January 27: Four youths aged between 25 to 35 years have introduced a new product in the footwear industry of Nepal under the brand 'Neco'.
Jaydev Kalauni of Kanchanpur, Shakshi Basnet of Dang, Pradeep Koirala of Pokhara and Niraj Jaiswal of Birgunj established the shoe industry -- Neco Creation Pvt Ltd – which produces Neco brand shoes. Having established an industry in Birgunj, they have set a goal of selling shoes from three outlets in Kathmandu.
Neco inaugurated its first outlet on the third floor of Kathmandu Mall on Thursday. Jaydev Kalauni, president of Neco Creation said that Neco brand shoes will be sold and distributed from 33 showrooms across the country by next April.
He studied the market of premium shoes in Nepal when all businesses halted due to Covid-19. There, he found that shoes up to Rs 3000 are easily available, but when looking for more expensive shoes, the market has shoes amounting to Rs 12000/15000.
After realizing that there were no options for shoes ranging between Rs 4000 to Rs 10,000 Kalauni decided to produce the shoes of that range in Nepal, which cost more than Rs 10,000 when imported from abroad. Kalauni started the industry by proposing investment with a 25-year-old footwear company in Bangladesh.
The industry, which started with an investment of Rs 10 million, including foreign investment of Rs 5 million from Bangladesh, can produce 180,000 pairs of shoes annually. Altogether 100 people are given immediate employment in the industry, including 20 Bangladeshi citizens.
Among the four founders of the company, Pradeep Koirala is a Chartered Accountant and Niraj Jaiswal is a BBA student. Shakshi has studied hotel management while Kalauni has completed his master's degree in management.
If you don't like shoes worth Rs 3000 and can’t buy shoes worth Rs 10,000
Among the shoes produced by Nepali companies, there are shoes in the market for those who are looking for the cheapest price around Rs 1000 to Rs 1500, for the middle range price around Rs 2000 to Rs 3000.
However, the upper middle class population is neither satisfied with shoes worth Rs 3,000, nor they can wear foreign shoes by spending Rs 12000/15000. Kalauni says that Neco Shoes debuted in the market to fill this gap.
Kalauni said, “Our concept is to provide consumers with high-end shoes than the available shoes and low-cost shoes than imported ones. In other words, the main objective is to sell premium shoes at affordable prices to middle/upper middle class people.”
The company is currently producing only formal, semi-formal leather shoes and casual sports shoes made of fine leather. The price of these ranges from Rs 4,500 to 8,000 for leather shoes and 2,000 to 4,500 for sports shoes. On the occasion of the inauguration of the outlet, a 20 percent discount is arranged for the purchase of shoes for 10 days.
Partnering with experienced companies, using new technology
Neco shoes is established in Nepal in partnership with an experienced company that has been producing shoes for 25 years in Bangladesh.
The company manufactures shoes, keeping up with the latest technology. Kalauni said that Neco recently purchased machinery worth more than Rs million based on new technology.
He said that he has established an industry in Birgunj so that it will be easy to export shoes in the future.
If the industrial environment in Nepal does not improve, the company plans to export shoes to other countries in the next few days or set up an industry in Bangladesh itself and engage in export business.