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Ms. Kalawati Rai (Navaras)

Thulo .Com
Sep 15, 2020

Navaras Pickles has been around for more than 25 years, and many supermarkets across the
valley shelve more than 49 varieties of pickles some of which includes lapsi chutney, fish and
buff pickles, sweet mango chutney, hot lemon pickle, whole garlic pickle, chili sauce and
pickles, and radish and gundruk pickles. This pickle brand prides itself on being able to retain the
traditional Nepali taste and produce food items that are free of chemicals and preservatives.
Navaras is marketed by WEAN (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal) Multipurpose
Cooperative a Women Producers’ Marketing Cooperative that seeks to develop and enhance the
capabilities of promising women entrepreneurs by providing various training and technical
support. In 1994, WEAN Multipurpose Cooperative conducted trainings on Food Processing and
Preservation to a group of women. Some of these women went on to produce pickle products
from the confines of their kitchen, now they have separate factories. Since then WEAN
Multipurpose Cooperative marketing their products with the brand name “Navaras” that
translates to "new taste" which is fitting because Navaras pickles are the first Nepali food
products produced by women. 

Business during COVID-19 and Adapting to E-commerce

In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs and societies are facing
unprecedented challenges. Governments around the world imposed widespread lockdown, strict
measures of social distancing, restrictions on traveling, and gatherings as a response to mitigate
the spread of the virus. Many facets of personal and social life had to be moved online, and
entrepreneurs were not an exception. They had to start moving their business activities online
and hardly had the time to get oriented to the changes that were happening. However, this was
easier said than done, as the need for digitalization disrupted the current business models that
they were implementing. Companies like Navaras needed to make a lot of changes to survive the

Navaras was selected for the online promotion 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, and is funded by the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID). The precautions imposed also reduced business activities
to an extent. Most of the Navaras pickles require ingredients from the wholesale vegetable
market in Kalimati, but because of the restrictions, the required raw materials were harder to
procure. Navaras is just one of the products that WEAN Multipurpose Cooperative markets, but
the cooperative believes it is rational to focus more on food essentials for now because of the
ongoing pandemic.

Something to learn from Kalawati Rai, Manager

Kalawati who manages WEAN Multipurpose Cooperative believes that interest and knowledge
are the two main prerequisites for starting any entrepreneurial venture. Everyone has a talent that
needs to be discovered. This can usually be done by identifying what one is interested is or is
good at like the women who make pickles for Navaras. These women took their interest and
passion further by attending training conducted by WEAN Multipurpose Cooperative. It is one

thing to make pickles, but it is a different thing to be able to commercialize it. WEAN
Multipurpose Cooperative helps these small businesses market their products and go large scale.
Women who are unsure of their passion and interest can always attend the different workshops
hosted by WEAN Multipurpose Cooperative and ultimately find something that they are
comfortable with. In addition to knowledge and interest, one should also be ready to work hard,
dedicated and be prepared to learn from failures. As a women it can be difficult to run a business.
It is common to lose focus while you aim to achieve a stability between business and home but
what matters is the ability to recover and maintain focus on accomplishing your goal.

View all products of Navaras:

Story Covered by: Ms. Jaani Kandangwa


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