Kathmandu, July 21, 2016: Emerging Entrepreneurs Forum, a programme focused on providing opportunities for the young people and entrepreneurs in their initial stage, was recently organized in the capital to develop their entrepreneurial skills and quality to make a difference by realizing their full potential and provide them with a platform to discuss and interact with the experts from the different sectors aiding in their existing knowledge and ideas.
Jointly organized by Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Youth Legend (YL), the 5 hours-long interactive workshop involved the entrepreneurial story and lesson sharing by 6 different dignified speakers followed by Q&A rounds with the participants, helping themÂ discover their assets and generate ideas.
In the programme, Rajendra Giri, Chairperson of Kailash Development Bank shared his 30 years of experience in the financial sector in Nepal. He said that being an entrepreneur is giving employment to others and because of incapable government, we need to come forward on our own to succeed.
â€œThough most of us are reeling through the situation of lack of money (the lifeblood of business) to start a business, there is enough of money in the banks and if one follows the system, the banks are ready for the investments and money will be available easily,â€ he shared. â€œAs banks look for the credibility and personality and network of the person seeking money, we need to build that up before starting a business. You need to clearly mention about your business, i.e. service/production type of business and how it works, in the loan proposal so as to avail the banking loan.â€
He also shared how even in developed countries, more than 50% of the businesses fail.
â€œAs an entrepreneur, you need to manage all the dimensions of the business, i.e. products and services, sales, staffs, accounting, taxation and administration of a business,â€ he opined.
He shared how the business support system is lacking in Nepal. â€œStarting a business is a commendable work, and at the same time a challenging one,â€ he mentioned.
Giving suggestions to the emerging entrepreneurs, he said that marketing, finance and HR department need to understand everything before starting a business.
Encouraging the participants to opt for a partnership type of business, he said that as the risks and responsibilities are shared among the partners and different core skills can be utilized together in such business model. â€œIt is usually preferred to start in partnership, but the partners need to have different skill sets and need to ensure that disputes wonâ€™t arise later,â€ he opined.
He further shared that a feasibility study of a business needs to be conducted before launching one and said that the business growth plan should be considered on the basis of market and sales, not only that on the financial sector.
Great ideas are always simple, but need to be executed properly. – Sushil Khadka
Similarly, in another session, Sushil Khadka, CEO of Bajeko Sekuwa talked about the opportunities in the food sector in Nepal.
Talking about the necessity of creativity in doing business, Khadka shared that Bajeko Sekuwa is a food with innovation. He mentioned that if the business is not meaningfully unique and the same products are sold by everyone, it will bring price war. â€œTo overcome this, one needs to be focused on providing unique offerings and having a smart menu about oneâ€™s services,â€ he shared explaining that 80% of the problems in businesses arise by 20% of services one offers.
Giving insights on how we have grown to become an agriculture dependent country, he pointed out the need to have high value agro-products.
Talking about startups, he said that there needs to be clarity of business idea in oneâ€™s mind before starting a business of any kind. â€œAt the same time, the skills of the co-founders need to complement that of each other,â€ he said.
To benefit from a business, he said, one needs to standardize the production cost at the same time fully ensuring about the supply chain along with maintaining of cost control and inventory control.
â€œEspecially in food businesses, inventory control needs to be closely tied up with the food production. At the same time, the consistency of the products and services are also highly essential for oneâ€™s reputation and developing the client base,â€ he said.
â€œWhile going outside of Kathmandu, I get always in dilemma on where to eat. There is no any such reliable brand out there. And, as foods need to be safe to keep you fit and healthy, you need to be conscious about the food you are eating,â€ he shared. â€œThere is a big market outside of Kathmandu for a food business, provided that your products and services are unique and consistent.â€
He further said that in the case of Nepal, the contribution of food sector in the GDP of the nation is less than 1%, meanwhile, in a thriving economy, it should be more than 6%.
Being an entrepreneur, he said that one cannot expect operationg profit on the day one.
â€œTechnology is highly essential for the efficiency and production control in a restaurant business,â€ he said. â€œMonitoring of sales in a business is easier if you standardize the system and use the required technology.â€
Though it doesnâ€™t take long to build a brand, word of mouth is very essential to build-up a brand. â€œGreat ideas are always simple, but need to be executed properly.â€
You shouldnâ€™t be that much loyal to your brand and stick to just one thing. There are a lot of other things to do. Thus, you need to be prepared for that. Your ultimate goal from the business should be making money. – Shisheer K Bhatta
As the next speaker at the podium, Shisheer K Bhatta, Director, TBI Japan Co. Limited, talked on business basics and how to make a build-up a business that succeeds. He also shared his experiences on how he was successful in expanding his restaurant business into 137 different outlets in Japan.
