Coffee branding and marketing workshop heartens Nepali entrepreneurs
Thanks to an ITC training on branding and marketing, young entrepreneurs from Nepal are now confident in going the extra mile in the coffee industry.
When she applied for the two-day workshop on coffee branding and marketing organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Lalitpur last week, Sunny Joshi, CEO of Nepal Coffee Company was not sure what to expect. However, the training left her all smiles.
"Since I come from a technical background and marketing is not my expertise, I looked forward to mastering something," Sunny says. "Learning about branding our products and enhancing market values turned out to be awesome. This event marks a turning point in my professional life."
Pratik Shrestha, founder of Nyano Specialty Coffee, has had a similar experience. The workshop has given him high hopes for his one-year-old coffee business. According to him, the techniques he acquired during the workshop are going to make a difference in his coffee business, both in the short and long term.
"This is the first time I attended such a workshop and I found it very effective. Gaining these valuable skills is going to help us boost our business," explains Pratik.
Participants were encouraged to use digital platforms to brand and market their products, as well as focus on attractive websites for their companies, logos, social media strategies and monitoring.
According to the thirteen young participants, the lack of marketing and branding skills has prevented Nepal so far from being self-reliant in coffee despite having relatively good local production. The entrepreneurs believe that Nepal could become a major coffee exporter if efforts are put in the right direction.
While Nepal is globally known for its high-quality tea, it is not much ahead in coffee sales. According to the country’s customs department, Nepal only exported 32 tonnes of coffee in the first five months of 2020, while it imports an average of 80 metric tonnes of coffee every year from Brazil, China, India, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand, among other countries.
"I believe that Nepal can take a big leap forward in the coffee business if we identify and address the challenges step by step. Such training fills us with huge enthusiasm and builds our capacity. We need more of such engagements," says Pratik.
About the project
The workshop was conducted as part of the European Union-funded Trade and Investment Programme (TIP). Launched in February 2020, the four-year-project assists the Government of Nepal in achieving sustainable and economic growth by increasing trade and participation in regional and global value chains. It works closely with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, (MOICS) and the Trade and Export Promotion Center to help them enhance their capacities to formulate trade policies, negotiate trade agreements and implement them effectively. Under the project, a Nepal centered toolbox is being developed to facilitate trade and export policies.