Published On: February 20, 2017 11:00 PM NPT By: Republica | @RepublicaNepal
Young Nepali entrepreneurs are paving the way in creating jobs and opportunities lately. What does it really take to start a business in Nepal? Is it only about having huge capital, skilled manpower or managing legal procedures? Entrepreneurs share their opinion on this matter with Republica’s Prasuma Rawal.
With respect to e-commerce, the main challenges in Nepal are unregistered companies doing random business that reflects a bad impression in the market. Product variations as shown in image, poor delivery services, and high price of the products are few unhealthy business practices in our e-commerce industry. The other problems are lack of funds, trained manpower, costly advertisement as well as high turnaround ratio in human resources.
It isn’t very difficult to register a company. However, at times there are unnecessary or excessive documents required and the legal process is quite time consuming. There are practices of ‘under the table’ mechanism. Kinumna.com is an online shopping site; our consumers expect to get quality products at reasonable prices and also at their doorsteps.
Creating a new, innovative venture in a third world country like ours is challenging, as sentiments of most your family and relatives’ circle will be against what you will be doing. They advise you either to settle abroad or get a much secured government job here.
Raising funds to start or scale up your business would also be difficult when you don’t have enough savings. Collecting data regarding your market, customers and existing similar product/services is another challenge as it’s difficult to find past records.
Announcement of occasional strike can also affect a firm from supply chain and other operations. Legal procedures are not very complicated. Most part of company registration can be done online. So far our customers are happy with the products and services, but they do want to see expansion of ChizBiz outlets.
I have been involved in sales in international level which is completely new for Nepali market. Despite of having hard working and enthusiastic employees, one of the major challenges to establish an international business here is manpower and infrastructures.
We have people with degrees but not core experiences. Stable internet has been an issue for businesses in Nepal. Our legal process is not complex. I mean your business will be all about investment and incomes later. Eventually you have to be playing a safe game in terms of tax and business policies. There are good policies depending on what kind of investment it is. Often times, it is the bureaucrats and their non-cooperative behavior that makes the legal process complex.
Though it is quite easy to find opportunities to start a project in Nepal, moving towards a proper solution is a rough road. Every company needs support or product of some other companies in their journey and for successful economy, if every nodes of these networks are healthy, new companies can thrive. However, as a hopeful entrepreneur in Nepal, you soon realize most of the nodes in this network are non-existent. Establishing companies first face an automated sense of dependency on other countries, which in turns undervalues innovation at local level and mobilization of local resources. There are lots of issues one has to face in government offices. Besides, on legal parameters, the dearth of relevant and updated information regarding the procedure for incorporation, sources of financing, regulatory frameworks and such pose a significant hurdle. They are also not updated to reflect the different types of technology companies emerging in Nepali market, thus creating ambiguity and confusion. Since our product is trying to realize a system where local resources and local talent can grow and thrive in a sustainable ecosystem, it has helped us build a proper brand. But we are glad that consumer segment, unlike most businesses in Nepal, is not centrally located in the valley and we get to interact with them and incorporate their feedbacks.
Bilal Ahmed Shah
The main challenges while starting a project in Nepal is having a product and a customer. Understanding whether your product has market or whether you can create the product efficiently is also quite difficult. Finding the right people is also a challenge while starting up. If you have a product and a market, the challenge is how you will reach out to them.
At Latido our main business model has been creating customers through effective service and about 60% of our customer base has been through word of mouth. They spread the word of their product. People love to customize their own creation and the experience of visualizing a design and getting it crafted is quite exciting. Capital is quite important but I feel it is a secondary requirement. Legal process is complicated; the system does take time to set up.
It is never easy to establish and the major problem is to gain the trust of people and stakeholders. As a teenager, it has happened to me very often. When people ask my age, it is more difficult for them to believe me. There are a lot of hurdles and few mentors to guide us. If you are doing business without registration, then you won’t have problems but with registration problems begin. There aren’t any laws and procedures formulated regarding social entrepreneurship. For profit organization’s legal procedures aren’t tough to begin with but tax procedures are burdens. As we are not a manufacturing but a service providing enterprise, we haven’t focused on market research. We have few customers as part of our accelerating and consulting field. We have obtained positive responses so far. We primarily focus on helping startups to grow.
The challenge begins in convincing yourself that you can start and run a company here in Nepal. It is difficult to establish a core team for a company because after working for a certain period of time, people want to go abroad. People here lack patience and seek short-term gains. They do not value intangible factors such as learning and personal development. Nepal ranks at 107 in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index. For someone who is just starting out, it can be very complicated. We still believe that our legal process can be improved and simplified so that any aspiring and existing entrepreneurs doesn’t have to go through hassles just to start and operate business. As we are a branding agency, most of the clients we deal with don’t even know what branding is. At times we have to run a session just to teach them about branding. It can be very frustrating but it is worth it as we believe the service we provide does well for our client’s business and ours as well.
Himalaya Ontop Organic Coffee
Organic products have attained fame in today’s culture, though it is quite difficult to go organic without any usage of synthetic ingredient. It honestly is difficult to meet the global market standards but on the other hand I see of it as an opportunity to upgrade our efforts, using our own local resource, its distinct taste and contour that add up original flavor to the product and the services we deliver. The legal system was quite complex.
Our initiation to provide the visitors with warm hospitality and a view of coffee farm simultaneously seems to have worked well as we have been encouraged by a variety of visitors. The local community has been very supportive to our establishment and has supported us in promotion of the coffee estate. The limited market and its risks associated with innovations have been major hindrance to us.
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