On the begining of her chocolate business, Shakya faced problems in getting raw material and in the delivery of her products to her constumers. Now she has solutions for both.
--BY NEWBIZ TEAM
Young Nepali entrepreneurs have put forward their best ideas, implemented them, and emerged successfully in the Nepali market. Amongst these brilliant minds is a female entrepreneur who has created her space in the competitive market. She is Eliza Shakya, the owner of Azile Chocolates.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Shakya, from her young age, had a wish to start her own business instead of applying for jobs. After completing her Bachelors in Business Studies, she started brainstorming, researching the potentiality of different ideas, and lastly ended up with something that she adores, something everyone adores - chocolates.
Azile Chocolates is an online-based chocolate shop that sells homemade chocolates of various types and flavours. There are many chocolates- Milk, Dark, Peanut, Cookie and Cream, Nuts, Caramel, and Coffee. Those who love to add an exquisite taste to their chocolates can go for rum and whisky liquor truffles.
“Earlier, most of the people were after foreign chocolate brands. Now, I can see the Nepali people slowly transitioning their preferences and choosing Nepali chocolate shops for their sweet tooth,” Shakya shared with New Business Age.
The idea and inspiration
Shakya always adored baking. When she decided to venture into the chocolate business, she started searching for videos on YouTube and started making chocolates. At first, she did not succeed, but after much trial and error, she did master the art of making chocolates.
Initially, her parents, sisters, and friends were her first customers. To her surprise, she received good feedback which gave her confidence to start this business.
Investment and Growth
Shakya started Azile Chocolates with Rs 10,000. She initially made chocolates from her small kitchen. Now, she has now shifted to a separate room, which she fondly calls ‘workshop’ in her home at Mangal Bazaar, Lalitpur.
With the continuity and growth, she earns a monthly profit of Rs 50,000-60,000 today. “My sister, Anu Shakya, helps me to make the chocolates. I don’t have any employees yet,” she adds. Her sister and husband, Sachin Raj Bajracharya, have supported her since day one, making things much more convenient for her.
Initially, she had customers from Kathmandu Valley only. Now, she is regularly getting orders from customers in Dharan, Itahari and Pokhara as well. “I get a minimum of 50 orders every month,” she shared happily, adding that the order goes as high as 150 a month during wedding seasons and other social occasions.
She has been witnessing about 50% growth in her business in recent months.
While starting her chocolate business, Shakya faced many problems in the initial stages. To make chocolate, one needs the proper raw materials to get started with it. Back in 2019, Shakya faced difficulties getting raw materials like cocoa, sugar, milk, nuts, and many more. “ I used to order from India. I researched and learned about the raw materials,” says Shakya.
The second problem she faced was the delivery issue. At first, Shakya would make chocolates and also deliver them herself. While doing so, it became pretty hectic for her. “ I precisely remember the time of Valentine’s Day back in 2018. My sister and I had to simultaneously make the chocolates and deliver the boxes to the customers. It was chaotic, so I had to find a solution,” Shakya shared to New Business Age.
After a thorough research, she found a delivery company, and now, she hires them for her delivery.
Why Choose Azile Chocolates
“ I believe in quality over quantity. I want my customers to enjoy fresh, quality chocolates rather than the readymade ones. The chocolates are always customised. I only make the chocolates after taking the orders,” she adds.
Moreover, she also gets bulk orders on special occasions.
Shakya shared that she prioritises her customers and wants to deliver the best services as much as possible.
When asked how the government can help new startups like hers, Shakya said that she was aware of the loans and funding for startup ventures. “But the information is yet to be spread to the masses. The process can be lengthy and troublesome if a start-up owner wants to appeal for a loan or funds,” she adds.
Shakya firmly believes that the government's information should reach the majority so that budding entrepreneurs can start their businesses efficiently.
Shakya has great plans for Azile Chocolates and is working to achieve all that she has dreamed of.
Firstly, there will be new chocolate bars on the market. Bar chocolates will be launched and will be available in Nepali stores as well. It will be readily available for the customers. “Some marts, like Thamel-based Best Shopping Centre, already have Azile chocolates,” she shared happily.
Shakya also has an interest in art. She and her husband are passionate about it. Together they work in The Precious Arts, a specialised art class in Patan. They teach various art forms and techniques ranging from charcoal to oil painting. “ I take portrait orders and make them. It’s like a parttime job for me,” shared Shakya.