The startup scene is hot with new and young entrepreneurs coming up with creative ideas. Many are driven by the need to innovate, and for many the lure is to be their own boss. Access to data and internet makes the experience more exciting, approachable, and doable.
The startup fever is growing with a positive surge of new businesses of all sizes. But the rate of failure is equally high with many not folding up within a year. “An entrepreneur needs to understand simply starting a company is not enough. They need to understand legal and other parameters. Once you go beyond the 3Fs – Friend, Family and Fool – you must have something that the market needs,” says Suman Shakya, Managing Director of Smart Paani. He opines entrepreneurship is not for everyone. “Know the sector inside out and believe in information that is correct and not just based on assumption. You should be ready to fail once you take the risk. The best thing to do is fail fast. The faster you fail the faster you learn” he emphasises.
Business 360 spoke with two young startups after meeting them at the Kings College annual event, Hamro Utsav.
Dhaulagiri Products – Dhaulagiri Products aims to connect local farmers with the
market and promote healthy food options. Sagar Thapa, a resident of Dhaulagiri and student of Kings College is a co-founder. Thapa at just 18 years old and started the company after completing his +2 studies in 2013. The company was registered a year later. Dhaulagiri Products deals with local organic products such as dry fruits, spices and herbal products constituting a total of 50 different varieties. They started initially with products from four districts in Dhaulagiri. “We did extensive research on what kind of local products are found in the region. The Made in Nepal Expo gave us a platform to showcase these and test the market to see how they are received,” recalls Thapa. The response was encouraging and today they have expanded to 21 different districts to meet the demand inside the valley alone. Acting as a wholesaler, the company is extremely selective in choosing the products. They only sell to those outlets which place greater emphasis on local produce. Without any major marketing efforts, the company has reached a certain level of success. “The farmers trust us because we look after their interest as well. They are also our shareholders,” he shares. Thapa dreams of making Dhaulagiri Products a public company someday.
Putali, The Hope – Sumit Sagar Kachhepati, student of Prime College and President of Prime Entrepreneurial Management Club is the brain behind Putali, The Hope. During a boot camp for sustainable help at the local Shree Kakani Ganesh Lower Secondary School.
Putali is a student driven social impact project with the aim to make education accessible. “If a school so close to the capital is deprived of so many things, then what could be the condition schools further away,” questions Kachhepati. He states, “With the belief that helping hands are better than praying lips, we started this student driven social impact project.”In the initial phase of the project, Prime EMC started selling notebooks bearing ‘Putali, The Hope’ theme. “The notebooks are designed, printed and manufactured by the team and the proceeds generated from the sales of these notebooks go to less fortunate schools and students” says Shraddha Shrestha, Deputy President of the Prime EMC. The project also aims to donate books, reconstruct damaged classrooms and start sweater production in the days to come. Putali initially aims to impact Shree Kakani Ganesh Lower Secondary School as it is the school for which the project started.
Putali believes every child deserves a good education with proper learning environment and aims to uplift and develop underprivileged schools and students. “This project is a student to student initiation,” opines Shraddha Shrestha, adding “With the purchase of every 10 copies you can have a free Cappuccino at Red Mud Coffee”.