Saimul Karim’s knack for recognizing a good idea has led to two whole industries
His is the story that unfolds into a form of ever-growing fruition at the heels of sheer zeal and perseverance. Saimul Karim of Eskay Eventz and Eskay Decor built himself a strong foundation in not one but two craft-based industries that yield the big bucks. Then again, the splendor in the vastness of his organizations’ creations has what it takes to mesmerize and awe. Luxury furniture and enlisting the assistance of experts to simplify event planning might not have been a significant focus for us a decade ago. However, Saimul Karim recognized the demand and is now successfully thriving in these domains. The scaling up of events grand or small and interiors has been the goal for founder Saimul from his humbler days of beginning to learn the jobs under his array of interests.
The founder of affable nature had a conversation with MW Bangladesh over the phone through which he allowed insights into his life, his learnings and his beliefs, in the grand scheme of the brand Eskay.
Could you begin by telling us your story of endeavoring in the two industries?
My proclivity towards these industries was rather natural. Growing up, I was the child who was into the artistic and cultural aspects of life while belonging to a conventional hard-working Bangladeshi household. I would become the designated decision-maker regarding event planning and decoration. Amongst my siblings, I was the only one allowed a room for myself because I’d keep it tidy and aesthetic. They’d treat my room like a drawing room worthy of being shown to guests. I would DIY wall pieces and colorful decorative pieces that I could sell for pocket money. In 1998, I had a major accident which made me reevaluate life. I ended up having to study at Dhaka College quickly because my family and I did not want to have to wait any longer after my study gap. However, that was the time when I got to interact, assist, and be inspired by people in the creative fields. My alumni would teach me ways of starting jobs and I eventually became a freelancer who would participate in design-based jobs that interested me. Whilst independently well on my way as a freelancer I ultimately decided to take up an actual job for stability.
My freelancing days were imperative in my excelling in further handmade crafts. I was starting to identify proper ways of outsourcing raw materials and other associated source materials and even specialists of and around the industries. The execution of creative objects, be it in the form of wood, fabric, iron, or glass alongside potential mood boards came to me intrinsically. A friend from Charukola was the one who linked me to my first stable job which was based on the marketing aspect of a business that exports and imports furniture. That job in particular taught me most of what I know about furniture including the pivotal standard of it. Wives of ambassadors and diplomats would often drift towards my traditional creations. I would create designs with tant, patchwork, tapestry, katan and raw silk utilizing our domestic materials. was offered jobs at reputed furniture brands. I hesitated because my freelancing gigs afforded me ownership of my time.
That was also the point when I set out my venture Eskay. It stands for my initials. I also chose to go for a diploma which in turn helped me progress in my career. A push in the use of my products in media followed by celebrities seeking and vouching for my products and services immensely boosted my presence in the industry. 2008 brought in the first official grand event under Eskay Eventz and we haven’t had to look back since.
What according to you sets your ventures apart from others in the game?
When my team and I truly began our endeavor, no one else was doing the work, art, and craftsmanship like us. I feel like I began the trend of diversity in variations, designs, lines and colors. Making a sofa in an unconventional color was something no one else would dare to try at the time. I designed a striking purple sofa. The celebrated actress Mou wore a white muslin sari and posed for a photoshoot on that sofa, and this became a runaway hit. Another hit was an antique metallic bed frame I designed in the Victorian style. I believe my innovative ideas attracted consumers towards me and my ventures. I also try to always present and develop my ideas innovatively like adding printed clothing and glass over a tabletop to add value to it or finding even a unique piece of terracotta or any other piece of furniture as per the clients’ wishes.
Celebrities like Bidya Sinha Saha Mim, Pori Moni and recently Tasnia Farin gave us the chance to exhibit splendor for people genuinely interested in viewing, observing, and appreciating our ventures and determination.
As per your perspective, what is the state of the industries in this economy, and what advice do you have for newcomers to the industry?
Frankly speaking, we were better off surviving during the pandemic than the economy now. The situation is also rather on the unpredictable side. I take up the challenge to try and ride any wave the economy may present. These [difficult] times will hopefully come to an end soon as we have come a long as a developing nation. For newcomers, I have noticed that their curiosities regarding learning and improving have been decreasing. Foreign products for instance provide finely tuned finishing to products but people here can’t seem to go anywhere near the quality because of the lack of knowledge. The proper way of caring for furniture is also an art that requires attention. Inventive ideas in terms of aesthetics by changing designs, patterns, and so on can at the very least be appreciable.
How would you like your brand to be recognized?
We have stayed on the down low because I feared the pressure that could ensue. I feared failing to satisfy consumers adequately but now we have a big factory and a new showroom. I hope to create four or five more showrooms and I am fully confident about my outsourcing capabilities in the business of events so I hope to add value for my customers as per their requirements. I have no intention of ever judging customers on the basis of their wealth so even if people wish for services costing Tk 50,000 or even five lakhs, I will hear them out and do my utmost for the best value that their money can get them. I also admire people who have a zeal for these industries and I do my best to make to also provide the best for my colleagues. I hope to continue encouraging them to put their best foot forward.