imperial | Imperial Business College - Best BBA & BHCM - Part 2

10 Team Building Activities for Students


Team building isn’t just for the corporate workplace — it can also be used in the classroom to encourage collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making. And it doesn’t have to involve awkward activities such as a ‘trust fall.’ Engaging, relevant team building activities for students can energize your classroom and take learning to a new level.

By accomplishing group tasks, students learn to listen, trust and support each other, while developing life skills such as communication and collaboration — skills that can’t be learned from a textbook, interactive or not. Learning to get along with peers, for example, isn’t something you can pick up through memorization.

Sara Keinath, Youth Leadership Educator at Michigan State University explains the value of team building activities for students: “Guiding group members through intentional games can help them improve their communication skills with each other, which will transfer to their work or club projects later. Many team building activities incorporate such skills as active listening, questioning assumptions, giving clear directions, problem solving or learning how to ask effective questions.”

Facilitate your team building games and activities for students over the course of a semester (rather than a one-off event). Here are ten examples of fun team building activities for students you can use in the classroom that won’t make everyone cringe.

1. Spaghetti tower

Divide students into teams and provide them with ‘building’ materials, such as dry spaghetti, marshmallows, string and tape. Set a time limit for designing and building a spaghetti tower (one that’s structurally sound, of course). When their time is up, the tallest freestanding tower wins. There are several variations on this, such as building a pyramid with paper cups, but the idea is to promote communication and collaboration.

2. Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts aren’t just for kids. While this team building game requires some preparation, it encourages students to work together: planning a strategy, divvying up tasks and communicating progress. Divide the students into teams and set a time limit in which they have to find as many items as possible on a list you’ve provided. You can make this more challenging by providing clues or riddles rather than the names of items.

3. Pub quiz

You don’t need to hang out in an actual pub for this team building activity; the idea is to mimic a trivia pub night, fostering teamwork in a fun environment. The ‘host’ asks a multiple-choice trivia question, and teams are given 60 seconds to discuss and agree upon an answer. You can use generic quiz questions (from the board game “Trivial Pursuit,” for example), but you could also relate questions back to course material. The team with the most points wins.

4. Idea building blocks

Divide the class into teams and present them with a problem (again, this can be related to course material). One team member writes down a solution and passes the piece of paper along to the next team member, who builds upon that idea. The paper is passed around until each team member has added onto the original solution. When their time is up, a spokesperson can present their final solution to the rest of the group or to the class.

5. Newspaper fashion show

While this team building game is ideal for art and design students, it can be used in any classroom; in fact, these kinds of games are good examples of how team building activities for students get them out of their comfort zone to exercise their creativity. Divide students into teams of six to eight, and supply them with newspaper, tape and scissors. Participants are given a time limit to design and create an item of clothing out of newspaper, which requires group brainstorming and delegation of tasks. One person in the group could ‘model’ the finished product when their time is up.

6. “Shark Tank”

Similar to the popular TV show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors, this team building activity can be used in the classroom to encourage creative thinking and develop time management, presentation and public speaking skills. Each team of students comes up with a product, brand name, logo and marketing strategy, which is then presented to the ‘panel.’ Encourage feedback from the ‘sharks,’ or other students, in the class.

7. Pipeline

Teams are given the task of rolling a marble or ball from a start line to a finish line, without it ever touching the floor — or students’ hands. Each team member is given a PVC pipe (though they could also use paper and tape, or paper towel rolls). Allow five minutes of planning time, so teams can strategize how they will transport the marble as a group; if it falls to the floor, they must start over. This helps to promote problem-solving, communication and cooperation.

8. Classify this

Arrange random objects on your desk — anything from paper clips to an umbrella to jewelry (aim for about 25 objects in total). Teams of students must then categorize these objects on a piece of paper, even when no obvious connections exist. You can decide on the number of categories or let each team decide. When their time is up, a participant from each group presents their list and explains the logic behind it. This team building exercise helps students think outside of the box.

9. Goodie bag skits

This might take some students out of their comfort zone, but encourages teamwork and collaboration. Divide the class into teams of up to eight people and provide each team with a ‘goodie bag’ filled with random items. Set a time limit (five to 10 minutes) for each group to create a short skit, based on the items in the bag. Teams then present their skits, and a group vote can be held to declare the winner.

