The more your experiment, the more you learn. So is the story of Ms. Pratikshya Maharjan, founder of Chamkilo Chemicals Production. She began testing the chemicals to create products without any academic background and with many experiments she has created her own formula for the chemical products business.
Pratikshya Maharjan, a local resident of Bhanjangal, Kirtipur used to work previously in hospital as cleaner. Her earnings were not enough to run her livelihood, so she was searching some other income sources. She used to use detergents and soaps made by women’s group in her community. So she thought of making her own. She thought of experimenting herself and bought all the required materials based on the notes she got. She started creating various products and testing them herself and also gave her family and friends. After getting positive feedback, she increased the quantity of the production. Starting from two products, now she has been making 14 products from her firm.
She began her business journey in B.S. 2073 by formally registering in Kirtipur Municipality. At the beginning of her journey, she did not have any knowledge and experience in chemical production. Whenever she approached others, she was turned down. She explored a lot what and how to do. She went to Municipality and understood the process and also registered in the PAN. She found the registration a difficult process however she did not have to pay bribe anywhere.
After registering in municipality, she started labeling and distribution in new packages. Previously she used to refill in the old bottles. First she supplied to her family relatives and neighbors only and later made sales in market. Her friends have a big hand in marketing her products. They encouraged her a lot and not to give up. Most of her products are sold at household level, shops, few to office, banks, restaurants and workshop.
She started from a small room in her house and expanded to three other rooms in her next house. She started with NRS. 2000 and now the investment has reached around NRS. 6,00,000. She has personal loan as well as company loan to invest in her company.
She prepares the products manually. The major challenge is to compete with products from foreign countries which are manufactured mechanically and they get raw materials within their country. While for Nepal, raw materials are imported from India, Bangladesh, Thailand and China and they become expensive. They make products manually and some mechanically and make sure they have affordable price with low profit margin so that people can buy.
People often look the manufactured country and the packaging of the products. She mentioned that their products have good quality, however people do not buy often. People already have used bottles in home and they don’t re-use them most of the times. For next five years, she plans to produce large bottles which can be used for refilling the used bottles in home. She plans to expand her business and produce quality products with good packaging.
COVID has impact adversely. There was no stock of raw materials and was difficult to purchase also. However she could sell few quantity of handwash and sanitizers. People use to come to company to buy. It was really difficult to manage business during COVID pandemic. Slowly they are rising again.
As of now, three employees have been working in Chamkilo Chemicals Production and there are around 100 people who help to market their products with small commission for their help. As an entrepreneur, she learnt a lot. When we work under others, she just do as directed and get back home. When she became entrepreneur, she had to look after the customers, stocks, financial status, raw materials and see whether things are going systematically and look over management.
If youths want to do the same business, she would like to say to produce quality products as these are daily use materials and need to consider the health of the people and not to just work with profit-motive.
There are huge number manpower companies in Nepal. Instead of that, there should be more of companies which train youths about the entrepreneurship training. The youths don’t know how to use their skills. The parents should teach their children to not waste time and respect the labour and when these children become youths they will have the understanding that they have to earn for themselves.
Self-confidence is the foremost thing one need to have for starting any venture. Secondly, capital is required to do the things and third important thing is support of family and friends.
She requested to use their products again to people who used the products and left before, as they have improved the quality. When local people use the locally made products, it encourages the local entrepreneurs to produce quality products and promote their products in other areas.