Padhantey is an online bookstore that was launched in early May this year. Currently, the store is completely Instagram based but, despite that, it is one of the most prominent on-demand book delivery services in Nepal. It has already garnered around seven thousand followers on the social networking site and Anurag Paudel, one of its cofounders, reveals that him and Bibek Lamichhane, the other cofounder of Padhantey, are currently working on a easy to use and thorough website for it.
The launch of Padhantey
Both Paudel and Lamichhane are awaiting the results of their Bachelor’s degree level examination. They majored in Computer Science and Engineering during their bachelors – Paudel from Kantipur Engineering College and Lamichhane from Nepal Engineering College. During the end of their undergraduate studies, Paudel and Lamichhane – who met each other at V.S. Niketan in their school years – realized that they both wanted to do something entrepreneurial and decided to partner up for it.
Paudel noticed that his female friends and relatives were always complaining about the unavailability of a lot of popular books in Nepal. Seeing the need of a store that would actually sell books that were in demand among the Nepali crowd, Paudel thought of starting Padhantey. He admits that although Padhantey’s customers are quite diverse, the target audience for Padhantey has largely been the millennial and generation z females.
“Another reason as to why we decided to launch Padhantey is to expand the online marketing scene of Nepal and to mold it into a mainstream industry,” says Paudel. He adds that although the e-marketing scene of Nepal has developed quite a bit as compared to a few years ago, it still has a long way to go. He states that even though him and Lamichhane constantly face problems while managing Padantey because none of them have a business background, they apply their own expertise (of computer science and engineering ) to creatively tackle those problems.
According to Paudel, Padhantey started out with a really small investment budget of about Rs 10,000 and neither him nor Lamichhane had expected such instant success. He claims that they had a really hard time coming up with a name that would fit their brand perfectly. They picked the name ‘Padhantey’ because it sounded more interesting and catchy than a two-worded name one of which would have been ‘bookstore’.
How it operates
Padhantey is constantly updating their Instagram page with new arrivals and books that are in stock. Customers can place their orders through a direct message on the social networking site or through a phone call on the number they have linked on their page. Paudel claims that if a customer places an order on a particular day, they will get the book(s) wherever it is that they want it delivered, by whatever time they prefer the very next day.
Paudel admits that Padhantey has exceeded his and Lamichhane’s expectations with how successful it has been in such a short amount of time. He believes that good customer service, speedy delivery, and constant interaction with their followers are the reasons behind the success of Padhantey. He further adds that their page is very interactive and that they make it a point to respond to all queries and messages as soon as they possibly can.
“Even when we don’t have a book that the customer inquires about in our stocks, we will deliver the book to the customer by the next day as long as it’s available in Nepal,” says Paudel. In case the book a customer inquires about is not available in Nepal, the Padhantey team scouts the international market and imports a limited number of copies of the book. Paudel states that this process takes anywhere from 10 to 30 days. But it’s a service no other bookstore around the valley will provide you with so having to wait for a month at the most isn’t actually a bad deal.
The founders’ advice to aspiring entrepreneurs
The biggest lesson Poudel claims he has learned from administering Padhantey – besides learning how to manage a business – is how Nepal’s market has a lot of open slots for new innovative businesses to thrive. “You have to find that gap – which I assure you exists in all sorts of businesses – and derive an idea and the basis of your brand around that. If you can do that, your business will thrive,” he states.
How Paudel and Lamichhane are following this very advice is by incorporating their technical knowledge into their business. They are working on this new concept right now that Paudel believes has a chance of revolutionizing the productivity of Nepalis corporate workers. They are partnering with various banks and insurance companies of Nepal to provide the employees there self help books and other motivational works that will help them grow professionally every month. And this scheme comes with a hefty discount.Paudel believes this will be beneficial to both those companies and the Padhantey team as well. He reveals that this project will be effective sometime after the upcoming Dashain and Tihar festivities.
The final and the most important advice he has for all aspiring entrepreneurs is to just start doing whatever it is that they want to do. He believes that everything will fall into place once you actually start doing things and that the hardest step to anything is the initial one. “Once you start, there will be no stopping you,” he concludes.