10. Deserted island

In this team building game, students imagine they’re stranded on a deserted island. After dividing students into teams, provide them with a list of items for survival. Participants must prioritize and rank those items — first on their own, and then as a group. Not only does this test their problem-solving skills, it helps them differentiate between the needs of the individual and the needs of the collective.

There are literally dozens of team building activities for students that can be used in the classroom — you can even ask students to create their own. By incorporating group activities into your teaching, you’re providing students with an opportunity to learn essential life skills they’ll carry with them long after they graduate.

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Improve Your Concentration and Memory

The following are simple strategies that anyone can use to improve the amount of information that they take in and remember:

1.Unusual Gets Noticed

If you see something weird, unusual or different from others, your subconscious mind captures it and registers it. Like, a baby of a monkey playing with a tiger cub or a car moving in a river.

This creates an image in your subconscious mind, later; your conscious mind can easily derive the information from it.So, if you want to learn something and remember it for a long time, then give it a different name something very unusual or picture it in an old fashion.

2. Involve as many senses as possible

 For example, if you are sitting in a lecture, you will remember more of what is being said if you listen and scribble down a few notes. Or if you are reading a letter or an article, you will remember more of what is written if you read it aloud to yourself.

3.Extreme Emotion, Good or Bad

People tend to remember something that is related to their extreme emotion be it good or bad.People remember the extreme cold, extreme summer, extreme happiness, and extreme sorrow. Something that is very good or bad will also be remembered for a long time.
There is a cycle that is created from this picture which results in action and action again sows the seed of a new picture.

4.Passionate Conscious Goal Statement

A powerful goal statement is key to improve memory and concentration.
Whenever something new goes inside your mind, it registers and stores only what is fruitful to you.
If the data does not help the mind in achieving any goal, then it will leave the data. The conscious mind will take its own decision when you hold the goal statement.
For ExampleIf you as a student want to learn a subject and you have an interest in it, then you can easily learn it.On the other hand, if you read something that is uninteresting, then you will have to learn it forcefully.

There are two patterns of thinking – Structured Pattern and Accidental Pattern.In accidental pattern of thinking, your data is not structured and your mind faces a lot of problems while taking a decision.
In structured pattern of thinking, all your data is in a well-structured form and the mind does not have any problem in registering things and then finding it.
If you will use any of the above three tips to improve concentration rigorously then you will certainly be able to achieve your goals successfully.

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Contribution of Management in Health-Sector

Management is the most integral part of any system whether it is in administrative or technical. Managers are combining business expertise with an understanding of the healthcare system to increase both efficiency and effectiveness. Hospital is the critical place for both happiness and sorrow. Starting of a person’s life and the end, both are in the hospital. Thus, it is critical to manage the hospital services. Earlier there were only clinical services for the patients. Nowadays management has become a connecting link between the patient and the doctors with the special care and treatment of the patient. The patients not only require a good doctor but also a quality service for speedy recovery. The hospital without proper management can be a place for making patient’s condition even worse. Good management is always a plus point. A hospital with the availability of good pharmacy, nursing services, etc. entices the people to visit that hospital which is beneficial in the business perspective too. The management towards the work of doctor and their helpers make the treatment more efficient and provide a good working environment for the personnel. On the administrative side, healthcare managers gather data related to facilities and finances, analyze it, and then present their findings to relevant stakeholders. Thus, management services have become an important asset for the hospital and is playing vital role in the health sector.
Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to increase by a faster rate, a rate that is much faster than the national average for job growth. From a compensation perspective, it’s clear that healthcare systems provide the important role where well-educated and trained managers play. Although responsibilities vary widely depending on the size and type of institution, all healthcare managers work to make sure patients receive high-quality services in an efficient way. There are a lot of different support areas within the infrastructure to make sure they deliver what they have to for patient care.
Health sector checks the security of normal well being of a person by providing with preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care while its management ensures the objective of health sector is fulfilled to its fullest in terms of quality and quantity. Proper management maintains good working environment, ensure best quality, optimum utilization of resources and monitor the future direction of the health organization. So, proper management is mandatory for health sector.

BY: Diwas Bastola



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How will you stand out?

There can be proficient talents in every corner of the streets, earning from half a billion of rupees to thousand of number of followers on social media. There are no restrictions on portraying one’s art of passion. Students do not fully recognize what they are capable of achieving until they reach a certain age. Raising a voice against their will may take a little more time than estimated.

