A dream chaser, an inspiration to the young generation who would want to start their entrepreneurial journey. Nikita Acharya, co-founder of Urban Girl, at the age of 19 started an online business; a business which was not so popular at that time in Nepal but she built her business around it anyway and has established a name that people trust.
What ignited the spark in you to start a business venture?
It all dates back to 2012 when Nepal didn’t have online businesses as it has now. I was 19 at that time and used to play mobile games and visits sites that showcase dresses and accessories to which I was constantly asking myself ‘wouldn’t it be great to have the same here’ which led to planning, designing and building a business around that idea.
What were the challenges that you faced in the beginning of your venture?
The major challenge was that of trust because people did not trust online shopping. It was then a new concept here and people still are hesitant but with good service we have built up that trust with our customers. The another challenge is that of payment method especially for our customers who are out of valley. Another challenge is that of the third party alliance, meaning in the online business we tie up with courier services and if they fail to deliver the goods on time, customers will be hurt which is NEVER what we want; so having a reliable third party is really important.
How can one do business over social media; what are the essential factors for it?
Commitment is the key here. I see a lot of pages come up every other day on social media but only a few actually give the time, energy and effort needed. The lack of commitment is what drives the customers away so if you are marketing and doing business regardless of the media you should be consistent and be committed.
What would be your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Having an idea is good but if not implemented then it will just be confined to an idea. If you believe that the idea has a potential and is of value then go for it, work on it and make it come alive. It’s all about taking baby steps instead of just sitting with the idea. These days people think about the huge investment and funding; if I get some x amount of fund then only I can start my company which is not true; invest with the amount that you have and start small, work on it then show results and its potential. The former part will definitely start coming your way.
In what ways, a co-founder can be a boon and a curse while starting a business?
While starting a business, a co-founder is one of the best things that you can have and you should have because you alone will exhaust at one point and there’s only so much that you can do. Having a business partner by your side helps to maintain the balance and also to grow and expand. Many a time I have seen people’s business go down because of the above; partners have to complement each other.
What are the DONT’s for an aspiring entrepreneur?
Do not come without passion; passion is what drives you everyday and gets you going.
Do not come without commitment; it will only backfire on you when you lose your consistency and persistence.
Do not expect quick results; there are going to be hurdles on the way. Build up the mindset to tackle them all.
Written by Sagar