Name: Nikita Acharya
Business: Urban Girl
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Industry: Apparel & Accessories
Reason for starting? In 2012, the Nepalese online consumer market was in its infancy. Lack of effective consumer protection law from the government along with lack of legitimacy of online business from customers’ perspective, give rise to challenges to address multiple problems. These unique characteristics of the Nepalese online market required designing a unique business model that enable customers to purchase products even under the conditions where 1) they do not have credit cards or cannot use it because it is not supported online, and 2) they do not trust the notion of an e-business.
I was determined to address these problems facing the Nepalese society, and add value to online shopping in Nepal with a new and unique business model. With these ideas in mind, my business, Urban Girl (UG) was created. At UG, we provide a one point stop where our customers can buy many essentials online including accessories, cosmetics and also customized cakes (UG cakes).
How do you define success? Success is when you chase your dream, start working on it and to some level, reach it. Doesn’t matter if you win or lose but if you take a risk to follow your dream, you are successful. “Either you win, or you learn.”
Biggest success: We started with a 300 square foot office space and 2 people who were handling everything, from taking orders to delivering the products. As of now, we have shifted to a bigger space (around 2100sq ft) at a prime location, with more than 10 employees (all female), 1 cake factory where we train and hire marginalized people, and good quantities of orders everyday.
This year I was also appointed as the first female ambassador for entrepreneurship day in Nepal. With this, Nepal celebrated women’s entrepreneurship day for the very first time by bringing together all the women entrepreneurs in Kathmandu.
We want to empower more women by building more factories where they can use their skill, empower themselves, and live a more respected life in the society. We wish to do this all over Nepal, and perhaps outside Nepal as well. We also want UG to be a platform for marginalized group women to sell their products online, earn through what they sell and live a good life.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? As mentioned earlier, online shopping was in very early stages in Nepal, and we wanted to establish a solid online shopping via Urban Girl. More than a payment system, overcoming the mindset that online shopping does not exist exist in Nepal was a real challenge initially. After 4 years of quality customer service, we have built strong customer trust.
Who is your most important role model? I am inspired by lots of fictional and non-fictional characters. Everyone, who has made their dream come true, who have contributed to this world with their good deeds and innovations, are my role models. I believe, there is just a single life and single chance for all of us. People who make the most out of it, truly inspire me.
Edited by The Story Exchange