Famous people today did not just happen to be famous just like that. But their drive towards attaining the goal after experiencing number of failures made them vigorously famous. Almost every person who is pondering to change their state of living will mark 4 important things in life. It is in the passion, hard-work, dedication and interest they put on into everyday work to reach at peak.

Meeting few people like them once in a while should be a search of everybody. To say, I met a very passionate cook who made excellent Muslim Bohra food. It is true you can find her at Jhamsikhel at Tasneem’s Kings Kitchen. She partnered with a friend of her and here she goes on feeding people with exceptional taste. She loved cooking and more, she loved feeding people. A smile on her customer’s face after eating her food was her every hard-work ever returned.

We should never give up upon achieving something we once dreamt of. Dreams are made true if you are set for the goal and feel proud of it. The reputed educational institution of Nepal known all over the world was established by a person who came to Kathmandu looking for opportunities. One of the largest school/college in Nepal, Little Angles’ School/College don’t require introduction but the person behind it does. He did, slowly but steadily, working after his classes and earning the living was then able to produce one of the best institutions in Nepal. He invested a lot of time in making the school what is today.

Reaching to the top of a mountain takes a lot for a person. You are somehow fighting with the nature to enjoy the beauty of the nature. Beautiful things don’t come easy. And it is the way you taking it matters the most. Artists likewise go through condemnable comments every time they come out in reality. But not going towards nor completely ignoring the flaws, they find ways to overcome what they want to become. Their dedication is their every day charm and so does it requires it to be everybody’s.

Helmets Nepal is getting famous all over Nepal. They started as fresh graduates who knew few about how a business should be conducted; fighting with all its competitors they were able to satisfy more than 20,000 customers. Even though they had very less family support they went far to give its customer the best quality products they could offer.

Circumstances and surroundings may be tough but the way you handle should not matter if you remain calm and positive until the end. To stand out may not necessarily mean to stand on a desk with room full of people but to achieve the recognition for the deeds you have performed. It will fruitfully give you back all of your hardship, pain and satisfaction.

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Leadership in business I want to see in Nepal

A business leader is someone who is confident, creative and persistent to begin any type of venture and believing on the business policy implemented. Business leaders are constantly carving their insights to succeed making the “business goal” their first priority. They adjust and adapt to any changing market to become number one leader. An important trait of a leader is the ability to align company’s goals with a clear vision and also preparing cohesive plans at times of crisis.

In Nepal, definitions of business and leadership still follow the traditional methods and market principles as part of society. But true disruptive and pioneering ideas do have sprung out. Acquiring franchise or selling trade mark is just as popular as among business leaders. Otherwise, there are some new emerging entrepreneurs who lead the change by introducing innovative services in motive of meeting customer’s demand. There are also upcoming business leaders who are seeing opportunities in today’s emerging global trends and the world of e-commerce that has already given birth to numbers of online business markets.

Forbes explains that “Great business leaders hire and inspire other great leaders whom they can trust to carry out the company’s mission and instill a sense of purpose that touches each and every staff member”. We, as a part of the business world, hurt to see great businesses collapsing few due to bankruptcy or existing because of acquisitions. To that everybody as a business leader or an entrepreneur should participate equally to build the nation together.  

I believe business leaders in Nepal have been through struggles in doing business alone. A company needs an influential individual with a strong leader who has the willingness to develop more leaders in the process. Nepal should apply tactics from around the world like to  empower their employees, so they can be as equally successful. A leader is someone who builds their team, mentors them, and advocates for them for they are not in competition – they are part of a team. I personally believe we all can make a change we wish to see in business in Nepal– starting from today.

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Contribution of Management in the Health Sector

Hospital is a place where a journey is constantly absorbed in health and sickness; birth or death. With establishments of upgrading health cares, contribution towards human and its race to healthy living has been of a great importance. Management should be constantly working with advanced medical facilities for better operations. By introducing high-level business management to healthcare system, there is part that helps to increase efficiency and effectiveness of it. Management in a whole is important to any system whether administrative or technical.

With the help of care management, sick patients can connect better with required services whenever in emergency. Compared to that of old services patients may need treatments by doctors with special care. A patient needs to recover both wise; physically and mentally, which is possible with better health care management services. Hospitals lacking with enough care for a patient due to poor management can damage a patient’s condition even more. Hospitals can sometimes have an unwanted ambiance but with substantial coordination between the medical and non-medical staffs it can make health checkups more resourceful and provide a positive environment for patients.

