The restaurants and hospitality industry has gone to a tremendous upgrade during the past decade in Nepal. As many as 716 restaurants with an investment of Rs 30 million and above has been registered and is being operated. In this vying hospitality business, Ageno: The Hestia stands distinct offering a wide range of amenities thereby, blending the National tradition, International standards, and catering utility. It is also the first Disable friendly venue restaurant in Nepal.
Prajwal Kumar Dahal, CEO of Ageno: The Hestia worked as National level manager of WE WORLD, an Italian Organization. With the experience of working in different NGOs and INGOs from grass root level to senior level, he wanted to do something of his own. In addition, the problem of not finding an appropriate venue for organizing meetings propelled him to establish Ageno.
Working with the team of Together Holdings and several NGOs and INGOs created a solid foundation of experience in financial and development sector in Dahal and his team of Ageno. The strong urge and thought of doing something to fulfill the need of society and contribute to the development of Nation thereby, incepted from working in the development sector. In addition, Ageno Bakery had already been established and was preferred by mass of people. This inspired them to do more in the field of hospitality which then led to the establishment of Ageno: The Hestia.
Ageno means ‘kitchen’ in Nepali and The Hestia represents the name of Greek God. The visitors can enjoy authentic Nepali food viz Illam Tea, Potatoes from Rasuwa, fresh fish from Koshi, pulses from Mugu to Italian, Indian and other multi cuisines as per their demands.
The service of Ageno has been diversified into three main heads. They are Event Venue, Restaurant, and Bakery. Dahal says,”Convincing Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN) to hold their preliminary meeting opened doors in making Ageno an ideal event venue”. It is an ideal place to hold conferences, meetings, exhibitions among others due to its space orientation, capacity, interiors and other infrastructure. Next, its multi-cuisine restaurant which is a blend of traditional and non-traditional taste that provides one with the best hospitality. Ageno Bakery, on the other hand, is catering Nepali customers to provide the standard Hellman Halmer’s bakery of the international brand at a reasonable price. Medicity Hospital has also been promoting its bakery supplies as healthy bite adding to its brand value.
Ageno has also been working to promote local produces. For example, it serves Wooden Apple Juice which is the grown in the western region of Nepal and is channelized via Care Nepal.
Challenges and Future
Dahal says, “ We have different challenges since we are not from a business background. When we faced challenges, we seized the learning experience out of it. As a result, we learned something while tackling a particular problem.” Likewise, tackling several customer problems has motivated them to do more.
Getting along, they are planning to open one venture in every province. Prajwol said that Ageno bakery will be opening seven other outlets in Kathmandu within a year. It also seeks to provide different facilities such as Veteran’s club to the old age people with recreation facilities. It also plans to have integrated farming to serve their needs of raw material for their service.
Dahal says,” Today people are rusted in nature due to excessive use of mobile as they want everything fast. They have forgotten Patience which everyone requires to be successful.”
Ageno utilizes social Media majorly for spreading words about its product and services. Public relation with the different organization is also an important factor to maintain clients. “We are successful in gathering loyal customer who appreciates us,” says Dahal.
To the aspiring entrepreneurs
Youths today focus on living abroad. However, Dahal opines that if we work with the same honesty and hardworking nature, a lot can be done in our own country. He also urges youths to start something new after +2 level as it helps to learn and achieve success.
“We don’t have a business culture but we have to create it. When we form a good group, it minimizes burden and helps to share the risk”
Startups for better Nepal
Presented by: Shiva Bhattarai