Wed, April 17, 2024

Annual List Of 100 People To Watch: START-UPS AND NEW BUSINESS

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HERVEDA BOTANICALS Dr. Prativa Pandey Founder and CEO

Founded by Dr. Prativa Pandey, a nationally and internationally awarded research scientist and science entrepreneur, Herveda Botanicals was initially an innovation spin-off of Catalyst Technology. Dr. Pandey saw several issues with cosmetic and skincare industry and after more than four years of research and development on medical and aromatic plants in Nepal brought Herveda Botanical’s products into the market. The ‘all natural’ skincare brand has a strong business and technical collaborations with research institutes, private sectors, and local farm holders and cooperatives to support delivery of high quality services and products, and focuses on bringing innovative technologies and products to the market in the area of nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and pharmaceuticals.

OKAY JOURNEY Rajesh Das Founder

Many Nepalis, especially those living in the rural areas, have been facing the nuisance of having to wait in long queues for bus tickets and end up getting buses and seats they didn’t choose. Founder of Okay Journey, Rajesh Das, also faced the same troubles when he was going or coming from his hometown Sarlahi. Being an engineering student he got tired of this hassle, taught himself to code and design webpages, and came up with a rough but functional version of Okay Journey which was registered in 2018. Okay Journey does not just provide online bus and airline booking system but also allows users to compare ticket prices and select vehicles based on previous customer ratings. The company has also launched its app to make things more convenient for users and added nifty features like real-time GPS tracking and offline entertainment systems in its app. Das refers Okay Journey as a travel management system and is currently working on making route plans, selling tickets and marketing drivers and bus operators so that the drivers and bus operators won’t have to worry about these things and can enjoy better business.

UPAYA CITY CARGO Amigo Khadka Co-founder and COO

In over a year of operation, Upaya City Cargo has become a trailblazing startup in the logistics sector having managed to serve over 3500 clients and has formed partnerships with more than 500 drivers across Kathmandu. Like most entrepreneurs, through their research Amigo Khadka, Sandip Subedi and Rahul Malla Thakuri saw an un-passable business opportunity when they found out about the lacklustre logistics system that was in practice in Nepal. By integrating logistics and cargo services into a scalable digital business, Upaya City Cargo was founded as an online marketplace for intra-city logistics that connects individual and businesses with pickup driver partners through technology to ensure quick and hassle-free delivery of bulk goods within Kathmandu Valley. Because of its cheaper rates, quick delivery, cargo/driver tracking technology, and for providing VAT bills to customers, the logistics company has been able to gain much popularity in a short span of time.

BEST PAANI Sajal Pradhan Co-founder and CEO

Though we live in a country known as the world’s second richest in inland water resources, there is a scarcity of safe and pure drinking water across the nation and thousands of Nepalis die yearly due to preventable water-borne diseases. Best Paani, a social enterprise that specialises in research and development and installations of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable water systems, has been involved in addressing, resolving and lobbying for policies with the government to solve this issue since 2015. The company founded by Sajal Pradhan and Gokul Dangal to provide rain harvesting systems quickly turned into filtration systems provider to prevent a cholera epidemic during the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake. Since then, Best Paani has provided access to safe drinking water to more than 300,000 Nepalis across 20 earthquake struck districts through their rain water harvesting, water filtration, waste water recycling and ground water recharge services. Acknowledging their contribution towards water management and environment sustainability, the social enterprise was also listed in the 50 Most Impactful Leaders in Water and Water Management in the world by the World CSR Congress in 2018.


Niraj Kafle and Santosh Pandey Founders

Since starting their operation on Valentine’s Day in 2017, Offering Happiness has become one of Nepal’s largest online gifting companies providing curated collections of gifts, cakes, flowers, plants, festival merchandise, personalised products and experiences for all occasions and festivals. The founders – Niraj Kafle and Santosh Pandey – were able to identify lifestyle problems of the urban Nepali such as monotony, lack of intimacy and people not having the time to create special moments, and this is where they stepped in and founded an online gifting company. From surprising guests with personalised gifts to creating little moments of sheer celebration, Offering Happiness’s USP has possibly been the meticulous planning and attention to detail. Even though birthdays and anniversaries are obvious occasions where the team is sought, they also have been helping to create special tailored moments such as at-your-door musical performance, big screen surprises with personalised videos, orchestrating well-suited gifts and experiences for outstanding performing employees on behalf of employers, etc. They were the winners of the National Finals of Seedstars Kathmandu 2019 and later joined the regional and global summit in Cambodia and Switzerland to compete with 80+ countries. Story of one of its founders, Santosh Pandey is featured in a National Geographic documentary as a world changing idea from 2019 Emmy Award winning team behind ‘Science Fair’.