On a business level, managers at such health care understand flow of operational activities, such as day-to-day analysis of finances helps them in attracting their stakeholders. Management services are fruitfully playing a vital role of becoming an asset for the hospital. As much as healthcare management increases, there increases the chance of employment too. Due to which employment in medical services and health care management is expected to increase at a faster rate. Although goals and duties differ widely based on the size and nature of the institution, all healthcare managers work to deliver high-quality services in an effectual way for best patient care.

The medical sector should assure safety and well-being to a person by providing preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative cares. While on the other hand, management fortifies the objectives are fulfilled by the health sector. Organization of resources, sustainable environment, and proper management helps ensure best quality of hospitals for near futures too. Thus, proper management should be as a mandatory scene in any health sector.

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Entrepreneurship in Nepal

Entrepreneurs from any part of the world including Nepal should start off with a lot of new ideas, plans, and enthusiasm. However, many harsh realities of market get struck to people at times diminishing the real-life potential for emerging businesses.

In countries like Nepal, the growth of middle-class population gradually uptakes, the many untapped opportunities waiting for to be seized are left from becoming favorable due to its respective market scenario. For an example, the biggest concern until few years back in Nepal, Nepal suffered from huge electricity cutoffs that became normal and as a part of our life. In fact the digital market industry is moving upwards but the problem of making proper legislation and policies continues to impact both seller and buyer every day. Also, the everyday happening of unethical business syndicates, politics inside business, high governmental interest policies, and weak workplace ethics raises differences between the theoretical aspects of entrepreneurship to that of which is experienced and exercised every day.

Countries have started exercising technological revolution and what is known to be as modern in the society; we still lack the understanding of applying sophisticated cultures while it comes to doing business. Foremost, we lack in planning and vision; we have little knowledge and expertise on where to start or how to execute a business for the long run. Other developing countries like Nigeria and Taiwan have established as a developed country by flourishing things with use of advanced technologies, tools and equipments leaving the creative to generate new ideas, Nepal still struggles with providing itself a positive and prolific market. Thus, it reflects on our contracting economy.

To a positive side, government today is stable and isn’t as gloomy as it was hundred years ago. Times are changing. Business schools are encouraging students to become more skillful and open about every topic comprehensive to understanding the 21st century business scenario. Adding up, we have witnessed groundbreaking success that shows innovation and positive experiential business ideas. Entrepreneurs, both experienced and aspiring, have acknowledged the importance of learning, experimenting, and taking a leap of faith. We look forward to businesses getting noticeable expansions they deserve in Nepal.

Entrepreneurs as they go onto this journey can both experience and become an inspiration that have acknowledged the importance of learning, experimenting, and seen their faith. We look forward to businesses getting noticeable at expansions they deserve in Nepal.

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Four things to do to build relations

When you tell your friends, families and other acquaintances that you have decided to be an entrepreneur, one of the advice they’ll probably give is, “You need to make connections.” When you finally become an entrepreneur, these words are merely reminders. But what is tragically lacking is its application: the wisdom. 

What is going wrong then? We just want things for ourselves, and we fail to realize that building relations works two-ways. 

” Networking is not a take-first and give-second relation, but it’s rather a give-first and take-second relation.”

We should not only focus on what we can get but also focus on what we can give. When you understand this concept, we have solved the first part of the puzzle; we are on the path of building strong relations.


Relationship building, like every other marketing tactics, is something that grows eventually and evolves over time.  You have to realize that relationships aren’t built in a day. You might say, “Okay we understand this, but how do we build this strong relationship?”

Make yourself visible

The founding stone to building strong relationships is your visibility. If you are not visible enough to your peers, colleagues, fellow competitors, then I’m afraid you’re doing it wrong. After all, it’s not about attending events, parties and exchanging business cards. 

“Your card will be just another card in the stack, and will probably be never referred to. It’s about what you are going to do about the card.”

Most people go wrong here; they don’t follow up on contacts and fail to realize that every business card is an opportunity.  Send him/her a text or e-mail. A simple: “Hey nice meeting you yesterday. I really liked our discussion” won’t hurt anyone. When you have continuous communication with your stakeholders, you have become visible.


