few ideas for kathmandu’s guerilla entrepreneurs…

Pain is Opportunity. This is how we entrepreneurs see things. We just look around, see where certain situations are causing discomfort (pain) to people, families, neighborhoods, towns and even the country. We find an opportunity, an idea to change lives, then offer the services people need. In the past five years, there has been an amazing growth in interest among the new generation of Nepalis to become entrepreneurs. Many young Nepalis are starting organizations, businesses and institutions in their 20’s and 30’s.

We all know Nepal is undergoing a lot of pain these days. But this is exactly when entrepreneurs should seize the opportunity. In a country with where one thousand Nepalis are leaving the country daily for jobs, providing dignified jobs here, is the best social service you would be providing.
For those of you who are just starting out, here are a few examples where pain is an opportunity here.

What if you…

  • Provide a open office space that could be prepaid and rented on a per use basis in the heart of Kathmandu and other urban centers. A great place for start up entrepreneurs to meet others. ‘Co-office’ or brainstorming space or ……
  • Come together and run  a “non stop Bus/micro service/ tempo” service that guaranteed timely service, pick and drop for a premium price ( but not as shocking or surprising as those taxis in Kathmandu now)
  • Build barber shops in Kathmandu which were cleaner and combine that with a professional massage therapy . (A lot of us in Kathmandu are willing to pay substantially more for this)
  • Open a public transportation service that only travels in the evenings  and “is reliable and on time”. (if you are thinking lack of security, maybe the vehicle has its own security guard :>))
  • Organize a ‘farmer’s market’ in different parts of Kathmandu, Where you leased stalls and where people come to buy and sell fresh produce, meat, food (hopefully some will be organic and locally produced). Like Kalimaati but smaller and agile.
  • Train yourself to be a “turn garbage into organic waste” trainer, and charged families, 200 rupees a session (for half an hour) to turn house waste into manure in their own gardens (and even buy surplus manure from them).
  • Started providing health care services to urban families at their own homes.With young Nepalis working elsewhere, Kathmandu and other urban centers are fast turning into Old people’s homes.
  • turn the former Royal Palace gardens into what is a fusion between “Garden of Dreams” and “Babar Mahal revisited”. This is something families look forward to taking in their children for a quiet (and hopefully fresh) time together.
  • Run a business that installs a rain harvesting service in each home for use in dry seasons. Isn’t Water the next gold? If you are a designer or architect or engineers, start thinking of building services and products to save or recycle water that is easy to install. Then sell them !
  • Provide technical trainings to “builders, electricians, engineers, architects’ who build new homes on how to integrate alternative energy source into houses
  • Open a micro-brewery. If one wants to enjoy beer, let it be home brewed  :) There is a healthy local market here.  I am sure with a marketing twist “Himalayan brewed” , quite popular among the tourists also. (Only catch is you have to convince our monopoly friendly government barrier in issuing affordable licences to small businesses to start this).
  • Lease and run Tundikhel into a weekend bazaar, that only operates on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). “Our own Haat bazaar”. (if you have been in Bangkok, Thailand, you will already have the visual idea)
  • Operate a public auction place in your city where various auctioning of items like antiques, used furniture’s, used appliances. Make this a weekend event. Will be pretty lively and entertaining to be in there!
  • Run a business running Motorcycle (scooter) taxis to get to your destination fast in Kathmandu’s traffic. Say bye bye to Micro-buses.
  • Open a “positive news only” media that focuses on progress, enthusiasm, dynamic Nepalis, hard working Nepalis and small successes in Nepal.  Aren’t we sick of watching those 3 old faces on media crying and fighting with each other all the time and other gloomy news of murder and mayhem to top that.
  • Build a giant storage house for perishable goods to be stored in the highest standards and rent them out space by space. A lot of entrepreneurs would come to buy these services from you.
  • And for the ones with deep pockets and daring, open an elaborate theme park here in the outskirts of Kathmandu. You have a healthy middle class who will afford your services (in fact Many that I talk to, are dying for a new form of entertainment in their lives. People are getting tired to go to movies, hauling their children along). We need some out doors fun rides and more. Even A giant water ride park somewhere near River Trisuli ?

What if……….

add your crazy ideas below (no need to register)
Also published in Myrepublica March 10 2011 

Comments

  1. Invest your money in some kind of new idea or some micro business so that u can start your new business and you are providing jobs,,you are indirectly acting in reducing the unemployment rate of the country…kind of social service.. the capital may be the small..but there was future of others in your hands….so…why to wait!!

  2. instead of buying land in urban area,,try buying land in rural area so that the place can be used more benficially as production area.

  3. Why not to include innovations and designs that may be appropriate for Nepal. Bibhu

  4. are u still interested, investment is not a concern, what type of fastfood chain u r looking at if u r still looking at

  5. One of the business ideas mentioned above is now a reality. Biruwa Ventures, in partnership in E4N, has opened a shared office space in Baluwatar, Kathmandu. The space is great for startup entrepreneurs as in addition to the space we are also providing business services (legal, accounting, marketing, etc.), mentorship and financing (venture capital). We plan to turn Biruwa into Nepal’s first truly venture capital firm. For more information visit our website http://www.biruwa.net/ or our facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/bizincubator

  6. hey i was looking for some innovative ideas. here i found the same old ideas with just few upgrades. I reckon these are not innovative ideas. i have been hearing these ideas for a long time now… anybody could suggest real innovative ideas???? i would really appreciate it….thanksu00a0

  7. i too had a chance to visit one of its outlet at chabahil just behind chabahil ganesthan. its both for ladies and gents. OMG I was mazed by its layout, the hygenic care, reasonable price and extremely good customer service..great job..i really appreciate and recommend all to at least visit once and see the difference..

