KATHMANDU: Driven by a strong sense of business, hard work and the joy of working at home, 32-year-old Pradeep Poudel is well on his way towards his goal of being a businessman. After toiling in Malaysia for four years as an unskilled labour for meagre pay, he realised
that there was no future there and returned to Nepal to make his mark.
Upon his return in 2008, he started a store in Banasthali — Pukar Bisuddha Masala and Chiyapatti Store — to trade in Nepali spices. He bought a small grinding machine, purchased raw spices, ground and sold them in small quantities from the store itself. Having worked overseas, Poudel says that he is conscious about hygiene and maintains product quality. Because of this, his store is now popular in the locality, which encouraged him to take the business to the next level — setting up a factory and creating a brand name for the products.
“After garnering amazing response, I decided to go for larger production,” says Poudel, adding that he set up his own spice factory in the vicinity in 2011 and created a brand — ‘Pukar’. Contrary to selling loose products in poythene bags, they are now sealed in packets bearing
the brand logo and contact address. “This has created a good impression and now people have even started calling me to place orders,” he says.
His company, Pukar Bisuddha Masala Production Pvt Ltd, produces 100 kgs of spices a day and directly employs four persons for
processing, grinding and packaging raw spices. Along with regular Nepali spices, the brand produces powdered spices such as black peppers, white peppers, garlic, ginger, turmeric and red chillies. “My factory is still in its infancy and has a long way to go. I need to work hard on the marketing front also,” says Poudel.
Stating that the market is flooded with adulterated spices with added colour and fake ingredients, he claims, “But I want to deliver pure and quality products, which will undoubtedly make my business a success.” Poudel supplies his products to selected restaurants in
Kathmandu and his business is growing by word-of-mouth publicity. According to him, if a business is able to earn
a good name, Nepali entrepreneurs can also tap into the overseas market. “Today Nepalis are spread all over the world and one can
also cater to these comm-unities besides the domestic market,” he suggests, adding, “I get orders from some Nepali families in Germany.”
He says that lack of capital and irregular power supply hinder business for an aspirant entrepreneur like him, but smilingly adds, “Still, working in your own country is a lot better as you are with your family and friends.”
Poudel buys lentils and raw materials for his products from his home district in Lamjung and his endeavour in the capital has also
impacted his fellow villagers. “I’ve been asking them to cultivate ginger and turmeric plants so that I can
purchase it from them directly,” says Poudel. However, he is sad to note that Nepal imports a lot of spice and agro products whereas farmlands remain barren as the country’s youth continue to flock overseas for employment.