Home Startup Stories This Nepal made shoes will embody your identity, story of DOCHAA

This Nepal made shoes will embody your identity, story of DOCHAA

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The story of Dochaa has a very humble beginning!

One morning at one of the local tea shops in Kathmandu, three youths: Amuda Mishra, Watsal Rajbhandari, and Dikesh Prajapati were talking about the underrepresented art and talent of Nepal. They were thinking of ways through which they can credit the artists, embrace their identities in peculiar ways, and endorse the rich and vibrant Nepali culture. After scratching their head for couple hours they thought: what a unique way would it to be to do it through shoes. They thought of starting a shoes brand of global quality standard. Thus came DOCHAA into existence, which means shoes in Sherpa indigenous language.

“DOCHAA is a manifesto of Nepali art, cultures, colors and vibes. Packed in a shoes, DOCHAA is the ultimate representation and inclusivity of art and artisan,” shares Dikesh about the essence of embedding art in the shoes. “Your foot gears crafted in the Himalayas will take your style to the next level,” he adds.

For shoe lovers who love wearing unique, stylish and comfortable shoe, Dochaa is all that you need. Dochaa is a Nepali brand shoes produced in Kathmandu, and made by local artisans using local fabrics. What’s more? Each pair of Dochaa tells a story of the traditions, cultures, beliefs, identity, and uniqueness of the artisans.

For shoe lovers who love wearing unique, stylish and comfortable shoe, Dochaa is all that you need. Dochaa is a Nepali brand shoes produced in Kathmandu, and made by local artisans using local fabrics. What’s more? Each pair of Dochaa tells a story of the traditions, cultures, beliefs, identity, and uniqueness of the artisans.

Most of us wouldn’t believe, but the co-founders of DOCHAA had spent almost two long years to research, design and develop, before formally launching the shoes around a month ago. They had been to India for the to research about the shoes, and know the art of producing quality shoes.

Furthermore, all three of them had already known the grind of startup before actually starting Dochaa, and knew what it takes to create a startup that won’t fail. To add more, it was a very well-informed team among themselves.

Passion, the major investment

“I don’t know how you would measure passion and effort. Passion is the capital in our case. The resilience to envision something. I can’t express the amount of emotion and passion that we have input into the brand. We relentlessly worked to make it happen,” shares Mishra responding Glocal Khabar’s query on how much was the initial investment. “We really don’t know how to make the valuation of the company in which you are so passionate. May be, we can do that after some years. But, we’re not ready yet,” she adds.

The brand, that was launched on Saturday, 29th April at Octave Kathmandu got an overwhelming response in the launch day itself. Despite the rain, they got a wonderful response from the visitors. “We had not anticipated that DOCHAA would be such fast-selling product. But, we almost sold out whatever we had that day. That day we knew what we were delivering and what we were giving the community is right, and has space,” Mishra further shares.

Watsal Rajbhandari

“There is an appeal to the product, even in the Nepali communities staying abroad, as the shoes reflect Nepaliness. For now, we are more focused on products and improvising it. After we start productions on the big scale, we will definitely look into the foreign market,” says Rajbhandari.

As of now, only 3 types of shoes are available at DOCHAA: Mang, Buna, and Nakha shoes. The price of the limited edition products is 2500 rupees per pair.

The blockbuster beginning

“While we were creating DOCHAA, we had spent numerous hours on creating prototypes, analyzing the comforts, and what it means to our generation who are so diverse. One thing we had not anticipated was the response would not be that good and had plans of recalibrating it. But, we got such a response that we had to do backorders for the delivery of the shoes. And, people are having to wait or almost one month to get a shoe. It’s almost mandatory for people to make booking the shoes in advance,” shares Mishra.

User response

“The response from the buyers so far is wonderful. They are even getting ideas for improvisation. And, even ask if it’s possible to design shoes in their own custom designing. We are even getting to learn from their feedbacks,” shares Prajapati. “Not only is there backorders, but the buyers of the shoes are also recommending it to their friends and peers,” he further shares.

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The challenges

The journey to this position was not that easy though.

“There are some challenges in manufacturing stages, as we are total outsiders about shoes. That was a big challenge for us. Procurement process would be the same. There were times when the quality didn’t meet as per our expectation,” shares Prajapati.

“But, we have seen an appeal for the product from our buyers. While taking feedbacks from them, they have highly rated us in the uniqueness part. So, people come in buy our products. So, it is not that challenging actually, now. And, we have developed a mentality that people are appreciating out product,” says Bhandari.

The next step

“As we have only 3 types of shoes available currently, our immediate next step is to have cross variations in the designs, and coming out with newer products with a variety of other fabrics.  We don’t think there needs to be an outlet. Many online gateways are also emerging. So, even without an outlet, we can do it,” shares Mishra.

Where will we see Dochaa in 5 years of duration?

“By then, we would probably be exporting limited edition shoes in various different countries. We have a plan of making DOCHAA a household name. We would be looking international market at the same time,” says Rajbhandari about their future plans.

“Currently, Nepal is known as a country of Mount Everest or a country where Gautam Buddha was born. In the duration of 5 years, we have dreamed to change the perception, and make Nepal the country of Dochaa,” shares Prajapati about the future of the brand.

Meanwhile, Mishra says, “In this duration, we want to create employment opportunities for the youths here, giving people enough reasons to stay back in Nepal.”

To the emerging entrepreneurs:

“As I have already been running an organization, I thought that I had learned everything about starting a company, and starting DOCHAA wouldn’t be that hard. But, starting the company was equally challenging. We have been through a lots of ups and downs, bickering, fights and fun. Dochaa personally taught me to fail forward,” shares Mishra to the budding entrepreneurs. “You might not be able to take Saturdays off. Your 5-hours of sleep might reduce to 2 hours. You need to ask yourself if you are up for the grind. You need to negotiate and compromise so much on your social life,” she adds.

Similarly, Prajapati says, “Starting up is not an easy work. But, if you have that enthusiasm, you should never give up. You should also know your product, and what you are going to deliver. You need to be clear about it.”

Meanwhile, Rajbhandari shares, “I have been in a failed startup long ago. I had started that without having a broad knowledge. We started Dochaa after ensuring that we can do this, focused, and with a broader vision. Maybe we should pursue that and not give up. People had almost lost faith in us as we took almost two years to bring out the products. Leading a startup is not that easy.”

Startups for a better Nepal!

Presentation: Basanta Kumar Dhakal