Working in the Family Recycling Business: Kritica Lacoul Shrestha

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Today where the world is consuming natural resources at an alarming rate and with nations helpless as they sink into the ocean it’s the job common people to turn into “Captain Planet” not by wearing a cape but by both starting and promoting recycling companies. One of such companies is Jamarko. Kritica is the co-founder and operations manager of Jamarko and Jamarko Showroom.

Jamarko is a recycling company that focuses on products made out of Recycled and Lokta paper products. The use recycles paper to produce day to day goods like a pencil, notebooks, bags, boxes etc. The company puts efforts to solve the environmental crisis by reducing the burden on the environment through recycling. Jamarko is a traditional company founded by Kritica’s mother and aunt.

About Her

Kritica Lacoul Shrestha is a  working woman who runs Jamerko. Kritica has completed her Master’s Degree in Management from Kathmandu University. After graduation, she opened a showroom for Jamarko to promote her companies goods and to sustain her business. She also added a range of other local handmade eco-friendly products with a dream of developing the traditional business.

Challenges working in Family Business

Kritica with her Master’s Degree was set for a career in Management. But she instead chooses to work in her family business. It was challenging for Kritica as women to choose to work in a business instead of working a traditional job. Even after she joint, it was difficult running a traditional company. She shared, “You can understand how frustrating it would be to have a high-level knowledge in business and not be able to apply it. It is difficult to change a traditional business into a modern one.” It’s difficult being a mother of a child while also being a mother of a company but Kritika did it all.

She says that she has grown and learned so much over the years working for Jamarko. She started as a fresh graduate, now she is married and has a 4-year-old son. Things have changed after she got married, her responsibilities as a married woman and mother have grown. She says “It’s a challenge to balance both my personal and professional life.”  Yet, her perseverance to continue and her mothers’ vision and to grow Jamarko keeps her going.Kritika herself being a mother is trying her best to fulfill her mother’s dream. It is easy to imagine how simple it would have been for her to quit and join a service-oriented job or go abroad. But she didn’t, she belied in her mother’s dream, she believed in her motherland and in saving mother nature.

Even today despite having overcome so many challenges running a recycling business is still tough. There is a challenge to keep her business running with the competitive market, unfriendly policies, and less demand for recycled paper products. It is difficult to explain to people why recycled products are more expensive than normal ones. There is a lot that needs to be done to recycle goods but people don’t understand that. Kritica says, “If you are not buying recycled products. You are not recycling.” Running a family recycling business is tough and she understands it always will be.

Her Inspiration

Her mother has been a constant source of inspiration for her. Her mother’s hard work and commitment to start and work tirelessly for Jamarko even until today motivates her to work. Her mother worked in the recycling business and her mother’s effort was the reason for her start and continuation. Besides that working with her mother, and with her aunt, she learns new things every day.

The Future

Kritika says, “I want to grow Jamarko both locally and globally.” Kritica as her works in Jamarko was the person to start the first Jamrko showroom in Nepal. She wants to expand the online business that already exists and she wants to add more products to the online shop. She also wants to improve the production of recycled goods faster to allow the creation of cheaper recycled products.

Message to youths

“The trend of going abroad has increased tremendously. It is always good to gain knowledge and to return to your homeland and apply that knowledge to practice. There is a lot of opportunities here in Nepal. One just needs to be able to identify and grasp it.  Nothing is impossible, one just needs to work hard and have a lot of patience and determination to be successful.” said Kritica.

By: Saugat Pokharel

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