Meet Expectations

Once you have become visible, your next aim is to build trust. Your potential business partners, customers, peers must know about you and the service you provide. Once you do, you have created an expectation level on their minds based on what you have communicated with them. Now, this is the leverage point, if you can satisfy their expectations, your relationship with them will start to get stronger. Many Market researchers have pointed out that customer satisfaction and ‘delivering what we promised’ has a positive relation. If you deliver what you promised, you build credibility. Let’s say if you can provide high-grade organic coffee in the right amount and the right time to coffee houses around the Kathmandu valley, then you have built yourself to be a credible supplier.  You are someone they can rely on, and less the chances that they will turn to others.

Add personal touch

Your customer will speak out for you. Because your customers are your best salespeople, they advocate about your brand and product to new people and bring you, customers.  For startups looking to build brands, it is important to see how even the big companies develop relationships on a personal level. Construct working relationships with your suppliers, partners, and customers in person. People will build strong relationships with people rather than with your business or brand. If you ever were a Yamaha user, remember how the customer service calls you to remind that it’s time for servicing your bike? You might have been thankful to them, even if it was for a moment, and it is only a sign that your bond grew stronger. 

“The benefits are more visible if you are able to communicate with your customers on a personal level. “

Use the power of the internet

If you miss out on using the tools of the internet in today’s world, I’m afraid building relationships can be very tough. Make a strong presence in social media. Do not only share about your products or service, but also post and share articles your followers might enjoy reading. It’s also time to use email marketing again. (Sounds a bit old school?) When someone reads your email, s/he will have your undivided attention, unlike in Facebook where your message might just drown in a sea of posts and messages of your customer’s home page. 


So, it’s time to convert your knowledge into wisdom and amend things that you did wrong. One thing you should realize is that building strong relationships is not the same as just making connections.

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What’s Value proposition and why startups need to focus more on it?

Most startups in Nepal limit marketing only to their Facebook and Instagram pages, flooding their followers with information, which will probably get ignored. Startups need to stand out from the crowd and posting information on their ‘walls’ is not going to help every time. Marketing is a tactful art of communicating, and when communication is in question, startups need to realize that it needs to happen from both parties involved – you and your customer. A founding stone for a strong marketing plan is a well-constructed value proposition.

A value proposition is a positioning statement that clarifies why customers should buy your product or use your service. It describes how you solve existing problems in a unique way and how your way can benefit the customers. 


A value proposition must answers these questions:

Why should customers buy from you?

How is your product different?

How will customers benefit from your product? 

What products do you offer and to whom?

Let’s construct a simple hypothetical value proposition for a hypothetical noodle manufacturing company ‘Chau Chau’ by answering these questions:

“We believe in solving even the smallest of hunger (Why should customers buy from you?), for which Chau Chau comes in different flavors and exciting packages (How is your product different?). It is healthy and can be prepared under 5 minutes (How customers will benefit from your product?). We happen to make great masalas and great noodles in different varieties for anyone, anywhere (What products do you offer and for whom?).” 

It seems simple, doesn’t it? But it’s this simplicity that becomes complex when brought into action. A value proposition must be such that your target customers can understand and appreciate. It should be something that customers can reciprocate and communicate back to you. It’s about communicating with your customers without any words, pictures or graphics but only with the value, your service provides. 

A well-constructed value proposition is a blueprint for any marketing plan and it definitely serves multiple purposes.

What’s your super-power 

For startups, constructing a value proposition is not an easy task.  Many startups are still in the dark about the value their businesses are providing or can provide and how they can stand differently from their competitors. The process of building a value proposition is a lengthy discovery about your own business. It’s about realizing where your true strengths lie and building your value around it.  Three decades back when Chaudhary Group (CG) entered the ‘ready to eat meals market’ with Wai Wai, it built its value around being among the first noodle companies which were tasty, easy to prepare and cheaper in comparison to foreign imports. Today, it is well known that Wai Wai is an integral product in the lives of many Nepali people and Wai Wai builds its values around it by polishing the human aspects touched by Wai Wai. (This can be understood better through this video


Who do you want to help with your super-power

Secondly, it answers to who our target customer is. If you’re thinking: “Hey, what kind of an entrepreneur doesn’t know his target customers?”, it does help to identify our customers and create a detailed profile on them on the basis of their wants, choices, and behaviors, but the real value in making value propositions is to reflect these values in our work and connect with the target customers. When we develop a value proposition, we promise on delivering a certain value. The proposition serves as a reality check: Are we delivering what we promised?

