LM Furtado & Co, a 150-year-old music instrument company is a legacy that has remained untouched by time.

The story of the brand begins when 25-year-old John Gomes purchased the brand from a Britisher, Bernard Xavier Furtado, in 1953.

He didn’t have the funds but still went ahead and made them an offer of Rs 5,000 more than another prospective buyer. Now, he had the task of arranging a total of Rs 1,05,000.

However, his reputation of running a small store — Vincent & Co, which sold religious books, saved him. He borrowed money from his sister Celestina, a Goan businessman, and the local tailors who trusted him.

With the shop came 10 staff workers, guitars, violins, trumpets, banjos and more. However, the real challenge was to sustain the business in an unfavourable environment.

Post-independence, India was a closed economy. The country adopted a socialist ideology that focussed on ‘Swadeshi’ goods.

John saw that the government had not put any restrictions on books. So, he imported them and gained a strong foothold in music learning books.

Additionally, he rented pianos to families and music students. He also started a printing press to print music sheets, diaries, examination papers and wedding cards.

Soon, it would go on to become one of the city’s largest printing presses. They also printed exam papers for around 50 schools across the city and sold music books to students.

In 1961, Furtados opened its first branch in Margao, Goa.

As the economy opened in 1991 under the leadership of former finance minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Furtados was back to importing foreign instruments.

Today, the iconic brand has the bigwigs of the music world swear by the quality of its instruments.

With over 17 showrooms across India from Chandigarh, Panjim, Ahmedabad to Bengaluru and over 350 dealer outlets, the brand has carved its name in history.

“The music industry was unorganised when my father started his journey,” says Anthony Gomes, son of John and director at Furtados Group of Companies.

But Furtados was different. Every single sale was and still is transparently invoiced and accounted for. “Our ethics helped us establish a brand synonymous with security, credibility and quality,” he adds.

While Anthony along with three other siblings — Christopher, Nonabel and Joseph Gomes — drive the retail business, Furtados School of Music (FSM) is run by Joseph’s wife, Tanuja Gomes and her former bank colleague, Dharini Upadhyaya.