September 17, 2019 | DWAIPAYAN REGMI
Introduction to Naagiko Honey
Who wouldn’t love the real taste of honey? Honey is a gift. It is bliss. Naagiko Honey is a mediator that stays in between Chepang Beekeepers from Makwanpur and the market of Kathmandu. ‘Naagiko’ means ‘our’ in Chepang language and hence it means ‘Our Honey’ in Chepang language. This is stated to be toxic-free honey with high vitamins, minerals, anti-fungal properties, and antioxidants. Hence, Naagiko honey is not just about selling the honey, but equally about developing Chepang Community as well.
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Offering Naagiko honey from the Maternity Hospital road of Kathmandu, this product is placed at two outlets of Highland Beans Coffee – at Battisputali near Dwarika hotel and other is at Gaushala near Temple Tree Inn, where there lies Honey Comb rack in a cafe with Nagiko Honey glass jars. Also, it is placed in Around The Corner’s outlets.
Beginning of Naagiko Honey
Bibhuti was raised by parents who were Government jobholders. Initially, she had a dream to be Government Officer as well. After completing her MBA from the Ace Institute of Management, she took a different path and took the step towards Entrepreneurship. She had the interest to work outside Kathmandu from the very beginning. She initially worked for entrepreneurship promotion for more than three years visiting various districts. Thereby, she came across Makwanpur’s Chepang’s society which gave her intuition to work for entrepreneurship promotion gradually. With her initial amount of Rs 7 lakh, the venture got established undergoing through the legal procedures.
Struggle Stories in Initial Days
The primary hindrance that Bibhuti had to go through is social pressure over a secured job. As an MBA graduate, she was highly expected to get a secured job and live a normal life with an impressive lifestyle. However, after serving the honey to her social belongings, they turned out to be satisfied with her move. One obvious obstacle that any entrepreneurs have to go to Nepal is the tedious legalization process. Her desire to get out of her comfort zone and get among the villagers and farmers itself was a tough and bold decision. She was not trusted by people around in the initial days. The farmers themselves haphazardly used to sell during those days. However, later, after she ensured that the farmers will be part of their organization, they began working with full effort and dedication.
Opportunities and Challenges of Naagiko Honey
As explained, Naagiko Honey has been selling 500 kgs every month on an average. This indicates that there certainly lies a huge scope of the business venture in the upcoming days. With just a store and few outlets, they have been making an impressive bunch of sales. The popularity of this brand seems to be gaining hype gradually. There are online stores, where the team needs to catch up. Business to Business Selling is the next room that the firm can go through – through sales across marts and department stores.
Currently, it seems that the business is limited only within Kathmandu. There are other big cities – from Birtamod, Itahari, Biratnagar to Butuwal, Nepalgunj, Pokhara and Dhangadi where they could expand up their market. Who would not love to try organic honey from Chepang’s community? Startup friendly policies seem to be on the rising again. Apart, from political stability, economic upliftment priority and social support – Naagiko honey seems to be with a better future. Meanwhile, honey is part of Hindu culture – and this is sure that people can’t avoid it at all. Besides the cultural issues, people have been attracted to honey – there are demands of honey-based products in restaurants as well. Hot Lemon with Honey has been one important item to serve across restaurants these days. And, the importance of honey has been already been presented by other brands which have turned out to be beneficial for Naagiko Honey. Farmers can generate as much honey as required, which seems to be impressive for the team.
Now, as far as challenges are concerned, Naagiko Honey has certain challenges that they need to face. First of all, there already exist well-established brands – Dabur or Patanjali which has been gaining market attention for along. Basic challenge of promotion occurs there. Again, it seems that Naagiko Honey is using imported bottles, paying the next large of money for bottling up. Not unless they get to use own domestic products, their operation cost would lower down. Again, there seems to be a huge challenge for Naagiko honey in the distribution network – staying limited only to capital is a challenge. Social media promotion probably is not enough to get into the eye of a large bunch of market. Easy access is what people seek in the end – hence it is equally important to ensure the distribution network. Ensuring the product quality with an increase in demand would be the next major challenge for Naagiko Honey and then.
Popularity and Coverage
The story of Bibhuti Neupane has been presented in several media. She was featured in Kantipur along with Naya Patrika within ‘Mahila Udhyamika Sangharsha Katha’. Apart, she got featured in various online spaces ranging from Baarakhari, Hamrokatha, etc. Naagiko Honey is equally popular across social media as Bibhuti has been promoting impressively thereby.
Future of Naagiko Honey
Establishing its brand, Naagiko Honey has an amazing future. Nepali brand, with a taste of Chepang society, it is likely that this brand will get well established soon. It can be competitive with other existing popular brands. There are rooms for exporting this product, focusing over diasporas abroad too. Reasonable price, sustainable and quality consistency over the product can ensure a better future for Naagiko Honey. Not only business motive, but Bibhuti also seems to be moving towards the upliftment of Chepang’s lifestyle as well – helping farmers there which will be sooner or later be appreciated by the state. Her entrepreneurship will be soon regarded as social entrepreneurship.
Young and talented minds, getting out of the mainstream track and not only prove the person right but can ensure social benefit too. Entrepreneurship does not benefit just one, but a region as a whole – Naagiko Honey has not just been beneficial to her financially, but she has made an impressive contribution towards the Chepang society of Makwanpur as well. Agriculture is a sustainable way of earning, and it never dies – Bibhuti just got into the right track and proved herself. Her zeal and thirst for entrepreneurship mattered in the last, as she got out from the main streamline.