4 years ago
Nepali Market for Nepali Products
KATHMANDU, Oct 19: It is not necessary that there is a back story behind every business. The Local Project started as a start-up for other start-ups in April 29, 2017, and is now giving a platform to new and unique local Nepali products. The Local Project opened as a part of Evoke Café and Bistro Community in Jhamsikhel and has received much recognition ever since.
The Local Project’s Binam Shakya and Sachin Shrestha were just looking for a business to operate when they came up with the idea to give Nepali products that much needed exposure. Many of these start-ups that have found space in their store make hand-made products like bags, purses, shawls, jewelries, decorative and stationeries.
Realizing that many Nepali people were not aware of how qualitative Nepali products were, they decided to start The Local Project as a breakthrough for Nepali products. More than 20 start-ups have partnered with the shop till date and are getting better exposure than before. While searching for potential start-ups in their initial phase, they searched for #madeinnepal and found many emerging start-ups in Instagram, with whom they later collaborated with them.
Not only start-ups with less exposure but also those who have established themselves and become a brand have their products in the shelves. These products have been loved many people where they get one for themselves or buy them to gift them to their friends and families.
Even in a small space, The Local Project has rented its shelves to different brands. One of the recently popular bag brands in Nepal, Mheecha, has also gotten space in their shelves and so has Yatri Supply Co. These brands have rented out the space on a monthly or specific term-basis. Whereas brands that have much smaller space are getting the space on commission-basis.
Each of the brands has a starting contract of three months which later gets upgraded to six-month and a year-long contract in consent. And it is not that you get to shop from limited options; the products boasting on their shelves get changed according to the seasons so that you can choose from different brands and items as per the need of the season, this specially applies on clothing and trekking gears.
According to Binam, “We don’t aim to just be a market for the local products. We want to encourage others as well and produce many more local entrepreneurs and creators to boom the Nepali market even more.” So far, the marketing has been limited to the premises of Evoke and through word of mouth for them. On the other hand, Facebook has also been a great marketing tool. Apart from that, shops in the Evoke community work together so they have been practicing an integrated marketing strategy—under which they refer each other’s customers to other shops and ask them to explore more. They share a special discount and offer schemes among each other and also for their customers.
Nepali and expats alike are in awe of the products that have gotten space in the shelves of The Local Project. Sophia Groom, a school counselor at The British School and a regular customer of The Local Project, said she loves the products that are in the local project’s shelves. “I come here often every time I come to Evoke and have bought few of the items—a shawl, bags and jewelries—and gifted to my friends and family. Even they love it. And I love it even more as I have not seen such an idea—of Evoke community—take place anywhere else.”
As a long term vision, Binam said they want to expand to other places as well within Kathmandu like Thamel and New Baneshwor. After that, they want to expand to Bhaktapur and also in Pokhara in the long run.