If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone

Ever wondered why the iPhone is the first phone in the minds of many when the word ‘smartphone’ appears?  The only reason can be the way Apple has presented the iPhone to differentiate it in the minds of the customers. Almost every cell phone company in the world has got a similar human resource, design skills, and technology that Apple has. Without any doubt, they are as capable as Apple but what sets Apple apart? Apple doesn’t sell a phone with a dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, 16GB storage, etc. etc.  They sell their value: their value is of a phone that captures your intimate and happy moments, that makes your digital experience undisruptive and a phone that stores your favorite music, important files, and memorable pictures.  This strong differentiation is the result of a well-constructed value proposition. After all, “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone.”


It’s for your own league

The importance of value proposition for startups is the sense of direction it gives to the employees and to the business as a whole. A considerable number of startups struggle and even fail because their employees are confused about the visions and missions of the company. When employees understand the product we are offering and why we are offering it then the workforce remains clear on their objectives and are highly motivated. 

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Colouring Her Dreams: Shanti Shakya’s journey with Kakani Himalayan Natural Dye

“Simple Living. High Thinking.” Shanti Shakya ‘Dolma’ resonates the concept through and through. Her capability of handling the ups and downs and her perseverance in pursuing her dream is not only an inspiration to women entrepreneurs but even to male entrepreneurs who aspire to create something of their own. Shanti is the founder of Kakani Himalayan Natural Dye Pvt. Ltd. that produces natural dyes which are colored in natural fibers and then weaved into garments.

If you ever meet Shanti, you can tell how simple her life must be. However, under her ordinary appearance, there is an extraordinary story.


Shanti’s aim was very big for a 16-year-old girl who came from a village where girls her age were condemned to be married. Having grown up in a middle-class family in Kakani-6, Nuwakot, she completed her secondary level education and also gained basic computer skills after her SLC. “When I got my SLC certificate and completed my basic computer course, my aim was to start a business and have my own source of income,” says Shanti.

But it was hard for her. She did not find any opportunity and eight years later, she got married. Only at the age of 32, she finally embarked on her own path of entrepreneurship.

Motivation at 32

According to Shanti, there are two kinds of people who decide to become entrepreneurs. “The first ones are those who inherit their parents’ company and have sufficient resources to invest in their own venture,” says Shanti. “The second ones are those who face a deep crisis. The crisis can be anything, ranging from family pressure, low-income and failed marriages.”

“There are two kinds of people who decide to become entrepreneurs. The first ones are those who inherit their parents’ company and have sufficient resources to invest in their own venture. The second ones are those who face a deep crisis. The crisis can be anything, ranging from family pressure, low-income and failed marriages,” says Shanti.

It was crisis that made Shanti to take the decision to become an entrepreneur. Her family was in a dire economic condition when her husband’s two agro-businesses failed. “We had invested in a strawberry farm, and then a livestock farm. But both the ventures failed,” adds Shanti. “We had reached a situation where we couldn’t even afford the education of our child,” she recalls, “An inner voice told me that even I should be responsible for contributing to the family income.”

This was when her dreams as a child took shape.

The program that gave her the dream

At the time, Business Service Center (BSC) was launched in Nuwakot. Ran by Business and Professional Women Nepal, the BSC was a yearlong program that provided training in rural entrepreneurship for women. The criteria for enlisting in the program were: 1. The woman has to be literate 2. The woman has to be a permanent resident of the area, and 3. The woman must be married. The third criterion was there because “it happened that unmarried women who were trained were more likely to stay inactive after they were married off to other villages,” says Shanti.

Shanti qualified all of their criteria. And thus she joined the course. “When I was informed about the BSC program, I knew I had to take the opportunity,” she says.

The BSC was split into three courses: the Basic, the Advanced and the Supplement. In the basic course, Shanti was first taught how to communicate her ambitions to her in-laws, husband, and family. The basic course included time and energy-management for completing the duties of a mother, a wife, and an entrepreneur. Nepal being a patriarchal society, we can visualize the impact of this specific session.  The basic course also provided introductory methods of producing dye from the forest plants. “In the advanced course, the production process and final coloring of fibers were studied in-depth,” shares Shanti. The Supplement session included a course on creating a business model. Shanti was comprehensively taught about basic accounting principles to develop a financial model. She ardently shared her favorite part of the course: The marketing plan. “When I understood the principles of marketing, I understood why my husband’s past two ventures had failed. I found my target market and learned my point of differentiation. It felt as if my third eye had opened.”

