What types of business has scope in Nepal?

Nepal is a country located in the Southern part of Asia; it is between China and India. The capital of Nepal is Kathmandu and it is the largest city. Nepal is considered to be a developing country with a large chunk of her population living in poverty.

Mount Everest which happens to be the tallest mountain in the whole world is located in Nepal; as a matter of fact Nepal is home to 8 of the world’s 10 tallest mountains. Hinduism is the most practiced religion in Nepal followed by Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.

Most of the people in Nepal depend on agriculture which provides daily needs such as crops, vegetables, fruits etc. Most of the cottage industries in Nepal are also based on agriculture because it supplies with raw materials. Some of the educated people are employed in other sectors such as teaching, office work, business etc.

If you intend starting a business in Nepal, here are few small business ideas that you can leverage on;

1) Indoor Gaming Clubs and Center

Who does not like games, right? Everyone loves to play. And, everyone needs recreation. Human Brain is made in such a way that it needs recreation. If you are able to tap into this desire of people, you can make a successful business out of it.

Here is an idea: Start a Futsal.

Futsal is the fastest growing sports in the world today. Many business people in Nepal have realized this and there is numerous Futsal today. However, there are still some places where there is a huge demand for futsal, but really few Futsal.

Another idea is to start an indoor cricket. When I was a child, there used to be a lot of open places in the valley. Today, there aren’t many open places to play crickets so that they need a place to play. Why not monetize on this idea?

2) Fitness Club like Gym or Yoga Studio

As more and more people realize the benefits of fitness and yoga, the potential market for yoga and gyms are increasing.

These types of businesses work on a membership model.

Membership clubs are also a recurring income model. It’s like passive income for an entrepreneur.

However, you need a passionate and qualified trainer. You need to make the trainer feel that his/her work makes an impact in the world.

Although equipment for gyms might be expensive to directly start with this, you can start with few types of equipment and build upon it. Or you may start with a niche like Zumba, which doesn’t require that much of equipment.

3) Branded Mo:Mo Shop

Mo:Mo’s are really popular in the valley. Yet, there aren’t many branded momos. One that particularly comes to mind is Bota, which has many branches over the valley.

If you are able to make such a brand for Mo:Mo, it’s a lucrative source of revenue. Once again, location is an important factor.

4) Homestay Tourism

Nepal homestays are based mostly in small villages where life is simple and straightforward—a rejuvenating change from the everyday hassle of urban life. The Nepal Tourism Board mobilized village development committees (VDCs), district development committees (DDCs) and local co-operatives to manage homestay facilities and imparted training to ensure quality homestay arrangements in rural areas. Aside from increasing accommodative capacity, the prime aim of homestay programs is to engage locals’ participation in tourism activities and enhance their income.

5) Producing e-bicycles

Electric bicycles are rarely seen in Nepal so far, and there is a business opportunity for small manufacturing by upgrading normal bicycles into e-bicycles. The most expensive part is usually the accumulator, but one can use broken down notebook accumulators for it. They are usually available for free and >80% of their LiIon cells are still useful, although often with only 30% their energy capacity and current carrying capacity remaining. This however simply means a 3 times heavier accumulator, which is still acceptable for Li-Ion technology. Also, by charging these batteries to only 3.92 V (70% their capacity), they can last for 3000-5000 cycles rather than 300-500, making them about 8 times cheaper again (per Watt hour delivered).

6) Producing cargo bicycles

Creating one’s own DIY cargo bicycle, to work better and faster than the three-wheeled ones seen around Kathmandu. They can also be produced with electrical propulsion with minimal costs of ownership for the batteries (see the point about producing e-bicycles for that).

7) Making Protein Bar

Protein bars, which contain some form of milk-derived or plant-based protein like whey, hemp, pea or rice protein. Protein bars are usually lower in carbs than energy bars, lower in vitamins and dietary minerals than meal replacement bars, and significantly higher in protein than either.

8) Goat and Sheep Farming

Goats are allied to sheep but are much harder and more active animals. Their males or billy goats have a tuft of hair (beards) under the chin. The present day goats are said to be discarded from one to more kinds of wild goats of Asia & Europe. People who cannot afford to keep cows and buffaloes for milk keep goats

9) Poultry Farming

Poultry farming has occupied an important place in the Nepal’s economy. With the fast food culture an accepted feature, poultry farming is playing a greater role in the eatery business in Nepal. It has emerged as the fastest growing segment in the agri livestock industry. Emergence of poultry as a large scale commercial enterprise took place less than 35 years ago.

10) Pig Farming

Pig rearing can be paying if sufficient attention in given to the selection of good quality stock and to the proper management of herd. If pigs are fed the scientific way, they will be ready for the market and your table in a short period of six to eight months.

