Thu, April 25, 2024

'We are planning to open a Columbia store in Namche Bazaar'

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Dikila Lama

Managing Director, Himalayan Outdoor Gears

Dikila Lama, Managing Director of Himalayan Outdoor Gears, the authorised distributor of Columbia International, is recognised as a pioneer of outdoor brand business in Nepal. She has over 20 years of experience in business. She is also a board member of the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ Associations of Nepal (FWEAN) and is engaged in various social organisations. 

In this edition of Business 360, she speaks to us about her pick of top brands and why brands matter.

Top 3 apps that you use the most and why

WhatsApp: Because the picture quality is good and, in our business, visuals are very important. Also, you can easily detect if the message has been delivered or not, and communication is easy. 
Facebook & Instagram: Since we are in business, we always have to be updated on social media like Facebook and Instagram, whether it’s for marketing or for sharing information.
Gmail: Easy communication. 

Favourite Clothing Brand

Definitely, Columbia. It is a blend of technology, style and performance. And all these three features make it a brand for outdoor wear as well as for lifestyle.

Local businesses with the potential to grow big

Juju Wears: It has really amazing tee-shirts with interesting block prints which reflect Nepali culture. It is durable and has good finishing and quality at a decent pricing. Therefore, I see a lot of potential in it. 
Pathao: I believe it is a good startup and innovative. Many people are already using it and it has grown big. 

Vehicle choice

Currently, I am using an MG electric vehicle; it is very convenient and comfortable and at the same time it is sustainable. I also have a Toyota Prado for long tours. 

Places to visit in Nepal on your bucket list

Chung valley: It’s a very secluded place and you won’t find many tourists like in other places in Nepal. It is an emerging tourist destination. 
Lo Manthang and Upper Mustang: I love exotic places and am fond of mountains. 

Your choice of perfume

Chanel 5

Most used electronic gadget and why

Undoubtedly, my mobile phone. It is convenient to use. You can check your pictures, bank balance, mails and everything. 

An entrepreneur you look up 

My mother, Yankila Sherpa, is an entrepreneur and she is my biggest role model. Along with her there are various other inspiring women entrepreneurs like Ambica Shrestha, President of Dwarika’s Hotels and Resorts, who is so active given her age now. She is committed to her business but at the same time she is also committed towards society and social organisations. They not only uplift themselves; they uplift the society as well. Everyone does business and earns but only a few are dedicated to the society. They are empowering so many other women entrepreneurs. That’s why I look up to them. 

Best work advice you have received

I believe that firstly you have to be committed to your work. You have to set your goals and prioritise them. And this advice has helped me maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Favourite shopping destination

America. I keep travelling to America for my sales meetings, so I shop there a lot and things are cheaper too.

Your go-to eating spot

Dekkaido for its famous Hakka noodles. 

Favourite company globally

It has to be Uber. It has really flourished through these years. It is very convenient for people and always in demand. The vehicle comes right at your doorstep, making life easier and simpler.

Things to remember before choosing a brand

First and foremost, your budget is important. If you have the money to buy any branded product, then you must go for it. The second thing is its popularity. If you are wearing a brand, then people must know that you are wearing a brand. But along with its popularity, its functionality and performance are also important. Since we are involved in technicalities, I prefer to look for a brand’s performance, technology, features and practicality because you have to ensure that what you are buying will be useful and convenient for you.

Is expensive necessarily better

Not really. If it’s expensive but the quality and the performance of the product is poor, then it’s not worth it. A product is better if its performance, functionality and features align.

Future plans 

The plan is definitely to expand. We are planning to open a Columbia store in Namche Bazaar. This store will be an outdoor apparel store at the highest altitude in the world. I believe that this will create a lot of hype in the market. There will be a lot of media attention as well and I am really excited about this. In the long run, we are planning to get into wholesale business as well and opening as many franchises as possible across Nepal. We have also received the distributorship for Bhutan. This is in progress and I believe that we will flourish internationally as 

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MARCH 2024

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