Kathmandu, October 19, 2018: For decades, motorcycles kept getting better and better and expensive as well, but the places you go to get your motorcycles serviced remained the same. There aren’t a lot of places that can properly work on modern sensor-laden motorcycles, not to mention the multi-million rupee motorcycles that are in possession of extreme motorcycle enthusiasts. Believing in serving the motorcycles that serve people every day in international standard with proper knowledge and care that it deserves, Iron Monk Works is established.
Story behind initiation
Co-founders of Iron Monk, Kalash Tuladhar and Ashish Sinha both shares love for a bike since high school. They found the opportunity to fulfil the need for aftersales service of bikes. Kalash said, “I and Ashish have been friends since high school and we share the love for autos. Our first project was inspired by a TV show called The Biker Build-off, we attempted to restore a motorcycle and turn it into a chopper. Due to further education plans and careers, we couldn’t complete the project, but we plan to finish it up at Iron Monk.”
Since 2013, information was gathered and observation of the client was done for the motorcycle market. He said, “Mid 2017 me and Ashish brainstormed the need for a proper workshop, we both agreed that it would be the best thing to happen in the aftersales sector of the motorcycle industry in Nepal.” Iron Monk was officially established on construction level in January 2018 and officially started the business 21 July 2018.
About Iron Monk
Iron Monk is a motorcycle repair centre where international standard services for the motorcycle are provided with high dedication in the country. Also, the parts for the motorcycles are available of the bikes that are on service. Iron Monk has been created with the vision of providing international standard quality with an outstanding focus on customer satisfaction. The industrial look of the workshop is offset by a calmly set customer lounge where we provide a relaxing environment for our customers to wait while their machines are being worked on. Iron Monk has four founding members Medha Bhattarai, Ashish Sinha, Mindy Sinha and Kalash Tuladhar.
The scouting for locations was going on for a long time and one of the final locations had the existing structures that were used as a warehouse. He continues, “Our first challenge was to figure out the most cost effective way to get rid of the structures, until that was gone we couldn’t get an accurate estimate of the amount of work that would be needed to be put in.”
Everything was planned during construction, like when to start foundation work, when to start paint etc, but the lesson was learnt that everything sounds easy on paper, but when it was time to execute plans, the greatest challenge was finding skilled labour. He quoted, “when the project was about 80% complete, and the only major thing left structurally was putting up walls on four sides, we found a contractor that was recommended to us. The contractor quoted us a price and said he’d get it done in four days. We gave him 50% of his quoted price to get the job started and it actually took him more than 4 weeks to get done and he had the audacity to ask 50% more than his original quote.”
From the beginning, there would be a lot of people that wouldn’t be supportive. The market has been run in such a way that people had been opting for price over quality, and that when we try to operate under a quality over price modality. He shared, “It would be difficult for us to change that trend. Although we’ve had some opposition regarding our prices, we’ve found that we’ve been able to provide the services that our customers have been looking for and that with the proper service, the price isn’t an issue.”
Though in few months of opening, Iron Monk has been getting positive responses. Kalash proudly said, “The amount of interest we’ve seen since our opening has been overwhelming. Since officially opening from the 21st of July, we haven’t had a day where we don’t house full. Many of our customers are old customers, and they have been supportive of our work for a long time. But the many new customers that have heard about us through various sources are loving what we are doing. We constantly get great comments on what we have been able to build and love the feeling that they get when they enter Iron Monk.” Future plans
Iron Monk aims to be the leader of aftersales service in future. According to Kalash, their future plans are in the planning phase. He mentioned,” Our aim is to be the leader in the aftersales service within the country by providing an excellent experience to our customers as soon as they enter our facilities.”
He added, “We have great plans for the future although I can’t talk about it right now, it will be a game-changer. We will, however, be focused on the two-wheeler segment for quite a while.”
Message to youth
“We all go abroad at one point in our lives, whether it be for further studies, leisure or work, we have to understand that our country right now is at such a stage that we can shape it to be a country on the way to success. There are so much scope and untapped markets that are left here that the opportunities are endless. We just need to be observant, if the solution is a viable one, success is sure to follow.”
By: Sampada Dahal