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 twenty’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 rent out 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 homes 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 ?
Also published in Myrepublica March 10 2011