Going Green and Creating Green with Green Bamboo Creations: A restart story

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Going Green and Creating Green with Green Bamboo Creations: A restart story

Though the historical records of bamboo date back to more than 7,000 years ago, it wasn’t until 1920 when researchers studied the history of the plant and understood its commercial benefits. Since then, there has been an emerging interest in the use of bamboo for ecological and environment-friendly architecture across the globe.

In Nepal, bamboo has a historical and cultural significance.  While being used for general purposes such as housing, furnishing and decorating, they are also used in almost all the social and cultural aspects of life: from construction and food to marriage and death.

As such, a lot of businesses have been producing varieties of bamboo products over the years. Yet, the industry has not been able to reach its maximum potential considering its demand worldwide.

Pranav understood this and also the great scope for bamboo in Nepal and abroad. He believed that the abundant availability, growing demand, indigenous knowledge-base and social and cultural affinity of bamboo in Nepal could be revitalized and integrated into a modern economy through improved technology and management policies. And he is trying to do it through his startup Green Bamboo Creations.

Green Bamboo Creations supplies and manufactures a comprehensive range of eco-friendly bamboo products in Nepal. Though they mainly focus on the mass production of indoor/outdoor bamboo furniture, bamboo handicrafts and decorative, they are also engaged in making engineered bamboo and wood composite houses, gazebo, bamboo cladding, partitions, fence, and also wholesale and retail CCB treated bamboo. The company operated with the primary motive of commercializing bamboo through partnership and collaboration with all the stakeholders using inclusive business model.

What sets Green Bamboo Creations apart from the rest is the ardor of impacting and revolutionizing the agricultural industry of Nepal by polishing off the gap between the farmers, the vendors and the buyers  to provide fair prices to all the involved parties.

 

Germination of the idea

Pranab Pradhan, a professional bamboo enthusiasts, has been driven by the versatility and peculiarity of bamboo for a long time now. It was during his experience with his early venture Himalayan Bamboo, a bamboo furniture manufacturing company based in Hetauda, where he got most of the experiences and understandings on bamboo. Unfortunately, that went in a loss.

“Then I flew to London for my further studies in Design Engineering and Manufacturing,” says Pranav.

After completing his Master’s degree, he returned to Nepal with the vision and newly gained zeal of re-starting his venture with an advanced and inclusive business model.

He resumed Himalayan Bamboo and continued creating bamboo merchandises. His business was going as expected until the huge earthquake struck Nepal and the company had to be shut down for a very long period time.

The earthquake, however, was not a speed breaker, but a jolt of a better beginning for Pranab.  Alike abounding number of places in Nepal, a Tamang village not so far away from his workplace was harshly affected by the earthquake. He, along with his co-workers, constructed bamboo houses for people who lost their home during the heart wrecking event. They got a lot appreciations and heart warming feedbacks from people. They continued doing so for many other affected areas and with every house they built, their company was evolving. From then on, Green Bamboo Creations advanced from producing bamboo furniture to building bamboo houses as well.

 

Untangling the problems and challenges

The transition took a lot of challenges to be dealt with. One of the initial problems they had to deal with was raising capital. After the failure of their first venture, monetary things got quite difficult for Pranab and his team. Finding investors for the startup was a great challenge and so they had to re-collect their initial fund from friends and families.

“Managing finances got quite daunting. Things are however comparatively smoother now and we’ve now been bootstrapping our business.” says Pranab.

The main problem, however, has been the paucity of right human resources. “It’s tough finding people to work for you in Kathmandu, especially low-scale jobs. The lack and problem finding skilled human resources in the city have had us doing all the auxiliary jobs ourselves,” he adds.

(Source: Green Bamboo Creations

The Hike Up!

Even though the company was established a year and a half ago, they only recently launched their product on the late of September at an entrepreneurship conference NEXT Growth Conclave. However, within such short period and despite all the constraints, they have been able to generate approximately Rs. 10 million within just a year of operation. Pranab believes that the steady increase of their market presence has contributed to the substantial boost in their sales and their number of customers upping to more than 30.  They have streamlined their production by designing their factory for economy of scale and also recently established their head office with a showroom in Gyaneshwor along with a branch office at Hetauda.


 

Main Motive of Green Bamboo Creation

Agriculture dominates most of Nepal's economy. However, as Pranav mentions, there are a lot of problems in the area. The agricultural status quo is not transparent, and the complex set of information, product and money flow between enterprises of different departments of the chain have been a significant barrier. With Green Bamboo Creations, his primary motive is to innovate the process chain from the supply of the agricultural production to the shelf of the food retailer and provide fair prices to the farmers, retailers, and the customers.

“If we look at the current scenario of the agricultural sector in Nepal, we can see that there’s a great defect in the supply chain. There’s a huge gap between the farmers and the customers due to numerous intermediaries. As a result, both of the parties are not getting their fair prices. I believe that if we were to work with an inclusive and proven business model in the agricultural sector of Nepal, we could replicate the model and bring a lot of improvements.” he added.

As for future plans for Green Bamboo Creation, Pranab aims to commercialize their bamboo products for homes, offices, resorts and hotels and make it easily and affordably accessible to everyone. They are also looking forward to advance their factory with cutting-edge technology  years and expand their business globally within 3 years.

“We are learning everyday and we are growing every day. We aim to commercialise bamboo products and make it easily available and affordable to customers of all levels. We have great plans for Green Bamboo Creations and we are working every day to make it happen.”

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Guest Wednesday, 26 February 2020