me.
Essential elements for success in your industry.
Innovative ideas, efforts and observation to me are the three most important qualities to succeed in this line of business.
State one aspect of Goa which has changed for better or worse.
Mining which is been closed for two and a half years is a change for the better, as the closure is a loss only for the short term. If you see this from a long-term perspective, the closure is actually better for the state. Mining cannot be a sustainable activity according to me. Once land is unavailable, the question is, what will those who are employed in the industry do next? Mining has a fixed life to it and therefore this situation is bound to come one day or the other.
Are you happy with the business eco-system for entrepreneurs in Goa? How can it be improved?
No, I am not happy with the present ecosystem as showrooms are growing but the population is not. So, the current scenario is that there are more sellers and less buyers in the market.
What changes would you like to see in the business as well as social environment?
Actually in Goa, except for tourism there is no major industrial development taking place. We need more multi-nationals and large companies in Goa to provide employment opportunities for local youth. If we have MNCs and a couple of large companies it will be beneficial to Goans. Because of a lack of jobs they have to work outside the state. More companies will translate into more job opportunities and working populace. It will increase consumption in the economy and consequently businesses will flourish.
If not a businessman, what would you have chosen as a profession? Why?
My father is in the furniture business since my childhood.
So it was always understood that I too would be a part of it. I never seriously thought of any other profession.
Soon after graduation, I did an interior decoration course and joined my father in the furniture showroom. And I love what I am doing.