“When I understood the principles of marketing, I understood why my husband’s past two ventures had failed. I found my target market and learned my point of differentiation. It felt as if my third eye had opened.”

The start of Kakani Himalayan Natural Dyes

When the program concluded, Kakani Himalayan Natural Dyes was established in 2008 along with four other partners who were also in the same course. It took the team two years to perfect their dye. Each of them invested Rs.1000 each when they started.

They converted a supposedly ‘waste product’ into a conclusive product. Natural dyes are manufactured from wild plants and herbs, which are in abundance in the jungles of Shivapuri National Park. But the forest rangers and locals weed out these plants and burn them because they hinder the growth of forests by killing other plants and trees.

Shanti and her team all learned the basics of finding unique colours in the BSC program. They learned that Banmara, Tittepati, Chutro, Onions, ground nuts and Sal trees are the primal raw materials and each plant gives a unique colour. Plants such as Banmara, Chutro, Tittepati are widespread and generally considered problematic weeds.

Early days

In the first days of her establishment, they produced dyes with only one bucket and two iron pots. Copper pots were quite a luxury for her business. “Certain colours can be perfected only in copper pots. Back then, we had copper pots at our homes, but no one was keen on bringing it to the factory which was a small hut then. We always asked our neighbours for copper pots who were also quite hesitant to lend their copper pots. It was a tough mission to persuade them to give us their copper pots,” shares Shanti with a laugh.

Now her venture owns as many copper pots as she needs.

Change Fusion and the growth

Shanti shares that Change Fusion, an NGO working to assist social entrepreneurs, provided great support to her. “They organized bazaars where I could showcase products to my final customers. They even helped me gain foreign networks where I could export my goods. More importantly, they helped me setup a web page and a Facebook account to market my products online.” Today, her company exports these garments to Japan, Australia, and Chile.

“I have received a lot of help from many institutions and people to reach where I am today,” adds Shanti.

The local problem

Even though her products are of high-quality, she struggles to sell them in local market. “It’s not popular in local market. Nepali people criticize local products and without even testing it first, they accuse the products for not being of high quality,” shares Shanti. “I don’t know why people think wearing Nepali products shames them.”

“I don’t know why people think wearing Nepali products shames them.”

But her products are receiving praises from her international customers because of the quality and numerous health benefits her natural dyes and fibres provide.

Accolade and accomplishment

Kakani Himalayan Natural Dyes was nominated for the ‘Surya Nepal Asha Social Entrepreneurship Award’ in 2012. The award is given to recognize the Nepali social entrepreneurs who create value for ‘People, Planet and Profit’, and is given to five social entrepreneurs who have contributed for the development of society through empowerment and job-creation.

Shanti was unsure if her venture would bag the accolade because the winner of the award a year before her had employed almost 100 employees. In contrast, she had only 13 employees at the time.

She remained hopeful, however. Her venture was based on local production units, used raw materials that were commonly treated as waste and in a unique way, her venture was also helping to keep the jungle clean. And thus, she had a chance to win it.

And she did.

But she did not use the prize money of the award she won for her own. Instead, she bought big copper pots, production materials and a computer from the prize money with a greater zeal to grow further.

The present and the future

Her factory was partly destroyed in the massive earthquake last year, and so her focus is currently on rebuilding the factory. The small factory space left after the devastating earthquake was hampering the production. She aims to completely renovate her factory in a few months and continue full-scale production.

She is currently on a business trip to Bangkok to expand her business.

She has bigger plans for her venture and her daughter. Shanti wants to create a brand for her products and increase the production along with the types of garments she produces. Her daughter recently completed her higher secondary level education and is now interested in fashion designing.  She helps Shanti in designing garments and also looks after the factory and the accounts when Shanti is away. “She is the future of this company, I will support her desire to study fashion designing. After she graduates, with her knowledge in fashion designing and my expertise in dyeing, we hope to provide better choices to our customers.”

One thing we all can learn from this lady is perseverance and patience. Her hunger for knowledge and growth never seems to subdue.

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