Moving story of a stitch in time, after a fashion

Eight years ago, Chirantan Joshi was an employee, but today he runs three very different companies with a business partner. He speaks about setting up his first, E-Movers, a removal company

Chirantan Joshi, right, with Ashok Kumar, the import coordinator of E-Movers, in Dubai. Jeff Topping / The National
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Q: You worked as a sales executive for a furniture company for five-and-a-half years before you set up your first company eight years ago. Why then?

A: I had a family background of doing business and I always wanted to get into business at some point in my life. After five-and-a-half years, I thought that's maybe the right time for me to leave because I was married and my wife was expecting, so we thought before taking on too much responsibility maybe this is the time to get into business.

Q: Why E-Movers?

A: There were a lot of moving companies at the time. But there was a big gap for office moving companies, as in people did not know how to dismantle office furniture and reassemble office furniture. Being from the furniture background, we had the skills and the knowledge.

Q: When you first started, the business had four employees. How many does it have now?

A: Around 300 people in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Now we have an office in Qatar as well. Qatar is getting ready for the football, so we think we have gone there at the right time.

Q: How many removals do you do with E-Movers?

A: We do between 10 and 15 a day.

Q: You also have two other businesses. One, the Leather Doctor, repairs leather and Favourite Fashions is a tailor. Why did you set them up?

A: Me and my partner's strength is identifying gaps in the market. In the process, we found out that there is no one who is professionally repairing leather in this part of the world [and] we found there was a shortage of tailoring services here. So we started tailoring services. My partner has got a tailoring background. He was a tailor in India, so we took advantage of his knowledge of fabric and tailoring.

Q: Is it challenging managing three very different businesses?

A: It is, but if you set the routine, the routine sets you free. We set the routine of which business will get the focus on which day.

Q: Does your routine leave any time for yourself and your family?

A: Absolutely. Friday and Saturdays are days for the family. Sometimes on a Saturday morning, I might finish the backlog from during the week.

Q: Are you planning to open any more businesses? Or is three enough?

A: For now, we would go for a geographical expansion. In our five-year plan, the Leather Doctor and E-Movers need to spread all over the GCC.