11) Disposable Paper Plate

Disposable cutlery and containers are products that are a part of our day to day life. Disposable items like cups, plates, saucers are being increasingly used. Such disposables items are made with easily degradable materials which are manmade products like paper from wood pulp, biomass etc

12) Car/Motorbike Wash Business

Car wash is yet another thriving small scale business an entrepreneur can establish in Nepal. It requires low startup capital and no technical skills to be able to start and operate a car wash centre. Just ensure that your car wash is located along a busy road and you wouldn’t struggle to attract customers. You can start the business alone, and then hire more hands as the business grow.

13) Dry Cleaning Business

Dry cleaning business is yet another small scale business idea anybody interested in making money in Nepal can setup. Although, the basic laundry equipments like Washing machines, and dryers can be expensive for a small scale entrepreneur, but there is the option of buying fairly used equipment. It is relatively cheaper.

14) Catering service

Catering service is a small business endeavor that is surely never going to go out of fashion. People will always have ways to celebrate something or the other, and catering services are a must have a thing for all the celebrations to take place. Catering Service is a cool business idea that requires little investment but gives a huge profit amount.

15) Products from plastic trash

Nearly all plastic trash is currently landfilled in Kathmandu (and probably in all other cities in Nepal), but there are quite some ways to use it as a raw material in small businesses. Product ideas include:

  • Road topping, construction and flooring blocks made from gravel and scrap plastic: The technique was developed by Prof. R. Vasudevan in India and is called “plastone”, see here. Among other things, this is great material for covering roads to villages, since laying it and repairing it does not require heavy / specialized machinery. Road pavement blocks would ideally be interlocking. These blocks can be produced from unsorted, mixed trash plastic trash.
  • Waterproof cover material: When poured hot on-site rather than into blocks, the “plastone” material referred to above can be used as waterproof material for covering foundations, as protective wall plastering (needs a way to apply it hot on vertical surfaces of course), and as replacement for blacktopping roads.
  • Upcycling PET plastic bottles: For example, they could be made into transparent rooftiles for greenhouses (or like here). In rural areas, windows and roofs for houses can also be made from this. Also, there are nice simple inventions to make rope from PET bottles, like here. Similarly, wider stripes of PET bottles can be woven into baskets etc.. Machine designs and processes should be put into DIY manuals.
  • Injection molding from scrap plastic: By sorting plastic by kind (and optionally color) and making plastic granule from it, one has the raw material for DIY injection molding. There are several designs for DIY injection molding machines, the challenge is usually creating the molds. However, the artisan metal casters in Patan can help to create the two halves of the negative form. Either they would model the halves in wax first and cast them with their usual lost wax technique separately, or (much simpler) they can simply create the intended plastic object in clay, dry it, then dip it into a pot of liquid aluminium and cut the cooled-down metal block in half to get the two halves of the mold. Then, people can produce many kinds of (simple at first) plastic items in a small shop. Like containers, furniture parts, and large corrugated plastic sheets to use for roofing in villages instead of zinc sheets. A DIY plastic casting industry seems like an interesting thing to research the processes and tech for. For example, for sorting the plastic, low-tech ways to identify them fast and reliably have to be found.
  • Plastic boxes from scrap plastic: They would be made from 2-3 mm sheet material made from scrap plastic, and combined with stacking corners and edge elements made from plastic by injection molding, or from aluminium by metal casting. For cost reduction, re-usable aluminium molds made from steel or ceramics would be used. These boxes would be superior to the ones currently made from thin zinc-coated steel sheets (as used for roofing but flat) in some workshops in Kathmandu. A major application would be rooftop boxes on jeeps and buses for carrying loads.
  • Plastic shingles for roofing and wall covering: These would be used for roofing and wall covering, and made from plastic sheet material in sizes of ca. 20×30 cm. In contrast to the usual large plastic sheets used for roofs and walls, these are much simpler to DIY produce from scrap plastic. When made from transparent plastic like PET bottles, the shingles are also good for light inlets (not windows for living areas of course) and for greenhouses.
  • Blocks from scrap plastic: Solid plastic block are a great raw material for further products, since they are sturdy, weather-proof and simple to machine. Any woodworking tool, an improvised lathe, or a simple DIY CNC mill will do. There are multiple how-tos for making plastic blocks from scrap plastic at home (like here and here), and such a process would have to be upscaled to a small business setting. Then one small company could collect, clean and sort the plastic trash, another one would buy it and make plastic blocks, and others would buy the blocks to produce things.
  • 3D printing workshop using scrap plastic: While industrial injection molding needs quite some effort and production volume because of the required molds, 3D printers can produce small quantities economically and can likewise use scrap plastic. This can be imagined as a business idea: a workshop with 10 or more open source 3D printers (like the RepRap series), printing parts for customers all day, plus some Filabot type machines that produce the required filament from scrap plastic.
  • Making wall insulation material from scrap plastic: Insulation will reduce heating fuel needs – relevant for Kathmandu Valley, but more so in the higher-up hilly area. Insulation material from scrap plastic is simply thin fibers extruded from heated plastic and formed into wooly panels, similar to rockwool / glass wool panels.
What types of business has scope in Nepal?