Thursday, March 05, 2009: 07:45:56 PM

Retail Biz Personality of the fortnight

Crafted by Passion — M Farman, Zakaria Ilyas Corporation

Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome!

M Farman, CEO, Zakaria Ilyas Corporation, is a leading personality in the handicraft retailing, manufacturing and exporting circles. His Moradabad-based company has won a long list of valued clients for the unique products offered by his company.

Initiation into the art

Mr Farman always had a keen interest in beautifying home interiors. In addition, he had a strong passion for antiques and handicraft products which redecorate rooms to give them a facelift. Soon he entered the business of handicrafts and antique items. Hence, in 1978 immediately after completing his graduation, Mr Farman set up his company with a meagre amount in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. He commenced his business on a sole proprietorship basis with a handful of employees.

Initially, he had to face tough competition from the other players in the business. Nonetheless, he managed to win the confidence of many clients because of his sheer dedication and commitment to provide the best products in the market.

Customisation is key

According to Mr Farman, interior decoration requires a careful study of a home in order to select the appropriate furnishings and décor for enhancing the beauty of the rooms. In his words, “In order to provide the best to our clients, we maintain a healthy professional environment where we take good care of our employees and ensure that the people working for us are happy.” This operational strategy has aided the growth of the company.

Building a strong customer relationship has always been his aim. His focus remains on providing an improved service delivery to satisfy his clients, and to constantly innovate products so that his organisation can provide a diverse gamut of contemporary, classic as well as customised product designs to the customers.

Personal attention

Mr Farman personally visits the manufacturing units to keep a close eye on the production schedule. He personally inspects the merchandise during the final stages of packing, stuffing, delivery to the retail outlets and exporting. In spite of his busy schedule, he finds time to guide his artisans to create products according to client’s specifications and of high aesthetic value.

Going global

Mr Farman has never shied away from exploring newer areas of business because he firmly believes that there is always a greater scope for learning which can enrich his business experience. Although he wanted to expand his base, diversifying his business further was a big challenge in the early years. Eventually, with the exporting business, Mr Farman successfully extended his business reach and tapped the international market. Today, the company has established its presence in leading international markets like Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain. His company caters to American clients as well.

Mr Farman feels that the present scenario is in stark contrast to the past. With technological improvement and affordable rates, consumers have a much wider range of choice. To cater to clients from all economic backgrounds, Mr Farman has laid special emphasis on maintaining a reasonable price rate for all his products.

The sharp increase in demand for handicrafts and antiques in the global markets has propelled the growth of his company. In view of the rising demand, the company has set up enquiry centres in New York and Dallas.

Treading cautiously

Although the present economic crunch has considerably weakened market sentiment, Mr Farman has confidence in his company’s solutions to weather the economic downturn.

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