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ENTREPRENEURIAL YATRA: A TALE OF UPCOMING STARTUPS

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Ace Institute of Management, one of Nepal’s leading education institutions in Business,  was in the spotlight on Aug 5, 2019 as host to its first ever Entrepreneurial Meet & Panel Discussion event, aptly titled “Entrepreneurial Yatra” which brought together upcoming entrepreneurs from different sectors of the country to share their experiences about starting a business venture, discussing their problems & challenges they had to overcome and to promote the prospect of nation building through entrepreneurial ventures to hopeful students and teachers alike  of taking the next step in realizing their inner entrepreneurial talent.

The session consisted of guest speakers namely; Ms. Shubhangi Rana (Co-Founder of Pad2Go), Mr. Monayac Karki (CEO of Uptrendly), Mr. Rohit Tiwari (CEO & Co-Founder of FoodMario) and Mr. Rahul Agarwal (Owner & Co-Founder of House of Pallets). With such a diverse ensemble cast of speakers from varying fields, personalities and life experiences the stage was set for an amazing and productive learning session. The entire session was moderated by Mr. Diwash Thapa, Managing Director of Talent Connects & Faculty member of Ace Institute of Management specializing in the subject of Venture Ideas & Models taught at the college.

The event commenced with the speakers sharing their story of how their venture came into being, Ms. Shubhangi Rana of Pad2Go, began her journey with the help of her Co-Founder, Ms. Jesselina Rana as a side project for a cause both the women truly believe in – Advocating for menstrual health and breaking taboos. Theirs is a social enterprise which provides schools, colleges, hotels, malls, movie halls and offices with Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines in hopes to empower women and raise awareness about menstruation & proper health education and by doing so hope to tackle the long standing societal misconception about women and their bodies.

Likewise, Mr. Monayac Karki started Uptrendly on grounds of an unlearning experience to what traditional advertising meant. As stated by Mr. Karki, “Traditional advertising to the modern consumer doesn’t have the same impact as what a recommendation does by an influencer of that consumer’s circle of influence.”

Mr. Rohit Tiwari of FoodMario came up with the idea of his venture through the necessity and a realization of the overwhelming potential in the Nepali food scene in context to home cooked food. Being an avid aficionado of home cooked meals, Mr. Tiwari due to lack of readily made home cooked meals decided to capitalize on the untapped market of empowering capable home cooks looking to earn whilst partnering and flourishing with his venture.

And similarly, Mr. Rahul Agarwal of House of Pallets, decided to bring a shift in the recreational culture in Nepal through his venture. Primarily targeted at expats, House of Pallets soon gained a rising following in the arts community to unleash one’s inner artist as well as in the corporate scene as a place to host team building and personality development programs in a fun and relaxed venue.

Just as diverse as the cast of speakers such were their problems & challenges faced by them during their course of realizing their respective ventures. Some challenges to overcome as listed by the speakers were the lack of being taken seriously by the other party due to their age, in the case of Ms. Shubhangi Rana who at the age of 23 is a Civil Engineer by profession and her Co- Founder a Lawyer. In cases of Mr. Karki, Mr. Tiwari and Mr. Agarwal the challenges faced by them was to some extent their idea for their venture being either too advanced for their time, too soon for the market to catch up and or, deemed too risky by their family members, respectively.

Even with the odds which were stacked against them at the time of their business being truly realized the speakers pressed on time and again to the audience to not give up hope – on the idea and on oneself if they truly wanted to make it big.

As the session floor was opened up for questioning many questions were asked of to the speakers most notably of which are quoted as follows:

1. “Sir, I have a brilliant idea in mind for a business venture but don’t have the funds. What should I do?”

– Mr. Rohit Tiwari, “You don’t need funds to start a business. The question of securing funds only occurs when you have to scale a business.”

– Mr. Monayac Karki, “You can’t say you have an idea and then forget about the idea when you go elsewhere. You need to be passionate about it. Be deliberate, share your ideas, and give presentations. If someone likes your idea, they will be ready to sell their land to generate funds for you.”

2. “Who has been your biggest inspiration to start your venture?”

– Ms. Shubhangi Rana, “It would be a disservice to not acknowledge the influence of my parents in my life, but when I get to visit the rural parts of my country and see the child like wonder & curiosity in the eyes of those young girls I am reminded time and again why I started Pad2Go.”

3. “Sir, I personally don’t think there is scope for Agriculture in our country due to the current condition of the infrastructure.”

– Mr. Rahul Agarwal, “What do you do when you need something and no one else is going to help you; YOU BUILD

With the questioning of the guest speakers having come to an end a brief discussion regarding entrepreneurship and its influence on building and shaping a nation was also discussed to which all the guest speakers were in understanding that the country is in dire need of new and innovative ventures to steer the country to a new age of prosperity and stability.