So-called agricultural nation, a large proportion of Nepalese are still dependent upon agriculture. However, the hands that used to be involved in agriculture are being shifted. Youth’s priority these days is not so much into Agriculture. We often get to hear news explaining how farmers are forced to sell their products at lower prices, how customers are being cheated at a higher price, and how mediators are ruling the entire supply chain structure. In between all these issues, Mero Kishan is a new venture in Nepal aiming to ensure justice to all of them.
Mero Kishan is a digital along with a physical platform connecting farmers and customers directly at the best prices around. You can buy various products like fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, dairy products, etc from this platform.
Mero Kishan has around 500 farmers associated with them. They collect goods from them and deliver through 5 retail stores. As explained, they move around 1000 kg of fresh produce daily offering on an average to 250 households. This lets farmers along with retailers earn 25% more. The customer gets fresh, local, and organic products at competitive pricing at their doorstep. Meanwhile, customers get to taste the Hygenic taste as well.
Mero Kishan has adopted digital means, and customers can make payments directly through cash or can prefer digital modes like Esewa, Fonepay, or Khalti too.
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How did it begin?
Abinash Silwal, founder of Mero Kishan is the man behind this venture. He found out that there exists a problem in the market of agriculture. He realized that mediator has been taking a huge advantage in this field and hence began this start-up.
After that, he has already signed an agreement with hundreds of farmers and has been acting as a mediator for providing them subsidized loans as well.
As the venture is still in a new phase, it is yet to be seen about the struggle that Mero Kishan will face in upcoming days. But it can be depicted that the team members involved are making huge efforts to connect farmers with customers directly.
Opportunities and Challenges
There certainly exist several challenges for Mero Kishan, but that is not up to it. There are several opportunities as well. Here are a few opportunities that Mero Kishan can have in the current situation.
Capture the Market
If Mero Kishan turns out to be efficient and strong enough towards the commitment that it possesses, it can certainly turn out to be one strong and effective online as well as a physical platform for hygienic and fresh foodstuffs. Kathmandu is a busy city, and people have to struggle a lot with fresh fruits and vegetables. It is not about payment, but there are a bunch of people who look for quality kinds of stuff they buy. Mero Kishan can be their need.
Rooms for Growth
There exist rooms for growth in both the demand and supply side. On the supply side, there are a huge bunch of farmers whose production has been constantly failing in obtaining a good market. Hence, there are enough spaces to go for expansion of the supply section. Demand on the other hand should be created by the firm itself, but there are ample spaces in Kathmandu itself. Also, regions like Western Nepal do not get access to Eastern products and vice versa – which could be fostered.
If it is about agriculture, there has been supporting from various sections. Be it Banks and Financial Institutions, or the local levels – they have been promoting the agriculture sector in the best way they can. Hence, this could be a great opportunity that Mero Kishan can utilize.
There have been several such efforts made previously as well. Although Mero Kishan seems to adopt modern technological methods, which previous ones probably lagged, there could be competitors from every angle that would exist around. There’s also a trend to follow the leader, and be in the front – which Mero Kishan needs to be aware of.
Issues in Delivery
The biggest challenge that any perishable goods have is its feature of degrading. The higher the time in the supply chain, the higher the chances of degradation of the quality. Hence, be it from farmer to Mero Kishan, or from Mero Kishan’s store to the customer’s kitchen – there exists the biggest threat of degradation of the quality which should be thought of beforehand. It is important to be quick in every step.
Traditional Buying Habit
On an honest note, the biggest challenge that Mero Kishan will have is the habit that people have around in today’s scene. People still love carrying their bags and visiting stores to buy their choices of vegetables. They check each piece and insert it into their bag, making sure that they take the best ones around. Hence, overcoming the fear of this buying habit could be a major challenge that Mero Kishan might have.
Rather than being excited about opportunities, Mero Kishan should focus on threat management and risk reduction too. Ensuring quality at every delivery is the best thing that they can do because people around still have doubts over quality issues.
Popularity and Coverage
Mero Kishan has made a beautiful website and seems to be active on social media platforms as well. Although it currently seems to be limited to Kathmandu valley, the ratio of success will clearly define how strong coverage it will go through. On the other hand, it has currently been offering from four retail outlets and has been taking orders from online means as well.
Entrepreneurship is a long journey. There are several ups and downs that this venture will face in the upcoming day. It has a bright future, as it caters to the need of the market in the present scene. This is not a one-way journey of profit but ensures empowerment to a large bunch of people too. This social venture will be supported by every angle. Seeing the PESTEL analysis, there are not many issues apart from the ‘Socio-Cultural’ where people prefer traditional buying habits and suspect over the quality in online delivery. However, if the quality is ensured; certainly this venture can make a big success.
[Mr. Dwaipayan Regmi is currently working as the Assistant Manager in Rastriya Banijya Bank]
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