KHETI Tulsi Giri, Debesh Lal Pradhan, Subash Bhattarai, Neuraj Karki Co-founders

Farmers and consumers are two major actors in the entire value chain of food production and consumption. But this chain also has other players because of which there is an occurrence of huge price differences and farmers aren’t paid on time. To bridge this gap between farmers and consumers and provide affordable and healthy produce to consumers while increasing the income and productivity of farmers, DV Excellus introduced an agri-food tech digital platform called KHETI in January 2019. The platform is an integrated web and mobile-based platform with three modules: KHETI Farm, Farm Management Tool, KHETI Food. Through KHETI, farmers can purchase agri inputs directly from the manufacturers and major importers while also using farm management tools to increase their productivity, whereas consumers can purchase produces directly from the farmers at affordable prices, and the platform also offers a subscription model. Other agri-ecosystem players such as cooperatives, development agencies, governments, products and service providers etc. can also use the platform to interact and engage with the major actors. Since its operation, KHETI has on boarded over 10,000 farmers in 10 districts, 2,000 household consumers and 40 institutional consumers. The company has targeted to reach 50,000 farmers, 5000 household consumers and 100 institutional consumers within next three years.

JEEVEE HEALTH Aabhushan Jyoti Kansakar Founder and CEO

Though we live in a digitised world where we can order food or book airlines tickets and hotels online, we still face the problem of having to wait in a long queue to book a doctor’s appointment or get medical essentials. Jeevee Health, a health tech company, came up with a solution for this problem and launched a locally developed health tech app “Jeevee” on November 19. The app acts like an online hospital connecting three basic users: patients, doctors and clinics, in which the clinics can manage doctors and their appointments, the doctors can see their schedule and patients history, and patients can book appointments, order medicines and access their medical history. Within months of its operation, the app received an overwhelming response during the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown. The company which was named in the Top 5 Startup list of ICT Awards 2020 was delivering medical supplies to people’s doorsteps and it also introduced a service called “Namaste Doctor” in its app through which people could send a message to the doctor of their choice and get a session to consult with the doctor through the app itself. Recently, Jeevee launched Jeevee Pharmacy Chatbot on Viber through which users can upload their prescriptions and order medicine.

HAMRO LIFE BANK Rumee Singh Founder and CEO

When the Founder and CEO of Hamro LifeBank Rumee Singh, who had just returned to Nepal in 2018 after living aboard for 13 years, heard stories of maternal death during childbirth due to lack of blood management from a Ob-Gyn friend, she was distraught and believed that right data and information were the solution. In 2019, she started Hamro LifeBank – smart blood management - to fill the data gap in a digitised way and has been providing blood-related information along with trying to digitise blood banks and motivate donors through their vein-to-vein initiative. Hamro LifeBank also launched a data-centric blood hotline in 2020 with support from America Nepal Medical Foundation which was instrumental in supporting Covid 19 plasma requests in Kathmandu during the ongoing pandemic. Till date, the non-profit has organised 67 blood events, collected 3,396 pints of blood, digitised 18,211 data, managed 915 blood searches and saved 10,188 lives.

iCLEAN TECHNOLOGY Tashi Sherpa Founder

iClean Technology is one of those businesses which started during the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdowns to address the need of the hour : products such as sanitisers and disinfectants. Started by Tashi Sherpa who is also the founder of Metro-Mask (high-tech anti-pollution masks), iClean Technology’s main success to other sanitiser and disinfectant companies is its iClean 360 solution which has Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl), the same acid which is produced in our body to fight infection and is non-toxic and non-irritating to humans and other mammals. The company, whose first customer is the Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal, also has wide range of products such as atomizers, sprayers and disinfectant stations which uses iClean 360 solutions. The company’s clientele includes labs and clinics besides a host of businesses, airlines and individuals.

KATHMANDU ORGANICS Nisha Taujale KC Co-founder

People have become concerned about where the vegetables, fruits or any other food product that they consume comes from and are gravitating towards organic produce. Because of the demand there has been a substantial increase in the number of businesses that offer or have claimed to offer organic and pesticide-free produce. Kathmandu Organics is one such business that has gained good reputation for delivering organic and pesticide-free produces at the convenience of the customers’ doorstep. Founded by Bhuwan KC and Nisha KC in 2017, the curated online marketplace for local, organic and handmade products of Nepal has been collaborating with farmers, cooperatives and entrepreneurs from 40 districts of Nepal to create a sustainable value-chain for their products.
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MARCH 2024

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