“Self-Sustainable Agro Farm”, an idea that came up from the nostalgic days of childhood when Mr. Shirish Pokhrel used to visit his ancestral farm. In his efforts to translate his memories in is now a reality for other children he is creating a sustainable Agro-farm with home stay facility. Learn more about his start up through our conversation with Mr. Pokhrel.
How did you come up with your business idea?
When I was a child, I enjoyed visiting our ancestral farm with my grandfather. I even used to work in the garden with my mother which she really adored as she and I shared similar interest. I think that served as a big motivation for me to dream about having a self-sustainable farm. I had land as parental property in Nagarkot. Hence, I have been trying different models and ideas to make this self-sustaining agro farm a success. I think, Clock B Business has proved to be a turning point for my initiation as it has helped me to make my idea more concrete and as a result of that, I am now already in the second phase in developing my business idea.
Can you tell us more about your startup?
My vision is to start agro-tourism through an environmentally sustainable venture with optimum utilization of resources. I plan to have a holiday home for which the major source of income will be through the sale of rooms. However, we will also earn through different channels such as conference, meetings, camps etc. I am planning for the recreational facilities for the family members as well. So, the whole idea is to have an agro farm wherein the agriculture products will be used for the hotel itself.
What is the social problem that you are trying to solve with your business idea?
The holiday home which I am developing will have its own waste management system. Along with that, we are also planning to use skills of local people who are making products from bamboo and briquettes and sell them. This will enable us to provide them with employment opportunities.
Is your company registered?
Not yet, as we are still in the idea phase. We have built 7 rooms so far.
How many staff did you start out with and what is your current staff strength?
We started with 3 board members and now we have added 4 informal staffs i.e. cook, health assistant, and a guard.
How were you able to grow your team?
We have an open vision. Any person who is interested to work with us can easily join our team and we also provide leverage for people to work at our farm on rent.
How did you raise your funds?
We initiated with our own savings but now, we are planning to take a loan and are also seeking for some investors.
What challenges have you faced till date and what challenges do you foresee?
Convincing my family who do not belong to a business background was my huge challenge. However, I don’t think we have faced any major challenges till date. But we might face challenges regarding the transparency of local people in the coming future and it will be very difficult to convince the local people as well. Another major challenge would be with the lack of finance.
Who would be your target customers in the beginning?
Since I am also enrolled in a school, I would say parents would be my target customers. We are planning for summer camp and winter camps for the students from the school. Additionally, national and international tourist would also be our customers.
What is the capacity for your holiday home?
It has the capacity to cater up to 100 guests. We have segmented our rooms into two types. Guests who want to spend less money will be staying in dormitory and who are willing to spend money on a separate room will be provided accordingly.
What kind of business model do you follow, is it profit making?
It is obviously a profit-making model.
What are the key needs of your company?
The first priority is to register my company which requires legal assistance. Another key need would be human resources. We made an agreement with an organization named Aero Roots who will be our technological partner. We are also planning to collaborate with other enterprises as well.
What is the future plan for your business?
I am planning to develop 3 sustainable homes and agro garden in the first phase. Then, in the second phase, I will start animal husbandry and finally, in the 3rd phase, I will build a Mart for organic products. I will keep developing my journey for building an ecosystem.
Do you consider yourself as a Social Entrepreneur?
Yes, I do consider myself as a social entrepreneur.
Interested in learning more about Self Sustainable Agro Farm? You can reach Shirish Pokhrel at firstname.lastname@example.org