Funky Monks produces comfortable beanbags with impeccable craftsmanship that can be categorized as modern furniture. Learn how Ankita Shrestha and Ajay Shrestha transformed their academic project to a full fledged business that will help generate employment for women.
- Tell us about your business idea?
The idea of using Bean Bags as furniture is relatively a new in Nepalese market. The idea was conceptualized while we were brainstorming for our academic project. We had to submit a report of Operation Procedure for a certain product or service. I choose Beanbag for my report with Ankita on my team. After completing the report we thought of actually making a tangible product rather than just making a report. We then went on to search for tailors and suppliers who could sew and supply the final product. Our motive for producing the beanbags is to adjust the natural posture of the body and solve the chronic back ache.
- What social issue are you trying to address with your business idea?
My father runs a manufacturing business. I have made an observation that Nepal has limited manufacturing companies compared to its neighboring countries. Also due to shortage of skilled manpower in the market, most of the skilled labour especially in the tailoring market comes from India. This leads to high manpower costs to businesses. Hence, my main social ambition is to increase the number of skilled manpower in Nepal itself. In our business, we will currently prioritize providing employment opportunities to the women who have undergone CTEVT Program. However at a later stage Funky Monks will provide training to unskilled women.
Also, our product, the beanbags are very flexible and supports the natural curves of a body which is effective in maintaining the natural body structure compared to the traditional types of furniture that are not ergonomically designed.
- What kind of challenges have you faced while setting up Funky monks?
The first challenge was finding the right supplier from India for buying fillings for the bean bags. Since we used intermediaries to import the material, it incurred huge costs. Also we were not a registered company so we didn’t have a PAN number or contracts or bills of the company to start out with. We also lacked skilled manpower to stitch the bags and when hired one we were over charged. We incurred a loss of Rs. 40,000 right at the very beginning.
- If you win Yunus Social Business Challenge, what would you do with the seed fund?
First of all, it will boost our motivation to continue running our enterprise if we win this competition. The major part of the fund will be used to hire and train women to stitch the bags. Then we would like to use part of the seed money for manufacturing our product and its marketing.
If you are interested to know more about Funky Monks, click here for there facebook or or connect with them at email@example.com.