HTD Read and Lead endeavours to inculcate reading habits in everyone by providing books to readers at an affordable rate.
--BY NEWBIZ TEAM
They say leaders are readers. But Nepali readers are left with no choice but to either switch back to reading e-books or spend money on these books only once in a while, thanks to the increasingly high cost of books. However, as every startup originates from tackling the difficulties of the common people, HTD Read and Lead is a similar startup that envisions providing books at affordable rates to all.
HTD Read and Lead is a startup established in July 2021 under Halftone Designs founded by Raju Maharjan. The startup has brought a fantastic offer for readers under which a member can read unlimited physical books by paying just Rs 1,000 for a whole year.
The Idea and Inspiration
Last year in March, Maharjan took a sheer interest in reading books. Pushing his limits, he set a target to read 1,000 books in a year. As a novel costs in the range of Rs 500-1,000, spending such a huge amount of money was something not practically possible. Therefore, a new idea popped up into his head - a startup where readers could read any books they want paying only a minimum sum of money.
“Reading books transforms a person positively and helps to tackle difficulties in your life," says Raju Maharjan, the founder of HTD Read and Lead. After he noticed the changes in his life, he wanted to encourage readers and all those who cannot afford to buy expensive books in Nepal. The visionary transformed the reading ways and has plans to expand his reading members even more.
Investment and Growth
HTD Read and Lead was an innovative startup idea that Maharjan conceived in a day. The same day he gathered his books and established his small startup at the building of Halftone Designs.
A startup started especially for the goodwill of the people was sure to be a success. Within a month, the response was overwhelming which startled Maharjan. “I had planned to approach my friends as investors for this startup after a duration of 6 months. But I didn’t have to wait for so long. The feedback was good and then I involved them in this startup as well,” he added.
A Unique Startup
There are many physical libraries and book-renting platforms in Nepal. However, various factors make HTD Read and Lead stand out from its competitors.
Firstly, one can become a member and read unlimited books at a nominal rate of Rs 1,000 per year. A reader can have access to any book they want at the same rate. Secondly, Maharjan offers his members exciting offers that include renting services, income generating options and also free reading options.
Maharjan organises meet sessions every month for discussion on topics like book review, recent economy flow, and also various other topics of interest. The startup is welcoming where the members feel like home.
The main challenge faced by Maharjan was to encourage people to read. “Convincing someone to become a reader is a challenge in itself,” Maharjan said. For those who read regularly, finishing a number of books isn’t a challenge. However, there are some who never read. That’s where Maharjan faces a challenge.
In order to tackle this hurdle, the founder of Read and Lead offers members an option to make a book list so that they can read only the books they actually want to read.
Moreover, the other challenge faced by HTD Read and Lead is the taxation on books. The government imposes certain taxes on books which creates an obstacle for both buyers and readers as well.
The founder of HTD Read and Lead is a visionary with great plans for his startup. He plans on working with different schools and partnering with them as a physical library. The children could easily order the books they want, and HTD Read and Lead would deliver it to them easily.
In addition to this, opening a reading space is also in his plans. The reading space would be available for everyone especially to those who are looking for a space to read and relax. Moreover, partnering with different cafes and creating a reading zone in the cafe is also something Maharjan looks forward to doing one day. This way readers will be enjoying exciting discounts on the cafe and also have a nice time in a perfect reading environment.