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Encouraging entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship: Pursuing an entrepreneurial career in Bhutan might not be as popular as queuing up for a government job interview. This young and vital sector is often considered as asking for trouble for oneself.

With all the challenges that could possibly come from taking up entrepreneurship, the sector also guarantees a good career if one succeeds in it.

Dhan Kumar Shyangden always wanted to become an entrepreneur. However, he couldn’t fathom the difficulties and challenges he would come across while pursuing this dream of his.

After his graduation in 2012 from Gaeddu College of Business Studies (GCBS) Dhan Kumar wanted to give life to his ideas and dreams. He wanted to open a dairy farm but the idea didn’t see the light of the day.

In 2013, he started the door-to-door bill collection initiative. Due to issues with some of the agencies, the idea had to be dropped. In 2014, Dhan Kumar again started a consultancy firm Green City Service initiative. The business couldn’t generate enough revenue for Dhan and his team. After two years of operation, this idea of his also failed.

“I might have dropped around 10 to 15 ideas which I thought could work but it didn’t in reality,” he said. However, the failures didn’t deter Dhan Kumar from trying one more time.

Early this year, Dhan Kumar and his team managed to form the first waste management company, Eco Waste Solution, in Wangdue.

With the 4-R principle of reduce, reuse, recycle and recover, Dhan Kumar said that his firm aspires to provide an integrated solution to waste management services with zero-waste strategy, involving focus on waste segregation at source.

“We are into our sixth month of operation and so far the progress and feedback from the general public has been encouraging,” he said. “I feel we have made a big difference already with our firm in the area.”

In 2014, while conducting research on the waste problem in Wangdue, Dhan Kumar and his team found out that 4.7 tonnes of waste was being produced daily in the area. One hundred percent of that waste went to the landfill.

Today, Dhan’s firm segregates waste at source and has managed to recycle 20 percent of the waste. About 80 percent of the waste now goes to the landfill.

While the achievement for the young team is laudable, capital investment still remains one of the biggest hurdles for the young entrepreneur. “We have a very good team and the support from both local community and government are encouraging,” he said. “Lack of resources and financial aid is the biggest challenge for us to mobilise all our plans.”

Dhan Kumar has plans to upgrade his firm in the future and also establish a biogas plant in the area. The firm is also working on a mobile application that can be downloaded by people to avail the services of the firm.

During the closing ceremony of the global entrepreneur week in Thimphu yesterday, Dhan Kumar received the Bhutan Student Entrepreneurship Award.

The founder of Bhutan Media & Communications Institute (BMCI), Pushpa Chhetri, received the award for the best Loden entrepreneur 2016. BMCI is a social enterprise founded to support the professional growth of the Bhutanese media and communication industry.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay congratulated the participants and the winners of the week-long workshop. Lyonchoen said that for the country to become self-reliant entrepreneurship is important and both government and citizens need to work towards achieving the goal of self-reliance for the country.

Citing several examples, Lyonchoen said that Bhutanese are entrepreneurial and are equipped with all the skills necessary to become a successful entrepreneur.

About 200 aspiring entrepreneurs took part in the programme organised by Loden Foundation.

Younten Tshedup 

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