He shared that no businesses are new, but only their techniques of doing business. Catching up the market trend in the changing business environment is very essential along with the necessity to bring business ideas on the basis of market demand,â€ he shared from his experiences in business.
â€œThere are risks in every step an entrepreneur takes. Researches need to be carried in the practical aspect thus to mitigate those risks,â€ he ideated.
â€œThe team combination in a startup needs to have people with a variety of skill sets and itâ€™s very essential to maintain transparency of transaction within the team,â€ he shared. â€œFunding and scale-up strategies need also to be clear among all the co-founders.â€
BhattaÂ further shared that exit strategy of a business is also one of the must to do thing. â€œYou shouldnâ€™t be that much loyal to your brand and stick to just one thing. There are a lot of other things to do. Thus, you need to be prepared for that. Your ultimate goal from the business should be making money,â€ he clarified.
He also said that there is no gain where there is no risk. â€œOne needs to bear the failure and survive the challenge of failure,â€ he shared.
Dream in a way that the dream makesÂ youÂ not to sleep but instead focus on yourÂ enterprise. –Nirvana Chaudhary
Meanwhile, Nirvana Chaudhary, MD of Chaudhary Group (CG) & Vice-President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) shared about the CGâ€™s worldwide experience so far. He mentioned how at the age of 15 years and studying in London, he didnâ€™t return back to Nepal on his vacation, instead started working. â€œIn the daytime, I would be working in an investment bank and in the evenings, I used to be working in a restaurant.â€
He reminisced one moment from those days on how once he got 5,000 US Dollars from an investor, which he invested in different businesses viz. Food (Nestle), Mobile Phone (Nokia) and construction sector with a vision that all three sectors will see a rapid growth.
He also shared how he got inspired by the story of the entrepreneurial journey of US Presidential candidate Mr. Donald Trump and his journey from the rags to riches. â€œA business idea needs to be backed by oneâ€™s ability to execute it,â€ he said, explaining how he started a business without any money in his pocket.
He also shared that one should dream in a way that the dream makes a person to not to sleep but instead focus on oneâ€™s enterprise.
Meanwhile, Gyanendra Lal Pradhan, known as the king of Hydro Power in Nepal and the convener of the Energy Committee in the FNCCI & SARRC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shared that unlike in the present days, there were no guidance and platforms in earlier time on starting a business.
He pointed out that one needs to have a great desire to do something analyzing their personal strengths.
â€œIf you fail, you learn something. My first failure, Manakamana Cable Car made me realize that the cable car thing is not for me,â€ he shared his experiences from failure. He said that though Nepalese are in the post-modern age in terms of Information Technology availability, weâ€™re in Stone Age in terms of energy usage. â€œIn Nepal, energy cost is the highest cost of all. More than 150 billion Rupees is spent annually to import Petroleum to Nepal, and that comprises of just 10% of the total energy consumption in the nation. 65% of people are still using firewood for cooking,â€ he expressed his dissatisfaction about the situation of energy usage in Nepal.
He pointed out that we need to properly utilize energy and water to take the country ahead. â€œIn Nepal, entrepreneurship is never an agenda of our politicians,â€ he said.
Entrepreneurs are those people who make the problem simplified and possess excellent selling skills. To be a successful entrepreneur one needs to have a good team, carry out good research about the market oneâ€™s going to work on and plan for an exit strategy. To be a successful, your idea needs to be causing disruptions in the market. – Dr. Rudra Raj Pandey
As the last speaker in the series, Dr. Rudra Raj Pandey, Chairman of Deerwalk Institute of Technology, talked about IT industries in Nepal and the scopes and opportunities in the sector. As per him, to be an entrepreneur, one needs to be LASH (likable, agile, (have) sense of humor and happy). â€œEntrepreneurs are those people who make the problem simplified and possess excellent selling skills. To be a successful entrepreneur one needs to have a good team, carry out good research about the market oneâ€™s going to work on and plan for an exit strategy,â€ he shared. â€œTo be a successful entrepreneur, your idea needs to be causing disruptions in the market.â€
He also shared that since there are numerous problems in Nepal, there are plenty of opportunities for one to work on.
As entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economic growth in the nation, and entrepreneurship is the journey of exploration of the opportunity and the utility of the ideas and knowledge, devoting oneâ€™s time and efforts with appropriate risk management techniques to create value for the profit and a good social cause, the programme was highly successful in providing the emerging entrepreneurs with the ideas and the knowledge required to start entrepreneurial venture. The programme also provided the emerging entrepreneurs in the town with the much needed platform to discuss on their entrepreneurial ideas.
The programme also had a networking session where the participants could talk to the fellow participants and the panel the guest speakers to discuss on their business ideas and how to pursue them and move forward.
Photos Courtesy: AIDIA/YL
By Basanta Kumar Dhakal