Startups for a better Nepal!
Kiran Pradhan, Bipin Shrestha, Mahesh Khadgi, Anup Sanker Malla; all came from a business background and ventured ‘Lunch Hour’ with a zeal and enthusiasm to innovate something that would be focused on solving the problems of society that could eventually be converted to a business.
“As we grow up, we either have to take business or job for our livelihood and we chose to do something of our own,” says Kiran. “We wanted to do something new and we were looking for ideas that would convert low capital into high return,” he added. They decided to kick off the venture with a low capital from the experimentation phase and if that worked, put more capital to accelerate it towards a successful business venture.
The initial idea to run a service industry that included delivery of lunch-boxes was backed up by a research phase. On 1 September 2015, ‘Lunch Hour’ formally kick-started with 500 orders of lunch boxes. About this, Kiran says, “The excitement could be traced out from the fact that I myself made rotis in the kitchen and it was the first time I had ever made them.” They had hired experienced chefs for the venture.
Just within a month of starting up, they faced a major challenge regarding the survival of the business due to the economic blockade. “The India imposed trade embargo resulted in the non-availability of food and fuel, which is the fundamental requisite of our business. Moreover, the actual cost was two or three times higher than what it used to be before. It was a real nightmare!” Pradhan remembers the blockade days. They also faced a lack of human resource at that period of time.
The first step in the supply chain is the procurement of raw materials which is supplied to them by their vendors. Secondly, cooking and packaging is done and then deliveredÂ at the doorstep of people. Kiran says, “Food business is a very sensitive business. From the selection of lunch boxes to cooking, packaging and delivering of food, an utmost care needs to be given in the quality of food along with maintaining the hygiene. For this,we have made availability of aÂ spacious, well lighted and well ventilated kitchen.”
They have included both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items on their menu and the price is uniform for both i.e. Rs.95. Explaining about the concept and the product cost at Lunch Hour, Kiran shares that the main idea of their business is mass production. Some of the food items tend to cost more than 95 while some cost less. So, the pricing is done in such a way that the difference in price is covered by this average price of Rs.95. After each fourteen days, they come up with a new menu and provide lunch services accordingly.
They provide services through online and telephone orders, with a target supply of 1000 boxes each day.
With demands from their clients, they have also started providing ‘canteen services’ in various corporate organizations and ‘lunch services’ on various occasions.
The business is progressing well and they have made a plan to open branches in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur in the near future. Currently they are operating through five departments with 15 salaried staffs and 3 to 4 on a daily payment basis.
Giving a message to aspiring entrepreneurs, Kiran says, “Business is just like a test cricket match. It requires a long term planning and one should be ready to take a risk. There are ups and downs on your way. You must have to be ready with your strategic weapons to cope with the problems.”
Presented By:Â Anusha Kadel