Mohan Gupta along with his 3 friends has an idea- Baja Nepal to provide employment to traditional musicians of Nepal.The motive is to preserve the music and playing skills that are typical to Nepal and encourage musicians to keep playing. We had a conversation with Mohan and Sudarshan, two of the four co-founders of Baja Nepal, regarding their idea and experience at Udhyai Yuva Challenge. Read on to find out.
1. Can you tell us more about your idea?
Baja Nepal is basically a digital platform where we connect traditional musicians, who are skilled but unemployed, with clients in order to conserve and preserve their talent. We believe that traditional musicians are true musicians because they have inherited and learned to play these instruments from their ancestors. Many of these traditional musicians are forced to migrate and take up menial work to earn a living and the music is slowly vanishing. Our idea with Baja Nepal is to connect these musicians to the demand in their own locality through an online platform. We actually came up with this idea during the Hult Prize at Purbanchal University where we had to think of something that enables 10,000 people to get jobs.
2. Is it already into operations? If yes, what platform are you on?
Yes, it’s already into operations but we had paused for some while. We have a website but right now we’re working on redesigning it to make it more user friendly. We only work through Facebook because we have been getting engagements there. But we’ll be finishing with the website post-pandemic.
3. What are the challenges you are facing while operating the company?
Actually, we were on a pause to pursue our other goals. Meanwhile, the musicians who had registered with us weren’t with us for some time. So, we had to take a break for a while and focus on other things too I guess that’s also part of our challenge. Another challenge would be lack of marketing and branding. So, right now we have a challenge of reaching out to the musicians to register with us.But the good part is we have a new member to our team ,Pasang Syangtan who comes from Hospitality and Business field with experience in events looking after the entire operations department which might bring new changes backed up my optimism to baja nepal .
4. How was your experience at the UYC bootcamp?
All of our teammates attended the sessions and those sessions were very informative for all of us. The two sessions on investment were particularly insightful because we were also looking for investment and that gave us a sort of guide to start with. We also got to learn about the concept of sustainability which was pretty new for us.
There was this session on Digital Marketing given by the cofounder of Foodcloud.in whose business model was somewhat similar to ours. Her company employs homecooks and makes their services available to the public while ours employs traditional musicians. The experience she shared was something we could relate to and use her learnings in our business too. We think we learned more from those who already had a startup up and running and shared their experiences and lessons with us.
5. How will you move your idea further if you win the seed fund? If not, how?
Right now, we’re focused on building ourselves as a brand so that people can trust us for quality service and the musicians feel proud to be associated with us. To do this, we’ll have to invest in marketing activities- both digital and traditional. We’re also planning to invest in outfits for the musicians so that they look presentable as most of the traditional musicians we see around aren’t well groomed. We think the reason people hire different bands is because they are well dressed and look professional in the events they are playing.
It would be great to have investors on board and getting them is our first priority. We also want to collaborate with government institutions as our idea has a huge social impact and provides employment to skilled workers. If you imagine the post pandemic scene then we’ll have a lot of unemployed skilled workers who have returned from gulf countries. Most of them will also be those who know how to play one or the other musical instruments. So, if we can help them get employed then they won’t have the need to migrate abroad again.
If we don’t win the seed fund and we also don’t get any sort of investment, then we’ll be investing ourselves and pushing the idea forward with more founding members with experiences in diverse fields. We believe in this idea so we’ll bring it into reality no matter what.
6. Are there any competitors for your business?
We have more challenges than the competitors ,we believe there isn’t competition as such. However, there could be chances where these musicians might take up the job individually and not through us after getting enough market reach. Regardless, we’ll provide them not just employment but a community of musicians so we’re hopeful that will not be the case.
For more information about this idea, please connect with Mohan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interiewed and article by Yangzum Lama.