Grapes Webhosting: On a mission to become #1 Web hosting company in Nepal 

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Grapes Webhosting: On a mission to become #1 Web hosting company in Nepal 

For technology to boost, the infrastructure must develop concurrently. Some responsibilities are in the parts of government. Some lie in the face of businesses themselves. A service like webhosting is integral in technological development, especially in countries like Nepal. For someone unfamiliar with the term, webhosting allows people or organizations to make their website accessible to all via the World Wide Web. Webhosting companies provide space on the server to cater to the need of their clients.

A recent startup, Grapes Webhosting aims to offer high-quality hosting and guaranteed uptime for organizations at an affordable rate. This recently launched website vouches for a 24/7 tech support.

 

Planting the seed 

The idea of Grapes first popped up in 2013 with the notion of making hosting easier for the Nepali people. Manish Ojha, one of the co-founder explains, “There are no credit cards in Nepal. Hosting without credit card is not possible. We wanted to make hosting easier and accessible to everyone in Nepal. We want to see all businesses come online.” As a designer/developer, Manish used to make and design websites since 2008. He needed to register a domain. However, he didn’t have a credit card. He talked to his friends and an uncle in the UK and requested them to register the domain on his behalf.

He collaborated with Aman Gauchan, the other founder of Grapes. They claim, “A lot of businesses don’t even know where to start. People who want to open up a website for their business and do not have credit cards find it hard to seek hosting service at affordable price. We want to provide them an affordable service.”  

The company was registered in the year 2013. However, only after four years, they were able to launch their website this year. 

 

The Cultivators  

Grapes was founded by two people Manish Ojha and Aman Guchan. Manish and Aman met in a professional setting. Aman came to Nepal from the UK with a concept of a project for Gorkha TV. The company he employed to work on the project was the company Manish was then working in. They got to talking and then they decided to open up Grapes. At first, they didn’t have any plans for webhosting service. They wanted to do outsourcing work. But towards the end of 2013, they planned on include the hosting service too.

Apart from these two, they have two other members – Bibek Paudel and Sudip Thapa – in the team, who they lovingly dub as ‘Bhais’. Apart from this, they all have other jobs as they do not expect to earn from the company for next two years. They all work from their own homes.

 

The assortment of flavors 

Grapes offers high-quality hosting at affordable prices. “We aspire to become the number one Web hosting company in Nepal. Utilizing the connective power of the internet, we want to become the leader in shared as well as dedicated hosting. We strive to offer great hosting for personal sites as well as big companies and aim to provide the opportunity to grow online via our services,” says the team. They provide services such as free domain, unlimited database, 1 click install apps, 99.9% uptime guarantee, free site builder, SSL certificates with a 24/7 365 premium support.

For people who want to have a blog, Grapes will register the domain, give hosting and set up the blog. As further assistance, they provide a tutorial video on how to manage the blog. These videos are already ready and is ready to use on the click of a button. For businesses that require sites, they build a website and set it up for the business along with a tutorial video.

 

Getting tangled in the vines 

With founders staying in two different continents, the company has faced one of the biggest problems in this long distance relationship, the communication gap. Communication gap between the founders has played a major role in the delay of the launch of the website and operation of the business. Both the founders have separate lives and work schedules. However, Aman is planning to come back to Nepal in August and they plan to get the business up and running with a steady momentum. 

The problem of power cuts in Nepal was bummer for them. They wanted to place a server here in Nepal. They even tried launching 10 sites. But the power cuts manifested itself into a big problem for them. So, they ended up keeping the servers in the UK itself at Aman’s office at Gorkha TV. 

Legal aspect of business is a major issue for many young entrepreneurs and startups, including Grapes.  They did not know where to register the company and the proceedings regarding the establishment of the business. So they employed a lawyer to get everything sorted out into neat little boxes.

 

Spreading the vines 

In the future, Grapes aspires to open 50 outlets in Nepal and make web hosting accessible to all throughout the nation and promote online payment. Manish explains, “We do not want everything to be centralized in Kathmandu alone. We want to open up local offices in other locations by entering into a contract with the locals of that place.” To achieve the mission, they plan to visit IT colleges and offer hosting 1 year for free and offer internships all by the end of 2016.

They also want to introduce Internet Protocol television (IPTV) in Nepal. IPTV is a system through which television services are delivered using the Internet protocol suite over a packet-switched network changing the way we watch TVs.

 

Search for a green thumb 

The founders initially invested Rs.2 lakhs each in the business. With two rounds of investments, the total investment in Grapes amounts to Rs.25 lakhs each. They have three servers in the UK. They have entered in a partnership with a UK based web hosting company and have the 3 servers there while paying 200 pound monthly for them. With Aman’s arrival, they will set up an office. They plan to fund one year worth of operation cost through fundings. They would then proceed to aggressively work on marketing the business and visiting IT colleges.

To ensure the smooth growth of the business, Grapes are in search of investors who will help nurture and help with the growth process. Manish states, “We would love to welcome influential investors who have strong and far reaching relations. They need not necessarily have knowledge of the field.”

 

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Guest Tuesday, 11 May 2021