Home Startup Stories Helmets Nepal: An E-commerce with a Difference

Helmets Nepal: An E-commerce with a Difference

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The venture started by two BBA students just as a platform to hone their management skills is now successful in creating its niche in the e-commerce scene in Nepal.

The idea of Helmet Nepal was born when two friends Sajal Joshi and Prarthana Saakha from a College club, sharing their knowledge about e-commerce and entrepreneurship in Nepal, discussed on starting an online helmet store by themselves that was completely lacking in the case of Nepal.

Started with a minimum of seed money of NRs. 50,000, through a Facebook page, just to learn about business, Helmets Nepal has scaled up in rapid scale.

Started with an initial capital of less than NRs. 50,000, through a Facebook page, just to learn about business, Helmets Nepal has scaled up in rapid scale. As of latest, it caters to 30-40 clients on a weekly basis.

As most people still prefer to check the products and try before they buy it, they rented a small room in Anamnagar, as a picking point, with just a computer to check orders and deliver goods.

In the beginning phase, they didn’t have much problem delivering on their own since there were only 2-3 deliveries per day. They felt it necessary to have a third party logistics service when they felt the business growing rapidly and assigned one company for the service, that looks after everything on logistics related stuff now.

Taking this venture as a learning process, they had decided not to worry even if they don’t make any sales for the first 6 months. One fine day, they got a call for a product that they had managed to have at theirs, but had yet not entered the Nepali market. Thus happened the first sale.

Seeing the name HELMETS NEPAL, and first in the market to provide online shopping services, only relating to helmets, safety gears and other accessories; people’s expectation was very high. That made them come up with their own spacious office and showroom, now located in Anamnagar.

Helmets Nepal

When they scaled up, they didn’t want to have a roadside shop for immediate returns as there were already many other helmets stores. Instead, they owned a space on a third floor of a building to maintain the essence of e-commerce.

We don’t mind getting phone calls for orders even in the 5:00 in the morning. There are also moments we have received phone calls in between the classes, taking restroom breaks. Had we worked for others, we would not have felt that way for sure.

Remembering the entrepreneurial journey this far with several sleepless nights, Prarthana says, “We don’t mind getting phone calls for orders even in the 5:00 in the morning. There are also moments we have received phone calls in between the classes, taking restroom breaks. Had we worked for others, we would not have felt that way for sure.”

They have designed the workplace in a way to make it look more like a hangout space so that they can enjoy in between their works and also to use it as a gathering space with their friends.

With the unprecedented business growth, mentorships from their teachers and seniors, they were able to maintain the account and finance part well, so that the growth will be smooth and there won’t be problems in future. The smart marketing strategy they carried out through the internet and others, has helped them to reach the target group of customers.

As of now, Helmets Nepal serves the customers with their own brand with trademarks viz. RJS, along with many other international brands including LS2, AGV, Vega, and Bye among others. In the near future, the venture also plans to export RJS helmets outside of Nepal so that Nepalese abroad can own one.

Helmets Nepal

They also have a provision of offline space, i.e. showroom with salespersons along with online space with people working with computers, so that they don’t miss those customers who still want to visit the store and try goods before they purchase. “It is called synchronizing the present and future, carried out when both need to exist together for the proper business growth,” says Saakha.

One fine day, we got an emergency order for a helmet, and I went to deliver the helmet. Considering me to be a delivery boy, the client gave me a tip for the fast delivery service. I cannot forget that moment. I love it when people are satisfied with our work. – Joshi

“One fine day, we got an emergency order for a helmet, and I went to deliver the helmet. Considering me to be a delivery boy, the client gave me a tip for the fast delivery service. I cannot forget that moment. I love it when people are satisfied with our work,” Joshi shared a memorable moment in his journey at Helmets Nepal, receiving the first tip in his life.

Providing a variety of helmets, gloves, masks and other accessories, with a price range varying from Rs 800 to Rs 150,000 the business now has a product manager having good knowledge on helmets and accessories, thus differing from other online stores.

To be an entrepreneur is to take risks, and coming out of your comfort zone. You need to be ready to try something new, face challenges and to adopt in the changing environment.

Saakha and Joshi
Saakha and Joshi

Giving a message to the upcoming startups, Joshi says that it’s always better to start one’s own company. “It is entrepreneurs themselves who can play a great role to contribute to the development of the nation. In earlier days, people preferred to work in banks and other corporate offices after completing their studies. The trend is now shifting to entrepreneurship,” explains Joshi. “But, you have to research about the market before starting anything. To be an entrepreneur is to take risks, and coming out of your comfort zone. You need to be ready to try something new, face challenges and to adopt in the changing environment,” he adds.

In the case of Nepal, women and girls in Nepal are not taught to come forward. But, still, we can see them rising. With support and encouragement from the family and the society, girls can surely move ahead and progress. As an entrepreneur myself, I request them to come forward and change the scenario. -Saakha

Talking about the same, Saakha says that one should start entrepreneurship only after having proper knowledge of the market, so that they fill up the void in the market and create their own niche. “Especially, in the case of Nepal, women and girls in Nepal are not taught to come forward. But, still, we can see them rising. With support and encouragement from the family and the society, girls can surely move ahead and progress. As an entrepreneur myself, I request them to come forward and change the scenario,” she opines on the necessity for women to be entrepreneurs.

Presentation: Basanta Kumar Dhakal