“If I hadn’t been lucky enough to learn about TRDP and receive its assistance, I wouldn’t have achieved what I have today”
Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP) assisted Khachik Kaghzvantsyan in starting a successful furniture production business in the village of Arevik in the Shirak region. Kaghzvantsyan’s business has contributed to the economic growth of the community by creating 15 new jobs.
Kaghzvantsyan’s furniture factory produces a variety of wooden furniture, including dinner and kitchen tables, souvenirs, chairs, special tables for computers, and other products. He also designs and produces customized wood products to meet the special needs of his customers.
Khachik credits TRDP for providing him with the skills and knowledge to create a successful business. With the help and guidance of the TRDP team, Khachik’s business has thrived beyond expectations.
Before applying to TRDP, Khachik Kaghvantsyan had a small furniture production operation in Gyumri. He wanted to expand his production, so he bought land in Arevik, one of the villages near Gyumri, to build a production factory and start working. However, he lacked financial means for construction of and furnishing of the factory.
Khachik noted that although his reason for applying to TRDP was to receive financial assistance from the program, he learned a lot from the training. TRDP training developed Khachik’s business management and marketing skills. He particularly stressed the individualized approach TRDP trainers show to each participant.
According to Khachik, the major difficulty in the business is funding and investments. Nonetheless, he tries from time to time to invest in his business, to employ innovative technologies, and to diversify production to meet the demands of customers and to stay competitive.
“When your customer is satisfied, he/she tells about your work to his friends, relatives and acquaintances. In this way we expand our market,” Khachik added.
Khachik states that the basis of his business is high quality. He said that when he exported large quantity of chairs to Russia, Italian producers from a prestigious furniture factory saw the chairs and confused them with their own production.
According to Khachik, the most important aspect for successful business management is knowledge of the field you are engaged in. Khachik praised his employees, saying that they are “the masters of the work.” According to Khachik, an entrepreneur should be able to check the job of his employees.
“I always carefully check the ready products before giving them to customers and even if there is some small inconsistency or inaccuracy, I return the product to the employee, asking him to fix it,” Khachik said.
Khachik treats his employees in a special way. This is how he motivates them and encourages them to work happily and more effectively. He pays them extra when they work overtime and he never forgets to give gifts and organize parties for his employees on holidays.
Khachik’s business had a huge impact on the Arevik community. The business provided job places for 15 people. Khachik also prepared two-storied beds for the local kindergarten. Aside from the furniture production business, after moving to Arevik, Khachik also engaged in agricultural work, hiring six people to work on the land he acquired.
Currently, Khachik is considering expanding his business by increasing the quantity and volume of production to be able to be competitive in the Russian market. Khachik plans to export mainly chairs and tables to Russia. As the prices of chairs and tables are much higher in Russia, the products will be competitive according to Khachik.
“I have noticed an interesting aspect of marketing in furniture production. The higher the quantity of your product in the shop is, the higher are the chances are that the customer will consider it modern and buy [it],” he added.
Khachik stated that although his work requires a lot of patience and is exhausting sometimes, he is very happy to be able do the job he likes. What Khachik likes most of all about his job is the creativity involved. His favorite part of his work is designing. Together with his employees, Khachik always strives to bring innovation to production.
“We constantly create new models, to be able to offer new options, new products for our clients. We create our own catalogues,” Khachik states.
According to Khachik, the keys to his business success are investments, good communication skills, and luck.
“If I hadn’t been lucky enough to learn about TRDP and receive its assistance, I wouldn’t have achieved what I have today,” Khachik concluded.