Here to stay_startups in Nepal

Here to stay

On April 28 at LABIM Mall, Pulchowk, Namaste Nepal organised an event highlighting the start-ups established after 2015 and the success they have achieved despite the post-earthquake economic condition of the country. With the slogan ‘Nepal will Rise Again’ the event showcased a variety of products and services of 10 start-ups of Nepal that were established after the massive earthquake. The participating start-ups were Offering Happiness – a surprise planner, SB Foods – manufacturer of meat pickles, Food Mario – home cooked food delivery service, Tyre Treasures – makers of products out of discarded tyres, Dhaasoo – scraps upcycling venture, Today’s Telegram – leather product maker, Funky Monk’s Bean Bag, My Earth Eco Bags, Khalti Digital Wallet and Pote Store Nepal.

Khalti here to stay

Faija Parween, Founder of Open Space Network – the organiser of the event, says, “We are conducting the event to spread the message about how we can move on from the pain of the past.” According to her, the reason behind organising the event was also to create a platform for emerging start-up companies to explore and interact with consumers. When asked about how the 10 start-ups were selected for the exhibition, Parween informs, “We had made a public announcement through social media platforms. We selected the 10 start-ups that needed promotion and support, and also applause for the way they successfully established their businesses.”

The exhibitors at the event rejoiced at being provided a good platform for them to showcase their ideas and products to a huge number of people visiting in the popular mall. Sachita Khanal, a representative of Pote Store Nepal, says, “It’s great for us. We had the chance to familiarize consumers with our products and services. We also got the opportunity to interact with our customers.” Nitesh Sharma, Founder of Dhaasoo, says, “The event was really helped us showcase our products and have fruitful interactions with people interested in our products and services.” He further says, “We should move on with what had happened during and after the earthquake. We must look ahead and what’s to come.” Ojaswi Baidya, Co-founder of Tyre Treasures, also states, “Businesses faced a setback as did everything else when the country came to a complete halt post earthquake. Although those were tough days for us, events like this show us that we have to get up and get to work.”

Start-ups in the country today are experimenting with new ideas and are focused on making use of local resources. The feedback they are receiving from consumers also goes to show that they are heading in the right direction. However, to take Nepali start-up companies to newer heights, quality, quantity and price factors should be taken into consideration. Parween agreed and said, “Nepali products are high in price due to the high labor cost; we haven’t been able to produce perfectly aesthetic products as we depend mostly on traditional manufacturing processes. Also, investment is an issue for us. We don’t have large amounts of investments for us to be able to produce high quality products yet. We have partnered and associated with companies like Mega Bank in the hope that they would facilitate us in getting easy loans.”

This article was originally published in The Himalayan Times (Perspectives) on 6 May 2018.

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