As a professional paragliding pilot for more than 12 years, Bimal Adhikari set out to start his own paragliding company and continue with the passion of paragliding in a new way. He decided to open a company to input what he had learned so far and give the best professional service in Nepal.
Started just about a year ago, Adhikari has been successful to make â€˜Cumulus Clouds Nepal Paraglidingâ€™ a leading paragliding company in Pokhara. Cumulus Clouds is a type of cloud that looks like a floating cotton, where paragliding pilot experiences significant lift due to aÂ pressure cumulus clouds exerts. â€œAs a pilot, I loved the name, and started the company with the same name,â€ he shares the story behind naming the business Cumulus Clouds.
With Cumulus Clouds, he has envisioned to be able to make people understand about air sports in Nepal and to represent Cumulus Clouds Nepal Paragliding in an international flying arena and promote quality tourism industry in Nepal.
Sharing his personal story, Adhikari says that he was initially willing to be a computer engineer and studied diploma in computer engineering. But, after he got an opportunity to be airborne, with Nepalâ€™s first paragliding pilot Mr. Rajesh Bomjon, he was inspired to enjoy the freedom of flying like a bird. There is no looking back after that.
He planned to start the company in 2012, before his visit to France to update his flying career. But, later on, as he focused on sports, he could not start my company. â€œIt is always difficult to establish something new in our country, where the political situation is not stable and bureaucracy is corrupt. But I somehow managed to come up with a unique business idea to support myself, our employees and whole tourism industry,â€ he shares. He started the company with an initial investment of around 60 lakh rupees. â€œI was lucky enough to get a support from my parents and outcome of 13 years long paragliding experience to establish as a business for the love of what I always enjoy doing,â€ he adds.
At Cumulus, visitors take off exclusively with best-certified paragliding pilots from Toripani Mountain situated at 1650 metersâ€™ altitude above sea level. The magnificent panorama view of Pokhara valley in the front, Fewa Lake on the side, the Annapurna Range and Machhapuchhre in the back is just mesmerizing.
They currently offer three types of paragliding services viz. Be-cool Tandem Flight (normal flying experience), Discovery and Sensations Tandem (elongated normal flight) and Premium Tandem Flight. The prices range from Rs. 7,000-15,000 per flight.
Sharing about how Cumulus Clouds stands apart from other paragliding companies, Adhikari says that it is his 13 years of flying experience, safety policy, insurance policy, their private landing site, passenger care, and being able to share experience and knowledge of various elements including nature, geography, latest version of gliders, and equipment and luxury 4×4 drive for transportation sets this company to be different.
In the initial year of operation, the company is faring pretty well, he says. â€œThere are more and more happy passengers recommending and talking about our services,â€ he shares.
As marketing is the foundation for every business, he kept the subject in top priority. â€œWe are approaching new enterprises for tourism business in Nepal, like hotels, travels companies, etc. We are also carrying out online promotion, agreements with travel companies and good relation with those stakeholders who believe in quality tourism,â€ Adhikari shares.
Currently, Cumulus Clouds operates with a total of 12 employees, including 1 Managing Director, 3 Pilots, 1 Marketer, 2 ake-off assistants, and 2 landing assistants, among others.
In paragliding, as he says, “Every day is a new day as every person experiencing the paragliding for the first time are nervous as this is human nature, but the way the pilots make them feel comfortable and the way they treat them in the air is what all the passengers always remember and appreciate the company for.”
Talking about the challenges in the paragliding industry of Nepal, Adhikari shares that as the government has still not recognized paragliding as an adventure sport, it is affecting the growth of the industry. He further adds that the industry is also at risk by one-time income concept of some money minded people. Poor license policy of Nepal government regarding pilots and safety is harming the sector further, he says, adding, there is no long-term vision for tourism by stakeholders, and airspace in Nepal is not regulated.
There are two moments for him that he canâ€™t let go off. The first moment was the day when his guest from the very first flight wanted to fly again the same day and booked the next ticket. Next, there was a French guy who chose to fly continually for 4 days with him. These instances reflect the customer satisfaction level we offer, he says.
Coming this far in the very short duration of time, he has now aimed to make the company a leading adventure company in Nepal for the promotion of quality tourism in Nepal.
For him, the success mantra that every entrepreneur should live by is, it is always better to do what they love to do. And, after starting something, one should set a goal, and try their best to face the challenges. That is what makes them stronger and give their best.
Have you ever wanted to experience the absolute freedom of flight? Want an adrenaline rush? See the Pokhara city from a different view? Touch Annapurna from your Hand? Spoil your partner? Willing to do something you have never done before? You can try a Tandem Paragliding flight with Cumulus Clouds Nepal Paragliding.
Startups for a better Nepal!
Presented By: Bibek Sapkota