1. Tell me about your journey to starting your ventures? When did it start?
The crime rates in Nepal is ever rising. Coming from an engineering background I wanted to do something to mitigate this problem. And that led to the initiation of Swadeshi Innovation Pvt Ltd. Our company is a manufacturing company and our main products include the digital door locks and security alarm, which is installed in houses and commercial buildings. So when the thieves and burglars try to trespass, the sensor tracks the uncommon activity and then the alarm goes off, the owner is notified by a call. The alarm can also be activated in a community and through the use of mobile applications, the households within the community can access the security alarm in case of any problem. So, the major motive of this company is to have a crime-free community.
It has been 4 years since we started. In the beginning, we also manufactured powerhouses and affordable, portable and durable invertors. But due to the decreased market for these products, we are more focused on security systems as of now.
2. What is the social problem that you are trying to solve?
Like said earlier, the crime rates in Nepal are rising. Through SI Security System we want to ensure that every household, business house, community, society and nation as a whole are safe and secured from social crimes like theft, burglary and so on.
3. What is your current staff strength?
We have a team of 12 people which includes both manufacturing and the marketing team. We have two manufacturing centers in Kathmandu.
4. What challenges did you face when starting the company and how did you overcome them?
When we are fresh graduates we are completely new to the real business world, we do not have the required expertise, professional knowledge, and networking. In addition to this, we also tend not to be economically stable so it is generally hard to sustain any kind of company. And these are the exact problem that we faced. Apart from this, marketing was also another major challenge since all of us were from an engineering and manufacturing background. Because of this, we were not sure as to how to create demand for our products, make the market know about the existence of the products and add value to the products.
With time we learned about professionalism and talking about networking we participated in different programs, presented our products and business model which helped in both networking and marketing our products. In addition to this, we also have a management graduate in our team who looks into these issues.
5. What are the challenges you are facing right now?
The manufacturing sector needs a huge investment. However, Nepal has a small market so it is difficult to sustain and get a return on your investment. In addition to this, Nepal imports a lot of security systems from China so it is often difficult to compete. Likewise, marketing our products is also another challenge, and the taxes imposed when importing the raw materials are also very high making it difficult for us to operate.
6. Who are your target customers?
Our target market is commercial buildings and shops like jewelry shops that need high security. But now, as said earlier our products have also been demanded by the households. So we cater to both the commercial and household customers as of now.
7. What is your business model?
We are a manufacturing company and we have mainly two departments- manufacturing and marketing. The marketing department collects the demand for our products and based on that the manufacturing department manufactures the product and also works on the installation. A lot of popular faces of Nepal are our customers which include Mr. Binod Chaudhary, the owner of CG groups, Gyanendra Malla, the vice caption of Nepal Cricket team to name a few. We also provide customized security systems to our customers based on their needs. In addition to this, we are also constantly involved in upgrading our products as per the need and demands of our customers.
8. What is your say on the competition in this sector?
In the case of manufacturing the security systems aren’t much competition. I believe we are the only one who has manufactured the commercial product in Nepal. However, in terms of the products, the market has both Chinese and Indian products. Indian products are not much competition but yes Chinese products are definitely one.
In addition to this we keep on upgrading our products, we do not sit still one we have developed a product. As per the customer demand and need we keep on upgrading our products. Our team is constantly involved in making the product more reliable, better and more optimal because security is something that cannot be comprised. So this has helped us to sustain in the market and compete with Chinese products.
9. What is the future plan for your company?
We have the plan of collaborating with the government bodies like the Kathmandu municipality to ensure proper security to all the household and business houses. Apart from digital locks, we are also planning to develop systems that will ensure the mitigation of another serious social problem- rape. That is all I can share right now.
10. Do you consider yourself a social entrepreneur?
Yes, I do. Theft is a major social issue that everyone faces and we are working towards mitigating that and ensuring security for everyone. So, Swadeshi Innovation Pvt Ltd. is a social enterprise and I am a social entrepreneur.
11. Any other information you would like to share?
Entrepreneurship is not a joke. There is a lot of hardship that you will have to face in this journey. You will have to have months of sleepless nights, zero money, no time for your family and loved ones and multiple rejections. So you need to have that determination, dedication, and perseverance if you want to travel through this path.
For more information about SI Security, please contact Ananta Thakuri at 9841866002.
Interviewed and article by Jyotika Shah.