Sangam Singh Thakuri, a tech enthusiast did his schooling and Diploma in Computer engineering from his hometown, Dang. Then, he earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Kurukshetra University, India.
After he completed his bachelor’s, he returned to his home town. He had no intention of doing any type of business. So without having any second thought in mind, he applied to Microsoft Pre-Accelerator Program and got selected with his business model of e-commerce solution for Nepal named NepOrder. The event turned out to be extremely beneficial for him as he got a chance to learn a lot about running a business. The event really helped in boosting his confidence. Thus, as soon as he completed the program, he started his first venture. He knew that it won’t be easy, but with his firm determination and his unique business plan, he also knew he will make it happen.
The first problem he faced was regarding the electronic payment method and logistics. Based on his knowledge and experience, he knew that logistics was the backbone of all e-commerce industry, and so, he needed to find a proper and dependable courier agency to start his company. Thus, he decided to personally visit the courier companies, but even after visiting more than twelve companies, he got nothing but disappointment, as they either ignored his proposal or demanded high rates. The problem of logistics soon turned out to be the biggest hurdle for his company.
He soon found out that the problem that he was facing was common for almost every e-commerce companies, as they lacked proper logistic support provider. Remembering his college days, he shares with us, “In India, even if we ordered a single pen, it used to be delivered to our hostel room, and most of the time even when we ordered items from different companies, it used to get delivered from the same logistics company.”
All these struggles gave birth to a new idea, the idea of the first logistics support provider for e-commerce companies in Nepal, i.e. NepXpress.
With NepXpress, Sangam aims to provide the best logistic solution for e-commerce stores in Nepal. He says,
“NepXpress is established for catering to the dynamic needs of e-commerce industry which is rapidly growing in Nepal. We are very confident to take on the challenges and allow the clients to focus on their core activity. Here at NepXpress, we are committed to work for our clients with passion, respect, openness and integrity to meet their ever-changing demands of logistics.”
To know more about him and NepXpress, I talked with Sangam and asked him a few questions. Here is what he had to say:
Q. Besides the reason logistics being the prime demand of the present e-commerce market, what else motivated or inspired you to start NepXpress?
A. It was a need at that time! Logistics service is building block for e-commerce industry, and I had no options but to start it. And also it was an untapped and niche market, so I planned to start NepXpress.
Q. Who are your inspiration? Whom do you idolize?
A. My parents are my inspirations. Their sacrifice for me is the main factor that motivates me to excel to the next level. My teachers, mentors, and friends are the ones who played a vital role in shaping my dreams. The circle I grew up in was kind of a different one. We always dreamed of being job creators, not job seekers. My technical education system contributed much on this.
Q. What challenges you faced while building the company?
A. The main is the team! People with the similar mindsets from diverse education background is hard to find. I did not study in Nepal, so it was a little bit hard for me to find a good team for my startup. Now, we are two co-founders and three delivery staffs (regular) and 4 more (staffs on call).
Q. What services do your customers mostly demand?
A. Our client number counts 14 and its increasing. Every business clients want for on time package delivery, careful handling, and improvised customer service with the cheaper rates of course. We are dedicated to fulfilling demands while optimally utilizing the resource available. We provide same day delivery to all of our clients.
Q. What are your future plans with NepXpress?
A. We started Kathmandu-based service. It is the land of opportunity with more than 2.5 million people over the small geographical area. There are altogether more than 50 e-commerce and f-commerce (I mentioned f-commerce since because some of the companies only exist on Facebook from living room). We have planned for expansion in our services to A-tire cities within Nepal. We will be reaching Pokhara and Ithari within next year. We will have our presence all over Nepal in 5-year time span.
Q. What are your strategies to become the best logistic service provider in Nepal?
A. We have our target clients, and we are doing research on their need and improving our effort to minimize the cost for logistics fulfillment. Prompt service and right handling matter most in the logistics industry. We provide pre-paid as well as COD (Cash on Delivery) service to all of our clients at the cheapest rate ever. And also we are flexible to cope market competition while maintaining quality services. We never fluctuated our service and costs even when undergoing worst situation. In fact, we started our service at the time when many other industries were halting their existing services.
At last, we asked Sangam to share his suggestions for people who are interested in starting a new company on their own. And he said, “First of all, you must have core knowledge of the service/product you are related with. Secondly, you should stay hungry to learn, commit mistakes and improve yourself from your experiences and the third is maintaining passion. You should be able to maintain your interest in the thing you do. Most startups lose their passion since they do not make money in the early stage and its bitter truth that fancy numbers we calculate while doing business model canvas do not work in most cases. So you should be aware of your burning capacity. How long you or your company can go if it is in the worst scenario? The other thing is you should try managing good relations with your clients/ focus group, transparency within the company, learn from mistakes and iterate your learning because it’s a never-ending process.”
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” – Max de pree
I would like to picture Sangam with the above quote. I found him very passionate and an enthusiastic person. He clearly seems to realize what is coming and what needs to be done when any problem comes up. I believe his energy and creativity will always make him more productive and capable to make impossible things possible. I wish that he and his team will achieve huge success in the upcoming days.