At the first floor of Mandala Bhawan in Maitighar is the newly opened swanky showroom of Helmets Nepal. The company, having the humblest beginning can be considered probably the most rapidly growing startup company in Nepal.
Seeing the current lavish showroom, it would be almost impossible for one to believe that Helmets Nepal team had started-0ff the company with just 50,000 rupees, and selling helmets through a Facebook page. It is the story of about 14 months ago when they were starting from a small room in Anamnagar.
One also can’t imagine that the idea of starting the venture by two BBA students, Prarthana Saakha and Sajal Joshi had originally come only as a platform to practice business management skills as part of their college course.
And, for 14 months, they carried out sales of helmets and bike accessories through online only.
Being Nepal’s first and largest online helmets and bike accessories store, the company looks forward for even rapid expansion in the coming future with the opening of the grand showroom.
Currently, helmets and accessories ranging from Rs. 800 to Rs. 180,000 are on display at the store.
Amidst the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the new showroom, Basanta Kumar Dhakal from Glocal Khabar had a tête-à-tête with Prarthana Saakha, Managing Director of the company. Here is an excerpt from the short-yet-lively discussion:
Glocal Khabar: You had been running the online model till now. So, how did this idea of starting such a grand showroom come up?
Saakha: We were planning since long to come up with an alternative option for the convenience of our buyers, and cater to those who wanted to touch and feel the products before buying. So, we came up with the idea of opening a showroom in a centrally located place. We have provided the availability of both of the options for the clients. They can still buy through our website or can opt to come to the store.
What is so special about the showroom, compared to the earlier online-only Helmets Nepal?
We have added wide range products in this showroom. From safety gears, shoes, gloves, T-shirts, Jackets, bags, shoe guards, goggles, to almost everything that a bike-rider needs. We wanted to make the showroom unique, and avail all type of products under one roof. This store just tells that.
How is the response of the visitors?
We are getting wonderful feedbacks from the visitors. Most of our visitors have said, “We had thought it is just another helmet shop. But, looks totally different. It’s astonishing.” The response is really overwhelming.
What were the challenges and risks on opening such a grand store, as you were earlier running an online-only business?
We had known the rising market demand but weren’t sure if we can really do it or not. But, we took a risk, decided to open the new showroom in the present shape. And, we are very optimistic our days ahead.
How is the response of buyers in this one year of journey?
We have got really wonderful feedbacks in this journey from our online clients. They have said, “We had never thought that we would be satisfied like this buying helmets and bike accessories online.” It’s far more than what we had expected while we were starting off.
How is the response in this showroom so far?
Unlike earlier, wider range of products are available in the showroom, from varieties of brands. We have also put a lot of effort in designing the interior and theme of the showroom. And, we can see the riders really attracted to this theme of our showroom and the ways of displaying helmets, accessories, and bikes.
Talking about my friends, they are even more excited than me. And, my family is very proud seeing our venture taking such a shape.
While you were starting Helmets Nepal about 14 months ago, had you imagined that you would reach this position this early?
Not at all!
One of our business partners passed a comment today itself, ‘While we were starting a grand helmets store, you were limited in a small room. In this one year, your business grew up so rapidly, but we’re still in similar position. We’re really proud of you.’ I felt it really wonderful to hear this.
What was the mantra/strategy that you followed that made you reach this position this early?
We followed the mantra, ‘vision works the best.’ If you have a vision and have faith in you and continue working tirelessly with one goal, you can do anything and reach a goal.
While starting, you were only two in Helmets Nepal. How many are currently the part of Helmets Nepal?
Currently, we have 14 team-members working at Helmets Nepal, including two co-founders.
You are also a BBA student. As you start a business, your priority shifts and the study becomes more like a side-job. You have to manage the business, compete with rival businesses, deal with all the clients, handle internal operations and almost everything. In this context, I wanted to know how challenging is it for you to take business and study together?
I follow a fixed timeline/routine. If you make a timeline and set accomplishments for everyday, managing your time is not that hard. In my case, I give time to the college in the morning, and at night. Rest of the time, I am engaged with the operation of Helmets Nepal. If you follow in a similar way, things would run smoothly, and nothing would be missed out.
In a similar context, I wanted to know how hectic is your life?
I really can’t express that in words. It’s extremely hectic. You get extremely tired after all-day-long work. And, you have to reach home and complete college assignments and plan for the next day. But, I have now been used to with this.
The life of an entrepreneur is extremely fancy as seen from outside. One day you would be seen sitting in a meeting with varieties of business persons, the next day you would be speaking in a forum, the other day you would be giving an interview in a media, and even travelling to various places. But, from inside, how is the life of an entrepreneur?
Looking from outside, people only see you earning money and living a luxurious lifestyle. But, the inner reality is totally different. Doing business needs a real hard work and a lot of sacrifices. In my case, it usually gets 4 PM when I’m having morning lunch. You don’t get appropriate time for yourself. But, you will enjoy it if you are really passionate about the work you are doing.
What are your expectations from starting this showroom?
More than business, we are here to provide service to the customers in a more convenient way. We would first study the offline trend. But, our online service would also run parallel to the showroom.
Thank you for your time. Wish you all the best!
The pleasure is all mine! Thank you for the wishes. 🙂