In about 15 years JMD Furniture emerged from a small company, with few employees, and has eventually became one of the most sought-after furniture companies in Northeast America – delivering the lowest possible prices and excellent customer service experiences. JMD have been credited as a one of the top ten trusted and valued furniture dealers by the prime buyers’ report. In this interview Dev Joshi, CEO of JMD’s iconic furniture empire, talks about how entrepreneurs should follow their dreams but do so in a way that is sustainable and in measurable progress.
- Name: Dev Joshi
- Current title in your company? What’s your motto? Owner and CEO, “Jai Mata Di”
- Year you launched JMD Furniture? 2001
- What is your number one accomplishment with JMD Furniture? We managed to turn a failing furniture store into a successful and responsible franchise.
My ComeUp Story
- Tell us about your best selling category…and What is JMD furniture best known for? JMD Furniture is best known for our unique approach to sales and the way we treat our customers. We’ve found that because we are a responsible business with a customer first approach, we have quite a few returning customers. Our best selling category seems to be our living room furniture, particularly couches and love seats.
- Why did you launch JMD Furniture? We launched JMD Furniture as a response to the economy taking a downturn and the previous owner (my former employer) looking to sell his store. My family had a knack for furniture and we decided that this was the right time for us to buy the store and put our personal touch on the business.
- How did the journey with “JMD Furniture as a brand” start? My family has an extensive history in Hindi culture, and the JMD of JMD Furniture stands for a Hindi phrase, “Jai Mata Di”. The English translation loses a bit of the impact, but it basically stands for respecting Mother Nature as the source of everything. When it came time to name our company, it felt appropriate to make this outlook the very identity of our brand.
- Tell us about a time you were faced with insurmountable odds, yet persevered to overcome? When we first started out, the economy was declining. Although we had existing customers and a great location, it was tough to turn a profit early on. We had to seriously look at our business model and make changes as we went to eventually reach the position we now hold.
My Daily Behind the Scenes
- What is your typical weekday and weekend like? What do you do when not working? During the week I spend most of my time in one of our stores or the home office working on our business plans. We are looking to expand over the coming years and having offices in multiple states can quickly become very demanding on my time. That said, I try to balance my nights and weekends so I have time to spend with my family and see my newborn daughter.
- Where do you find your inspiration? I find inspiration in the people I’ve surrounded myself with. Both my family and my coworkers are some of the most amazing people I’ve had the chance to meet. I’m very lucky to work with people I genuinely enjoy spending time with.
- What is your role in the company now? And how involved are you in the day-to-day and overall operations? As the owner and CEO I spend a great deal of time directly involved in the operations of the business. I wouldn’t say I’m a force in the “day-to-day” operations in the sense that I no longer directly manage any of our locations, but my decisions do have an immediate impact on the operation of all locations.
- As a successful business owner, I’m sure you have picked up a lot of valuable insights and tricks of the trade along the way. If you had to narrow it down, what one piece of advice would you give to business owners and entrepreneurs? I would encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to follow your dreams but do so in a way that is sustainable. An all or nothing approach may work for some, but when your livelihood is on the line that’s a gamble that often doesn’t pay off. It’s important to make measured progress and continually evaluate where you can make improvements. In some cases, you may have to choose between your dream and being successful.
- What would you like to achieve before the end of 2018? I would love to continue our expansion and have at least 1 new location established and turning a profit by the end of the year. Of course that’s my goal for every year, but it’s still an important milestone.
- What’s one dream you’ve achieved that you’re most proud of and why? Just having a business that myself and my family can be so involved with is a dream come true for me. I’m truly thankfully for the work we’ve been able to do and the happiness I’ve seen our furniture bring to families.
- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your teenage self? Keep doing what you’re doing; it pays off. The long days and nights fresh out of high school can take a toll, but at the end of all that hard work, there’s a clear light at the end of the tunnel.