Having only 15 rupees in his pocket, he got off at New Baneshwor. He felt he couldn’t go home that time, so he walked to Pashupati. It was 8 in the evening. He walked up the stairs leading to Mirgasthali, sat there, and broke down to tears. He poured his heart out, and confessed to god that he was giving up, and he couldn’t take the struggle anymore. Calls wouldn’t stop anytime anywhere. If phone was turned off, they would reach his parents. Imagine the situation- son 3 years after completing his bachelor level, who has left the job and is into his own business is in debt. He in no way wanted that to happen. He didn’t have meals adequately. He lost his weight… He was definitely frustrated. He recalled every moments- each cusses he got, each person who helped him. This might sound dramatic, but for any Hindu-Nepalese; Pashupati is serene and soulful. It definitely has the calming vibe. He got a call from his mother, told her he was coming. And well, a miracle you must call, (or definite outcome of his rigorous dedication) there is no turning back for him.
Near the summer end of 2011, Futsal were new cool in the town. You could spot one or two of them opening around the whole valley. He used to play in those, and felt he could do well off if he had one of futsal arena. He told his friends about it, unknown of the budget and the costing. A partner had a land, which was then fixed to be used. Started from a small estimation, the budget skyrocketed. With no financial support or whatsoever from family, he collected money on his own. From small amounts with friends to huge amounts on very high interest. Well, business went well for various reasons. May it be the High spirited players around that area, or the experiment they did with quality elements. Maidan Futsal was the first to use non filing astro turf, which was beyond convention, Imported balls, imported whistles or may it be the care he took of business by being there from the beginning to cleaning or even playing every time.
Finances first of all had been a major problem. The first proposed share from his side was elevated. He had nothing from family and it made it worse. This was a small problem considered to the problem they had while trading during the blockade when they had to pay detention charge for the items stuck outside border. It got stuck there for around 2.5 months, where the sum came to be huge. Forget the profit, the money was flowing out as easy as breeze. He remembers all of his friends from across the globe, who helped him at his single words. It was during the blockade, he remembers how people went down by words not only to him but to his family. Blasphemies are still fresh in his mind, which was straightened his way though he had nothing to do with it.
Every journey has a story. He is from a family, where sports holds a huge position. He recalls an incident when he was in the last day of his summer vacation of 6th grade and his father asked him to stay up all night for witnessing ‘Italy Vs France’, in 2000 euro cup finals. He wanted to sleep, but his dad assured to tell his class-teacher for his absence. Starting from International Football, he slowly went into club football, where he grew his love for English club Arsenal and is now one of the representative of Official Fanclub of the football club. That background pushed him for the love- love for all sports. Cricket, Football- you name it.
He recalls how he got into media; each Wednesday, Aman Pratap Adhikari coming to play after his shifts at TV ended. He used to play with him, and share 5-6 cups of tea over two hours talk after the game. It was then when Aman dai (as he calls him) asked him to join the TV with him because of his excellent interest and ability to talk about the sports which the most sports fan wouldn’t know. He started off as a reporter as instructed, which he realized wasn’t his forte. With support from his friend, he was doing it anyways. Just before three months of earthquake, the channel he had was on a huge financial crunch. Out of 75 working in the channel, 60 got the letter to leave the channel. He was one among them. He went to the founder and spoke of his work not being money oriented. In his own words, “I was never there for money. I went there in ground level and I was doing good. I told him I’d stay and I did it anyways.” Despite being paid in peanuts- going to studio, getting wardrobes and all in his own expenses, he made an image of himself among the people and players.
He always believed the show must go on, and discontinuity is not an option for him. Same is the case with “Nepal Reacts” where he never stopped an episode. May the video be uploaded on 6, he would be collecting reaction of 10 people at 4. For TV, he used to be in the studio till 8:15 rendering the episode which would air at exact 8:30.
Though the blockade was over there was no profit. But things started changing. Anup Sapkota called him, he built Nepal Reacts, and as audience claim; there is no other Nepali youtube show as good as Nepal Reacts. Among the trending ‘Bhauju ko fariya fuskepaxi’ (Literal translation? When the skirt of sister in law got off) youtube viewers, Nepal Reacts gets trending. This he considers his second rise in media. Though he was invited into another Television before this, he took the risk of not getting into it and here he is now. It’s all been going well, but has been a roller coaster ride for him. With earthquake and economic blockade, his business faced lows. He doesn’t blame earthquake but carries a really bitter feeling of blockade and he believes he is going to return the favor someday somehow to the neighbors.
He recalls what he read in his bachelors… “Entrepreneur is someone who does very unique business or a business in a very unique way”. He believes, following trend is not entrepreneurship. He fairly speaks of entrepreneurship of not being all that glamour and interviews, but is about the struggle and surviving the storm. He believes opening up a Futsal Arena now is not entrepreneurship; it’s simply business. Regular momo restaurant isn’t entrepreneurship. It is about uniqueness. Entrepreneur is a title given by others and not oneself. Having a camera doesn’t make one a vlogger… investing money doesn’t make you a businessman. He points out, “If you have to collect money from girls, start a beauty pageant; if it is from guys, start entrepreneurship camp, where ‘highest paid Nepalese CEO of BANK’ comes and gives lectures on entrepreneurship”
He remembers the beaming face of his dad when the entrepreneur forum of American Embassy took his interview at home. This he considers is one of the best moments in his life.
He hopes to get associated with Nepali sport ‘voice’ as is Sanjeeb Shilpakaar now. He also dreams of opening up a football academy in Nepal, which happened to be planted in his mind from the beginning of the establishment of his Futsal. Why should good players only come from ANFA and not from private institutes? Considering the craze for sports in Nepal where e-sewa alone sells tickets of 15-20 lakhs for a cricket match, he dreams of having a great league in the nation, which no doubt will flourish with good infrastructures and players of course. He is going to his dream soon, where right after the shifting of his futsal arena, he would start it off as an institute too. May it be in ten years but he dreams to produce Bimal Gharti Magar, Ananta Tamang, Kiran Chemjong each season, out from the institute as products. He wants to create backbone for Nepalese football. As for media, he wants to collaborate with all the rising youtubers in Nepal, and bring along the YouTube fanfest herein. Which he considers would be his success in his YouTube career.
He appeals everyone going through this story to give priority to the start-ups. The first 3-4 years; a startup doesn’t earn. Instead of expecting a friend to give an item for free, pay for it… let them grow.
Passion he considers is the main ingredient for success and hard work the steps. He suggests everyone, to do what they love and not to stop at any cost. To pour all they have, on doing what they are upto.
Hello and Namastey from the top of the world. This is the story of struggle, of dedication and determination; this is the story of Avash Ghimire. The man, who started business at the age of 21; Maidan Futsal while in bachelors with friends. An active face among Nepali Youtube community, sports enthusiasts, media personnel and youth. A face of ‘Nepal Reacts‘, voice behind radio programs-“Let the Game Begin.”(Wednesday Morning) and “Refresh and Recharge” (Thursday Evening), Radio Nagarik 96.5.
Collected and Written By:
The Chief Cynic- Yugantar Paudel