Leveraging the web

4 min read
Published:
06 Feb 2018
Duration:
4 min read
Words:
1154 words
Segment:
StartupsNepal
We feature three promising companies that were featured in the StartupsValley segment of Next Venture Corp’s Growth Conclave

Just doing your daily grocery shopping can be quite a hassle in crowded Kathmandu. “Most working Nepalis have tight schedules throughout the day. And by the time they are done with work and are free enough to run daily errands like grocery shopping, the market is already empty of fresh vegetables and fruits,” says Hemanta Basnet, managing director of Metro Tarkari.

When it comes to shopping for grocery, people waste precious minutes walking to the market and cruising from vendor to vendor, scouring for fresh produce at a reasonable price. Shopping online through Metro Tarkari eliminates this hassle, as customers can pick out groceries from Metro Tarkari’s website, and have those items delivered to them at their doorsteps
Metro Tarkari was founded five years ago, at a time when e-commerce was starting to boom in Nepal. The company started out just when Nepalis were starting to shop online for items like clothes and electronics, so the founder of Metro Tarkari, Anil Basnet, thought, why not groceries too? He began his Metro Tarkari endeavour with two other friends, Humbal Shahi and Nitin Sharma, all of whom pooled their money together to get the site going.
Like with most e-commerce businesses, they initially faced difficulties in convincing customers to try their service. People were skeptical about buying grocery items items whose freshness and quality they couldn’t judge firsthand—by feeling them for heft, ripeness, etc. But pretty soon, consumers came to realise that Metro Tarkari valued quality over everything else. They source their produce from quality farmers and vendors, and carefully hand-select every order. If a customer is not satisfied with the produce sent to them, Metro Tarkari is always happy to provide replacements. Interestingly, despite focusing so much on providing such service, produce at Metro Tarkari’s website cost the same as they would in the market. Sometimes the customers are met with even better prices, as products come to Metro Tarkari directly, with hardly any middlemen involved in the supply chain.
“Metro Tarkari” today delivers more than just fruits and vegetables. It sells a range of products—everything from meats and cakes to condiments and kitchen appliances. By adding a range of products to their website, Metro Tarkari is getting that much closer to becoming a one-stop destination for all kitchen solutions.

Sajilo Marmat Sewa

Sajilo Marmat Sewa offers every solution you need for your home and organisation maintenance requirements, according to co-founder Kawish Shrestha.
Most Kathmanduites know that finding a trusted handyman when you want them can be nigh impossible. Even if people do succeed in finding a proper handyman, there always remains the problem of how much they will charge for their service. Like many of us, founders Sujeet Regmi, Kawish Shrestha and Pukar Acharya also found themselves facing the aforementioned problem many a time. Thus to resolve this problem to do with finding the right handyman, the trio set out to incubate the idea for Sajilo Marmat Sewa at Idea Studio last year.

Sajilo Marmat Sewa was officially started in June, 2017, but prior to the launch, the trio had already been working behind the scenes for a year. Initially, they had a difficult time convincing handymen to join Sajilo Marmat. Most handymen couldn’t grasp the idea of how online bookings would work, and the few that did were skeptical about how many customers the three young founders would be able to bring in. However, once the bookings started rolling in, more and more handymen began believing in what the trio were doing. In addition to the bookings they were acquiring themselves, the handymen were putting their idle time to use by collaborating with Sajilo Marmat and making better income. Today, Sajilo Marmat doesn’t have to approach handymen and convince them to come on board. Most come through referrals, and some even contact Sajilo Marmat from foreign countries and request for jobs on their arrival back home. The fact that so many handymen are coming through referrals goes to show that Sajilo Marmat has garnered quite a reputation among Kathmandu’s handymen.To book handymen through Sajilo Marmat, customers need to either make requests via their website or Facebook and provide details about their address and the nature of the work they need done. Once a booking is placed, the desk at Sajilo Marmat looks into its directory to find handymen available in the area, after which it calls the customer to inform them about the handyman available and the amount that will be charged for the service. Once the customer is happy with the handyman assigned to them, and deems the amount charged reasonable, the handyman is sent their way. This way, there is no ambiguity regarding how much the handyman will charge, or whether a handyman will be available at all.

Web-Robo

Madhu Khadka, the cofounder of Web-Robo—an IT startup that specialises in website development--had always been a robotics enthusiast. After getting his degree in IT Engineering, Khadka wanted to start building robots that would help with interactive learning in schools (Khadka wants to use technology to help students learn better--in contrast to the rote-learning methods typically employed in Nepal’s schools). But he knew that his venture of building robots alone would not be able to sustain itself. After much brainstorming with others, he met with his friend and mentor Manik Shrestha, an expert in website development. The two decided to work together, and started Web-Robo: the name celebrates the coming together of the two people’s interests-- website development and robotics. The basic idea was to make money taking on projects for the ‘web’ and use that to fund their robot-prototype projects.
The venture was officially established in April 2016, and Helmets Nepal was their first customer. Since the roll out, the company has developed high-quality, easy-to-use websites for hundreds of clients. Since they make every website from scratch, every web solution they come up with is customised to the client’s needs. Web-Robo also develops apps. And while website and app development is a big part of Web-Robo, the duo’s chief passion still lies in robotics.