  8. Shraddha, it would be an excellent venture if we can convince thernmunicipality and we may have to convince the unions. I like your passion !rnThis builds resume, this makes a profit and this creates a difference :)

  9. wat abt studentz initiating a group of “Cleanerz” in da city to clear up da Garbage(on Sundays of course) thrown around recklessly and begin charging Nagarpalika??? This shall serve as an example to the rest ov the Nepalese that the society has begun transforming plus, we can add this to our CVs…nI know it soundz weird…bt I believe we should start thinking about our littered roads also (I do not mean forgo your studies here…m sure a lot ov us squander our time on the internet, toking to frenz over da fone, sleeping and wat not…so we cud take an initiative and set an example :)nnne 1 up 4 modifying mah idea to a more practical 1???

  10. good ideas Kasthamandap ! maybe something to learn from Bangkok . How the night markets there operate.

  11. hey suvash i too is thinking abut it wit a lot of options i m interested nthis is saugat

  12. When I was in South Korea, I saw plenty of cafes with an attached art gallery. They called it Cart (Cafe+Art). So you enjoy your drinks and meals with splendid works of art. It was unlike any kind of cafe (except maybe for the book cafe) that I had been to.

  13. Good idea. I think they are starting to do this in Kathmandu. But it isrntaking time. I know a few banks let you pay mobile bills through their bankrnaccount online.

  14. Why don’t banks take an initiative to facilitate the customers to pay public utility bills (like water, telephone, electricity) online? The customers will appreciate not having to say on long queues and being able to pay the bills at their own convenience in a quick manner. The banks will certainly enjoy greater popularity. The government will also face a less work load. Everybody wins!!

  15. Good idea. Al though I hear, It is running into licencing problems inrnNepal. One company owns monopoly of beer and I don’t know if they want tornlet it go. Gorkha brewery.

  16. How about setting up a beer micro brewery on a bar. Nepal’s youth has great appetite for beer. nEg- Samuel Adamsn

  17. Glad to report that I was pleased with a haircut at Easy Cuts in Golfutar — clean, responsive and reasonably priced at Rs 90, including shampooing afterwards. I have seen their branch on the way to Bhatbateni from ring road (chappal karkhana). I think they have some more branches in the valley.

  18. Dear Anonymous.

    On which sector you are interested to invest in?

  19. What if to set up a Venture Capital Firm (by a groups of top managers/executives/or bankers) to fund worthy ideas? Worthy means revenue generating.

    Specifically, for graduating students. Fund will keep ideas moving, Graduates will work, Firm will measure success.

    Simple as that.

    How about you?

  20. There is a forum called "Entrepreneurs for Nepal" which does that to a degree.http://e4nepal.com
    Maybe you will like going to these forums. It happens once a month in dwarikas hotels. More details on the website.

  21. Romel, what products would you make out of tyres and garbage ? that would determine the amount of investment and feasibility of the plan.

  22. i got this idea to recycle tyres n garbage n make some products out of it, helpin the enviornment also nepal needs to be much cleaner .iam doin som research but i think a lot of investment is needed for the tyre recycling.

  23. I couldn’t find very much innovative so far for very new and exotic entepreneurs what about making a business
    consseiling forum for people who are looking for a good
    guide to start a business????????????

  24. about da taxi motorcycles..i also thought it wud a great ideas bt i’m sure most of gals wont take a ride.may b it wud b a lil odd at beginin bt if we start i’v got strong feeling it’l go good…bt wil goverment let it b registered in current condition where no more taxis are allowed to get registered

  25. ideas are there. What's the first step? Does the government intervene??

  26. How about clean and reasonably price barber shops — little more expensive than the local variety hajams but cleaner.

  27. Ya, I was thinking along the same line — motocycle taxis like in Thailand — faster way to get through the jams.

  28. Yeh great idea. I have also been thinking local coffee shops that caters to local artists, youths, entrepreneurs could be a starting place for a lot of entrepreneurship ideas and thoughts. So yes to coffee shops with attitudes :)

    Ujw

  29. what if the "thamel nite scene" moves away from thamel into a more residential area. A restaurant/coffeshop/bar catering to a local crowd, promoting underground musical talents from the public campuses around; hiring youth for part time work at it's coffee shop with flexible work schedule for students; fairly priced, controlled atmosphere making it family friendly + a nice hangout for the youngsters, promoting youth innovation by serving as a venue for networking–socially-conscious young minds coming togehther and sharing their experiences.
    literally plannin on sth here so any opinions on scope, demand, or any other innovative suggestions will be much much appreciated

    p.s. thanks a lot for this great write-up. makes me think.

    cheers

  30. I forgot to add "open auction houses" for reconditioned furnitures and items is also a a good place to socialize and a good business too.

    thanks for your tips. much appreciate it.

  31. What if the street shops were consolidated and made part of the formal economy and transferred to a more appropriate location (maybe close to the streets itself, but not literally on the footpath)?