Nepali Tea hero Nishchal
- Sujata Karki
- Feb 21st, 2017
Nishchal Banskota loves the Nepali Tea brand. In 2011 he went to America for his further studies. The physical distance kept him away from Nepal but he connected back to the country with the Nepali Tea.
The trend of going abroad for studies and work is gradually increasing but few people among them think about the nation. Nishchal is one among them who loves the nation and is putting in his efforts to make Nepal prosperous. He is utilizing the skills and knowledge that he learnt from his graduation in business. Nepal is a country with many resources but without proper vision for identification and utilization of those resources. He said, “Every country and region that produces tea has its own identity in the world. However, Nepal has not been able to build that identity as of yet because most of the teas that come to the US and other markets are through middlemen from India especially who rebrand the Nepal tea as Indian. ”
This is the reason that makes Nishchal feel bad when Nepali Tea is rebranded as Indian. Nishchal has undertaken the goal to create an identity for Nepal tea and do it in such a way that sets an example in the tea industry. He is founder of Nepal Tea which directly brings certified organic teas from Nepal to American Market.Nishchal is taking this initiative with his friend Sashreek shrestha.After graduating, Bachelors in Arts and Sciences with Business major from Colby-sawyer in 2015, he moved to his homeland, Nepal for almost a year to venture into opening the very first Tea Bar in Nepal with a vision to educate people more on tea and his unique business model.
He views the tea industry as a social enterprise that he believes should focus on people and planet before profit.The same reflection is seen in his mission to changes lives, one cup at a time!
Following his father’s footsteps gives greatest satisfaction to him. His factory provides free housing for the full-time farmers, provides them with subsidized food and at the same time provides free education to their children. Deepak Prakash Baskota, father of Nishchal established the first organic tea garden in Nepal in 1984. His mom planted the first tea bush in her back yard which has grown into this big social enterprise which employs more than 600 people today.
Currently, he is running a kickstarter campaign to expand his social projects to other organic and regenerative farms in Nepal to spread their efficient community model.The campaign is showing promising signs with50% of target fund met in a little over a week .Kickstarter is a crowd funding platform where people can make a pledge to endorse innovative ideas.
Representative from Nature Khabar talked to Nishchal and here is the brief excerpt:
How the Idea first came up for the campaign?
The idea for the campaign was always there. I believe in the power of crowd-funding because as it is said, it just takes a lot of drops of water to form an ocean; it just takes tiny amount of support from many people to get an impactful step towards an idea. Also, I had previously done a lot of crowd-funding campaigns while at college to build library and classroom for the underprivileged children in Nepal, I was determined to do this. Furthermore, if I am able to replicate the existing model of a social enterprise to many other institutions and farmers, then why not?
How is your Friend helping you?
Sashreek also majored in Business and after he finished college, he was looking something meaningful to do. We frequently talked about the work and projects that I was doing and he was very interested in that and for me as well, he was great fit because he is very creative and comes up with amazing ideas in the workplace .
How has your idea helped to improve the lives of people in Nepal?
The idea basically helps Nepal in three ways. First, the underprivileged farmers receive free housing; daily foods in a subsidized rate and their children go to school for free, hence improving the living standard of the farmer. Second, the local and common people of Nepal will be exposed to the export quality tea which they have not been exposed previously. Third, it helps the country to build an identity through tea in the world.
What is the Beautiful moment in your Tea Journey so far?
I think my beautiful moment as of yet is when I made the first sale. I still remember going to this store, CoolVines, in Jersey City and giving the first pitch. I had gone there with a few samples of my tea to request them to carry it in their store. So, I approached a man and almost instantly introduced myself to him and just when I started talking about the tea, he pointed to the other person in the room and asked me to pitch my story/product to him. As soon as I introduced myself to him, he pointed at another lady in the corner and asked me to shift my pitch towards her. She, the owner apparently, joked at first pointing me to someone else but listened to my story and gave me the first order of my tea. That was just a victorious moment for me when I made my first sale at a store.
Can you tell about the Selling process of the Nepal Tea?
I import the tea as soon as they are produced and store it here in the US and I pitch to the potential clients and sell them here. There is no such process involved, by now I also have a small set of supply chain who when order, directly receive teas from my warehouse.
Why do you think support is needed for the farmers?
I believe in the business model where we work in the lines of people and planet before profit. I believe the traditional method of doing business where profit is prime is not sustainable. We need to be constantly be promoting the actual people who are behind the production and uplift their livelihood through the business. Therefore, my definition of business is that it should not only solve problems or just make the life of a consumer better, it should solve problems and make the life of actual producers (in our case, the underprivileged farmers) better
How is the reaction of general people to this campaign of yours’?
The reaction so far has been great. Within 15 days, I have been able to raise about about $20,000. The only thing people need to realize is that I am not at all asking for donations. With every amount you pledge at the campaign, there is a reward that you will be getting. For example, for a pledge of $25, you get a pouch of tea and a thank you letter, similarly, for a pledge of $250, you get a year’s subscription of tea. The reward range from $25 to $10,000
What are your further plans as of now?
In the next five years, I plan to be the importer of pretty much all specialty tea in Nepal and fetch a better price that it deserves. Also, have almost 50% of the factories and farmers receive the same benefits that our farmers currently receive and most importantly all of the farmer’s children receive high quality education.
Furthermore, in the long run, I would want to establish a lot more tea bars in Nepal and abroad.
To know more about the campaign click the below link