A mechanical engineer by profession, Pramod Susare got the idea to make upcycled furniture after he saw this unique concept in China during his job training.
For Pramod Susare becoming an engineer was his childhood dream. He used to fix his bicycle, do its servicing, repair the sewing machine in his home, and everything else. After he completed his 12th, when he cleared the engineering entrance exam with an impressive result, he got selected to his favourite college. But the annual fee was way too high, and so he decided to go ahead with an engineering diploma.
"After finishing my diploma, I started working. But since I really wanted to become an engineer, I later applied to a college in Pune and was selected. But like the last time, I had no money to pay the fees, so I spoke to my HOD. He asked me to continue my job and said the rest he would handle. That's how I finished my degree, got another job, and worked there for two years. But since I felt there was no growth, I left and joined an MNC", he told Local Samosa.
A glimpse that inspired him!
Pramod was sent to China for his training, and there he came across a local restaurant that had furniture made with barrels and tires. "I found it pretty interesting and clicked a photograph. After that, I came back and continued the job, but there was no growth. One day I was checking my Facebook and this photograph appeared, and that's when I thought of starting a venture that would sell such furniture", he said.
For the next year, Pramod worked silently on his start-up. Every day after finishing his 9 to 5 job, he would go to the small workspace he had rented and make the furniture. "I used to work until midnight, post office hours, painting, cleaning, and repairing the used tires. Nobody was with me, and I used to make 3-4 chairs and stools daily. I used to get the tires and metal pipes from far away areas as the nearby shops had said no to me. Nobody knew about this until one year", he mentioned.
From getting three projects in 20 days to exporting his furniture to South Africa
Since people were unfamiliar with the concept of upcycled furniture, Pramod came up with a brilliant marketing tactic. He placed his furniture in a nearby shop and told the owner to give his card to anybody asking and enquiring about the same. "That's how I got my first order, and it was a small cafe. I then started getting small projects. But the one that changed my life was a restaurant named Valvet Garden in Thane, Mumbai. The owner was a music teacher and wanted music-themed furniture. I was asked to finish the project in just 20 days and was given Rs.1 lakh in advance. I had never seen such a big amount in my life. The order was of Rs.4 Lakh in total and so that worked as a motivation for me", he said.
Pramod Susare then hired painters, vendors, and helpers, and with a team of 5, he started working on this project. It was pretty risky as he had no idea if he would get another project. But after a few days, two more orders came in, and since then, there has been no going back for him.
"In 2021, I even exported upcycled furniture to South Africa. I feel proud of myself because I always wanted to take up my start-up to an international level. And that's the reason why when I was naming it, I used the word International. Similarly, the term furniture world describes how one can find every piece of furniture here", he added with a big smile explaining the story behind naming his venture P2S International furniture world.
Dealing with challenges like a pro
It's not just the upcycled furniture Pramod offers, but his start-up also designs cafes & restaurants and provides everything it requires. During the lockdown, he even manufactured over 3,000 hospital beds and sold 1,200 metal sanitizer dispensers. "The restaurants were shut, so I had to do something. I did market research and found out what was the need of the hour. I made 12 Lakhs by selling dispensers and supplied beds in Mumbai and Pune hospitals", he said.
Pramod Susare has recently opened his own restaurant with upcycled furniture in Pune. And now plans to grow his business even more by offering space-saving and low-cost furniture. "I want to make sure that I have a solution for every customer and that I provide them with a solution of their choice no matter what their budget and requirement is," he mentioned.
Before signing off, he also told us how his engineering background helped him achieve everything. He feels having an educational background is very important and that being an engineer, he understood the technicalities of his projects. " Since I have worked as a mechanical engineer in the past, if there's an issue with any machine at my place, I fix it on my own. I also have knowledge of electrical engineering. So be it any switch or wiring, I can fix it", he concluded.