Author: Disha Bhavsar, BSU student
So, let’s start with are you from this local area?
I have been living here for about 15 years, so it is safe to say I know this area pretty well, but no my roots are back in India.
Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business?
We are a convenience store in Rockland, MA. We carry grocery items, beer, wine, cigarettes and lottery. One of my oldest friends saw an investment opportunity in this area and we started this joint venture. I have been working in the beer and wine industry for a while and that’s why I wanted to own this business. I bought out this store from my friend and former business partner.
When did it start? What Year?
What was it that made you want to start this business?
I have always wanted to be a business owner. When I got into entrepreneurship mindset, I knew this is the industry I want to go for because
What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
I didn’t make a profit until about 6 months in, it was definitely a struggle, but I knew going in that I had to make sacrifices to be a business owner. My family was very supportive especially my wife, she helped at the store so we could cut down extra expenses. Having the right people by your side is crucial when you are opening a new business.
If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
Probably pick a different location, when we started there weren’t this many liquor stores in the area. Now the business is hard because of the competition. Customers just have too many options.
What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
Competition and the changing dynamics of the consumer. Back in the day your only option was getting to the nearest store “packie” as we used to call them in Boston. Now you have amazon, home delivery services everywhere and subscription. So that adds in a lot more into the competition bucket than just other liquor stores in the area.
If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
Customer service and relationship building is the core of my business that separates us from other stores. We know our customer, their lifestyle and family and what’s important to them. Getting a personalized service is unmatched and that makes us stand out. I know every one of our customers, their family, their lifestyle, the name of their kids. These days people forget about the soft skills part of business and I intend to keep it alive.
What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Word of mouth and Facebook. I am not very qualified with social media.
Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
We carry products that are part of most people’s lifestyle in the US so fortunately we didn’t have to do much marketing as far as the digital aspect but we did do door-to-door flyers and opening event.
Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the
I mean it could help us expand and get us online sales but right now I don’t have enough resources to get our business to that part.
If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
Probably on Instagram, I think that’s where all of our young customers are, it would also be easier to advertise our promotional deals on stories. More and more millennials are coming off Facebook as their boomer parents gets more active.
What drives you and what type of the owner you are and intend to be?
I have always wanted to be my own boss. Sure, I have to work extra hard and make sacrifices but at the end of the day I am working for myself not anyone else and to me is very important. As I grow old, I want to step back and be more of a manager, but I am a workaholic so will probably take a while as of now I am very hands-on.