The founding fathers of Threadpaints, an online shopping store also made it to the Forbes list. The young and energetic entrepreneurs AASHISH ACHARYA and SABIN BHANDARI made it to the category “Retail and Ecommerce” of Forbes “30 under 30” list. Threadpaints is the first online apparel store in Nepal to offer the free home delivery facility to its customers. The duo started their business back in 2012 when they were still in college. After the traumatic 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Threadpaints distributed relief among the affected people through a relief campaign called ‘T-shirts For Relief’.
How did you come up with the idea of Threadpaints?
The whole idea of going to shopping to New Road or Kumaripati to look for t-shirts of our like in a scorching heat is not an exciting thing to do. And on the top of that, bargaining is a headache. There used to be less option if we wanted t-shirts besides the Chinese-imported t-shirts. We thought it would be a neat idea to make t-shirts with good prints that people of our demography would buy. For the name “threadpaints”, we combined “thread” that represented the apparel and “paints” that represented the print and design.
What motivated you to be an entrepreneur?
We never sought out to be entrepreneur. Starting Threadpaints was one of those things that we decided to just do, not for the sake of money or fame. It was a utilization of knowledge and resources we had.
Tell us something about the trend of online shopping in Nepal?
Online shopping in Nepal is still in a nascent stage. Ideally for e-commerce business to succeed, its backbone online payment system and logistics system needs to be well established. In context of Nepal, all three sectors are growing simultaneously.
You can see most of the online stores in Nepal functioning just through Facebook and Instagram. The trend is growing exponentially so, I think it will still take another 4/5 years for the overall market to be well established in Nepal.
What do you think does it take to succeed in business?
Faith in your idea and believe in what you are doing. It’s very easy to get started on something, but what's really tricky is to be able to keep it up. So consistency is necessary.
Who’s your role model in business?
How has your life changed after being listed in Forbes? Has it inspired you to achieve more?
After being listed in Forbes, people have started to recognize us on social media. Newspaper and Media are overflowing for our interview. Forbes just validated that whatever we are doing is on the right track. Now, all we need to do is take things to next level because the challenges are higher this time and the game level has been raised.
What helped you to change your idea into reality?
Our idea of market research was to first jump into the lake and then measure the water-level. Our ideas became reality only when we took a leap of faith and jumped into it because most idea doesn’t change into reality.
However, proper mentorship from various people such as Manoj Ghimire, Abhaya Poudel and Sohan Khatri at different stages of the business helped to bring ideas into strategic planning and then on to execution.
How did you overcome the challenges you faced?
College-level startup to business
It was a difficult decision to choose startup instead of a career as software engineer. Tough it was fun initially, making a transition into a full business was hell of a risk career wise, financial wise and social pressure wise.
Deep Purple concert cancellation (1stbankruptcy)
We went bankrupt and in loss of around 1.5 lakhs when deep purple concert that was supposed to be held got cancelled. Manoj Ghimire came in as an angel at the time. He was interested in our business and gave us a loan of 1 lakh to restart the business.
Economic Blockade (2ndBankruptcy)
Our business was brutally affected by the economic blockade of 2015. Our supply system was disrupted. We were facing loss each month due to the blockade.
However, our persistence helped us overcome the losses that incurred during this period and helped us improve our overall business model to incorporate such events in the future.
Any message to those who are thinking of new startup?
Start it right away. There’s no right time to start a company. Get that “bathroom” idea of yours into market and test it out. Don’t be afraid of failure.
All in all, get involved while you are young.