It was in July 2016 that Minesh Rajbhandari started Nepal’s first online liquor store, Cheeers.com with four partners; he is also the General Manager of the company.
When Rajbhadari first started the business, the online shopping culture was still in its infancy in the country but had a gradual and growing interest.
There were online stores dealing with clothing materials and electronic items but there was a void in the liquor market. Rajbhandari saw this as an opportunity and convinced his partners to invest.
He says that his business is being run with a slightly different concept than the usual brick-and-mortar liquor stores that can be found in practically every place. “Although local liquor stores compete regarding prices, Cheers.com is a bit different as it is more focused on service rather than pricing,” he states.
Rajbhandari says that when you step into the business world you come across many challenges that you had not ever thought about, for instance the Covid pandemic. “But one needs to be able to adapt to the changes and build back better.” Cheers.com has recently come up with the grocery section as well. “We wanted to do groceries from day one itself but the idea had remained stalled,” he shares. It was only after the lockdown was imposed in March last year, he gave impetus to executing the idea.
“We were forced to stay home so I thought instead of staying idle it would be good to get something done and hence the grocery section,” says Rajbhandari. “We realised it had a lot of potential.” Cheers.com started selling groceries after around a month of the lockdown and has now been selling food items, beverages, personal care and household items, pharmaceuticals and more.
Having done his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a Masters in Management from KU, he says that his education has helped create a strong base for his professional career.
In this edition of Business 360, Rajbhandari talks about some of his top brands and what he has learnt from them.
Top 4 apps that you use the most
Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Cheers app
3 destinations within Nepal you want to travel to
Rara, Bardiya National Park and Tilicho
Women-run business you think deserve accolades
An entrepreneur who inspires you
A non-profit you want to
contribute to Saathi
Your top 3 best selling liquors
Beer, Whisky and Wine
The best work advice you have received
An entrepreneur should know what their customers will seek before they actually know what they want.
What are some of the things that you have advocated during the pandemic?
The government implemented certain rules during the pandemic. The 7am to 9am rule for operating businesses during the lockdown made it really difficult to provide delivery services. The main issue with this rule was time management. So, whenever and wherever possible I was talking about how such things affect the general business scenario and the country’s economy.
If you could change ONE thing about the present entrepreneurial scene in Nepal, what would that be?
People involved in businesses self-proclaiming themselves as entrepreneurs.
3 things patrons can do to promote local businesses
Instead of giving negative reviews only, customers could give positive reviews as well. Very few people appreciate the good services of local businesses. Appreciating their services will motivate them to work better.
Startups are important for a country like Nepal because…
There are many avenues that have been untouched. It’s a very growing market in Nepal, where you can start something that will leave an impact and your brand becomes an identity.