Kathmandu, April 25
As many as 50 Nepali migrant workers in Qatar have established an exemplary venture with their collective investment in the country.
Chhimeki Mart, a chain of superstores, was initiated by Nepali migrants from Qatar in February 2012 from Ramhiti of Boudha in the Capital. The Mart has added two more stores within the Valley and plans are afoot for expansion in various parts of the country.
A venture established by Nepalis working abroad has set an example for those who want to make collective investment in their home country. There are very limited such ventures in existence so far. One other example is the 27-megawatt Dordi Khola Hydropower Project, which was established through the collective investment of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) members under the initiative taken by NRNA.
The total investment made by Nepali migrant workers in the three marts is around Rs 15.8 million. The second outlet of the mart in Tinchuli of Boudha has been in operation since December of 2014 and the third outlet in Saraswoti Nagar of Kapan was opened last month.
The news of the venture has attracted the interest of other Nepali migrants in the Gulf, Malaysia and other countries. Few migrants from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Japan and Switzerland have recently joined the group from Qatar for collective investment.
Promoters of the Chhimeki Mart have proved that with capital, entrepreneurship skill and willpower, one can do much for the country even if they are not physically present here.
“We’d heard of many returnee migrants embracing entrepreneurship and some of our friends working in Qatar decided to start business in the country. Hence, we approached other migrant workers in our network for collective investment and the rest is history,” Shankha Lal Tamang, chairman of Chhimeki Mart Ltd, had said when he was in town recently.
Tamang, who had migrated to Qatar in 2003, had take a lead for collective investment. The Chhimeki Mart has employed 20 individuals.
Now the promoters are considering the prospect of diversifying their business. “We have been holding discussions to run an organic farm in the near future,” Tamang shared.
Hailing from Sindhupalchowk, 40-year-old Tamang informed that if the plan of organic farm materialises, the produce from the farm would be sold at the mart. “It could be a unique selling proposition of our mart.”
Having garnered experience working in a super store in Qatar, Tamang has tried to introduce various novel facilities for their buyers, apart from gift vouchers that is in practice in most major shopping stores. Currently, the mart is providing one-stop shopping facility of daily essentials.
Tamang further said that the group discusses their investment plan, analyses cost and benefit, and raises funds from the group to make additional investments.
A version of this article appears in print on April 26, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.