While many are engrossed in conversations about prevailing harsh economic times, Josphat Shasulwi is busy utilizing opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance his furniture business.
Shasulwi, a furniture maker operating at Mandevu Junction Market in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, has since turned his shop into a mini industrial workshop that is supplying well-established furniture retailers across Lusaka.
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many renowned furniture retailers are not able to get the required number of goods from outside the country. So I decided to enter into partnerships with these entities, and I’m currently supplying them with a range of products,” he said.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic is a blessing in disguise that has brought about huge opportunities for individuals and businesses that are open to creativity and innovation.
“Right here at this market there are people who will tell you that things are very difficult for furniture-making businesses because of challenges in getting materials and a host of other things. But a few of my colleagues and I on the other hand are seeing great potential for the growth of the furniture business,” he said.
Shasulwi asserted that the advent of the COVID-19 has also presented opportunities for the growth of local industries noting that many furniture-making businesses that relied on imported raw materials are now looking to local industries to supply them.
“This is good for the growth of our local industry. For now, we need to work on the quality of our products so that they can compete favorably in the region and beyond,” he said.
Shasulwi also commended Chinese firms involved in the furniture trade for employing some of his colleagues to work in furniture workshops stating that working in well-equipped workshops is helping the employees to not only stay employed but also perfect their art. Enditem