The Kedu Initiative – Youths on a Mission to make Nepal Prosperous
Kedu Initiative, a multipurpose company, is a venture by Nepali youths who have set a benchmark for young entrepreneurs of Nepal. Within a short time, the brand has managed to lead several holding companies – Kedu Connect, Treat Me Tea, Instant Sapati, Kedu Properties, and Aadima. The young team at the Kedu Initiative is invested in a goal to make Nepal prosperous by the year 2030. They seek to provide opportunities and platforms to innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers, and ultimately become a leading employer in Nepal. Admiring such lofty ambitions, BrandGuff reached out to the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kedu Initiative, Kusang Sherpa and Mikahang Limbu, to understand more about their brand.
Can you tell us about the inception of the Kedu Initiative?
Kusang – I was actually in the process to go abroad but my visa application got rejected. So, I wanted to do something in Nepal itself. Kedu Initiative started with me and Mikahang through Kedu Connect, an on-demand delivery platform developed specifically for the B2B space. Before starting this brand, I and Mikahang had known each other for almost 5 years. We met at a mutual friend’s wedding and discussed a few ideas like an on-demand delivery platform and a digital lending app. Thus, began our journey at Kedu Initiative with Kedu Connect.
Mikahang – I was studying in India and had ordered items from several e-commerce sites, but noticed that every item was delivered by the same person. So, I came back to Nepal and joined hands with Kusang who was already delivering self-stocked items via a staff during the lockdown. We started collaborating with other brands to deliver their items via our initiative Kedu Connect.
How did you distinguish your brand from others in a market where lots of other online delivery platforms were popping up?
We became invested in this business while the second lockdown was about to end. At that time, we felt there was not much competition in the market, possibly due to the lockdown. We had not focused much on promoting our brand during that period. We were fixated on providing quality service to our customers and grew significantly via word of mouth. Moreover, our combination of quality service and cost minimization model appealed to the customers.
What marketing strategy did you use to promote Kedu Connect?
The brands that we wanted to collaborate with at that time were mostly present on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Our marketing exercises were mostly done via boosted social media posts which we targeted towards them.
Why did you start the Kedu Initiative in Kathmandu?
Mikahang – We grew up in Kathmandu. There was not a concrete reason as to why we started this brand in Kathmandu. It was because of convenience and the fact that Kathmandu is the largest market in Nepal. Also, I wanted to start this project in India but realizing the tough competition that exists there, I returned to Nepal and collaborated with Kusang.
What brands have you collaborated with through Kedu Connect?
Mheecha, Remax Nepal, Kasa, Rhino Leathers, and Phesana are some of the popular brands we are working with.
Do you have plans to expand your business abroad in the days to come?
Nothing as of yet, but in this age of technology where you can access diverse geographic areas remotely, maybe we will expand to other South Asian countries in the future.
Kedu Initiative had other big plans as well. So why did you begin with Kedu Connect?
Well, we had big plans and we still do, but the main reason behind starting Kedu Connect first was to sustain our business. Instant Sapati, our digital lending concept was not a feasible business because of legal restrictions. Also, I had already developed an app when I was in India, so we started Kedu Connect first. Our other ventures came to life after the success of Kedu Connect.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming ventures?
Digital lending is our newest and the most promising venture. Recently, Rastra Bank introduced a circular regarding digital lending up to 5 lakhs. So we are collaborating with a finance company to lend digital cash to its customers via our app Instant Sapati. Our other ventures are Kedu Properties through which we invest in real estate, Treat Me Tea where content creators can connect with audiences and monetize their work, and a fashion e-commerce platform named Aadima.
What were the challenges you faced during your business journey?
The legal procedures of starting a business proved to be a hassle for us. But, it is something every business person is obligated to go through, so we just have to deal with it. Moreover, getting full-fledged family and societal support was hard while engaging in a startup. We were frequently thrown with questions like “When are you going abroad’?
Any words of advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs?
The main traits to practice while venturing into a business journey are determination and persistence. We were involved in a lot of failed businesses before getting success with The Kedu Initiative. Just make efforts every day and you will definitely see positive results in the future.