Latika Golyan is an entrepreneur with first-hand experience in various businesses including Manufacturing, Retail, Hospitality, Construction, Agriculture and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The young entrepreneur, who is also the Managing Director and Chairperson of Made In Nepal Pvt Ltd and ‘Lekali Corp Pvt Ltd, firmly believes in creating businesses with a social impact. ‘Made In Nepal Pvt Ltd’ is an e-commerce marketplace that promotes products made in Nepal. ‘Lekali ‘ and ‘Made In Nepal’ are both working to make Nepali products available worldwide, decrease the trade deficit of the country and increase the income of farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs of Nepal. Nepal Live Today caught up with her for further insights.
What made you come up with the idea of ‘Made In Nepal’?
The idea was born back in 2006 when the Nepalese Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum (NYEF) launched the “Made in Nepal” campaign to support and promote products and brands made in Nepal. It was a great social initiative to support small business owners who were working so hard to build the economy of the country and I saw the merit in this idea. The idea was genuine and evoked a sense of pride and self-reliance.
Then in 2019, when the entire world was hit by Covid-19 and the borders were closed, it became clear to all of us that an urgent need was there to create demand for Nepali products not only internationally but also domestically to strengthen the economy. So, we started working on an e-commerce website for ‘Made In Nepal’ products exclusively to help small business owners. Through this website, we want to promote and create a need for Nepali products and showcase that the products manufactured in our own nation are at par with any other internationally known brand.
What does ‘Made In Nepal’ do?
‘Made In Nepal’ is a marketplace solely focused on the promotion of Nepali products. We work with homegrown brands and focus on promoting them. We promote our partners and their products to help them take a leap to embrace technology. Our vision is to become the number one marketplace for all things Nepali and provide access to quality Nepali products in one click.
You are also involved in the agriculture business. What is the scope of agribusiness in Nepal?
Besides e-commerce, I have another company called Lekali Corp Pvt Ltd. It is an export company focusing on promoting agri-products from all over Nepal. I want to educate the world about the various range of local Nepali products.
Nepal has the highlands, the lowlands and the midlands. Nepal is called an agricultural country as agriculture accounts for a large portion of our Gross Domestic Product and it provides jobs to the largest portion of our population. However, the scenario is changing as the new generation is gradually departing from the traditional occupation of farming. There is tremendous growth in agribusiness. We need to retain the youths of Nepal in the agricultural sector. We are supporting agri-entrepreneurs and farmers by handholding them and trying to get involved in every step of the supply chain so that we can ensure good quality products from Nepal consistently.
What are the major markets for ‘Made In Nepal’ products and other agro products? Is there a scope for export?
For ‘Made In Nepal’ we are starting mainly with the domestic market. We are trying to support our homegrown brands through our platform. As for the export, the UAE is a huge market. We’re also exporting to other countries such as the USA.
Just to put things into perspective, when did you start and where do you find yourself now?
I started out doing small projects for my father in his warehouse company when I was 19. I moved to Nepal in 2004 and joined the Golyan Group. I spent 17 years on the board of Golyan Group and helped in setting up the export base for our knitwear unit. I built the recently opened ‘Hyatt Place’ and started the brand ‘Mato’ to increase the income of farmers, reduce the trade deficit and improve the health of Nepali people. Today I have exited Golyan Group and have started ‘Made In Nepal’ and Lekali. I’m very excited about what I’m doing in ‘Made In Nepal’ and Lekali as I feel that both of them are very important for retaining the youths of Nepal, empowering entrepreneurs in Nepal, and reducing our country’s trade deficit.
What do you think is the importance of public support measures for youth entrepreneurship?
Our government policies should encourage youths to take up independent ventures. It’s important that public measures are focused on ease of doing business such as ease of business registration, ease of getting a loan, funding programs, mentoring, etc.
Given your own experience with different enterprises, what type of support is a young entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur primarily looking for?
The young and aspiring entrepreneurs lack proper guidance, hand-holding and mentoring. We aim to help young entrepreneurs by handholding them in every step.
In your opinion, has the Covid- 19 situation changed the business landscape? If yes, how?
Businesses all over the world suffered due to Covid-19 and the Nepali market is no exception. Although e-commerce was already coming up, people would still prefer shopping in person. After the Covid-19, the situation has drastically changed and more and more people are now shopping online. Also with the freight rates increasing, countries are trying to become more self-reliant. This is how the Covid-19 has changed the business landscape.