Ms. Jyoti Thapa (Swaad Achar Udhyog)
The growth in demand for pickles (achar) has encouraged small and medium level
entrepreneurs to enter the pickle business. Previously, most women spent their time at home
making these jars of pickles for their family. However, as time went on and women started
working, they had no time to make these at home. The process of making pickles at home can
be tedious and time-consuming, which is how Jyoti realized that starting an achar masala
(spices) business is the perfect venture for her. She had been making these achar masala at
home and was comfortable enough to do so commercially. She also realized that she could
not trust some of these pickles found in the supermarkets because of the use of low quality
masala, chemicals and preservatives. She did not want to introduce a product that she would
not be able to trust and expect her customers to buy. Thus, she focused on making her achar
masala as healthy as possible. And, this is how she embarked on her journey of having her
achar masala brand, Swad Achar.
Swad Achar has been in the market since 2013 and throughout these years Jyoti has been
blessed with immense support of her family. She does admit that as a woman with added
responsibilities, it is never easy to maitain balance between home and business. Jyoti believes
that a business will always be a secondary priority to a woman but this does not mean that it
is impossible to have a successful business. She hopes that one does not get discouraged and
continues working hard.
As a business owner, Jyoti has seen the Nepali market flooded with international brands.
However, Nepal too has a lot of local pickle brands that have been working hard to capture a
larger share of the market dominated by foreign brands by coming up with their own unique
recipes that cater to a typical Nepali taste bud.
The achar masala industry is one of the largest industry in India and Pakistan. The products
from these countries are exported all over including Nepal. . The achar masala industry is
fairly new to Nepal and Jyoti hopes to see more Nepali consumers and producers using
locally produced high quality achar masala like those she producesto make their pickles.
After marketing the achar masala she is now also into pickle production.
Business during COVID-19 and Adapting to E-commerce
As a seasoned entrepreneur with nearly 7 years of experience, Jyoti is completely aware of
the importance of having an online presence. She is one of the women entrepreneurs selected
for the online promotion of her products under the “MA-UDHYAMI” campaign as a part of
the project “Revitalizing Women’s Businesses Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic”. The project is
being implemented by Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs’ Associations of Nepal
(FWEAN), together with EMERGE and Thulo.com, and is funded by the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID).
She admits that nothing is more convenient than shopping online, and it is even more
prevalent today because of the increasing trend of e-commerce and the changes in consumer
habit brought about by the COVID-19 situation. The current pandemic has people locked up
in their homes due to the fear of contracting the disease. This means that businesses now need
to focus more on their online than offline strategies. Many small local business owners who
did not see digitizing their business as essential are now adapting their approach and starting
to digitalize. Jyoti hopes that entrepreneurs are ready to tackle these changes caused by
COVID-19 by educating themselves on the use of technology.
Something to learn from Jyoti
Jyoti has learned a lot while managing her business, and as a word of advice, she thinks that
there are two essential things. Firstly, she believes that people who wish to be an entrepreneur
should ensure that they have the necessary knowledge to run a business. One needs to possess
the technical skills and abilities to create the product and knowing how to sell it. If one does
not have this knowledge, they can always seek help by attending workshops and classes.
Entrepreneurs should ensure that they understand their customers’ demands to meet them
accordingly. They should strive to earn the trust of their customers because, without it,
customers will not purchase their products. Secondly, Jyoti wants entrepreneurs to understand
that businesses do not require huge investments. One can always start small and use the
earning to slowly work their way up. They should be patient because it can take years for a
business to grow and become successful. They are enticed by the success of a business that
can only be perceived from the surface and fails to comprehend that it takes dedication and
hard work to reach that stage. Jyoti hopes that women who aspire to become an entrepreneur
have a realistic understanding of what it takes to be one before they actually start a business.
View all products of Swaad Achar Udhyog: https://thulo.com/swaad-achar-masala-udhyog/
Story Covered by: Ms. Jaani Kandangwa
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