“We spend a lot of time in our homes. So it’s important to keep it well maintained and decorate it appropriately,” says Pradeep Bohra founder of the online home decor company Bora Home Store. Bohra who developed an interest in this field during his teenage years launched the company in 2014 as Maya Bedding and Décor. It was, he claims, the first online-based interior design store in Nepal.
Back then Bohra was doing his Bachelor’s in Hotel Management. But he had the basic idea on how to operate a business venture on his own because he had picked up a few things from his family that has been in the garment business for a long time. He mentions that he because didn’t have the finances for a physical outlet, he operated Maya Bedding and Decor online for three years before finally opening an outlet in Kupondole, Lalitpur.
Maya Bedding and Decor changed to Bora Home Store about a year ago because Bohra felt that his company needed a catchy name. The name Bora Home Store comes from his family name and it’s also a Nepali word for jute sack so thought it would fit well with their business concept.
As the head of operations, Bohra overlooks every single activity at Bora Home Store. While five other staffs help him at the outlet, almost double the people work on the field delivering orders and putting up wallpapers. But a major complaint Bohra has regarding his employees is that as soon as he thinks one of his employees is finally getting the hang of most things related to home decor after working for months at Bora Home Store they fly off to foreign countries either for further studies or seeking better job opportunities. And although he understands that he can’t really fault them for wanting a better life, he wishes more educated and knowledgeable people would stay in Nepal.
Because Bohra has always focused more on developing an online presence for Bora Home Store, he reveals that a majority – more than three fourth – of their sales are through digital platform. “I believe that in today’s day and age getting the name of your brand out on the internet is the most important thing. That way, even people who don’t really have the time to walk into your store will be able to buy what you’re selling,” says Bohra.
But Bohra also claims that ordering decorative items online won’t always work for you. He explains that at sometimes things like wallpaper patterns will look pretty different on a screen when compared to what it actually looks like. If the Bora Home Store team believes that a product looks a little different in a photo then they ask their customers to visit their store and have a good look at it in person.
One of the biggest issues that Bora Home Store – as well as every other e-commerce company in Nepal – is struggling with, according to Bohra, is the unavailability of organized and advance online payment. He states even when their customers do order and buy things from them online, the only way they can pay the Bora Home Store team is when an employee delivers the order. He claims that a lot of e-commerce websites will flourish if the online payment system develops in our country.
Popularity of home decor and interior designing in Nepal
Compared to when he first launched Maya Bedding and Decor, Bohra states that interior design and home decor is much more popular in our country today. “Back then only rich and influential people looked into interior designing and everyone else just bought things at the furniture store. But these days I feel like almost everyone is knowledgeable about interior designing and every other person hires a professional to decorate their house,” says Bohra.
Additionally, people are also putting more thought and effort into selecting the smaller knickknacks around their house that will add depth to and compliment the overall look of their homes. Bohra mentions that now very often customers come looking for unique and unconventional bed sheets and wallpapers. That wasn’t the case when he started out.
And while this is primarily a positive thing, Bohra states that a lot of people only see that something looks beautiful and want it – which won’t always work out for their home and their lifestyles. He explains that you have to look into the pros and cons of every home decor product you want to buy. He also adds that in case you can’t figure that out yourself, you could always seek help from a professional interior designer.