With today’s hectic lifestyles, people no longer have time to plan for events. One startup is breaking into this niche and doing all the hard work for you.
--BY NIKEETA GAUTAM
The young team of this startup call themselves ‘surprise planners’ who plan surprise events in an innovative way to leave people with a lifetime of memories to cherish. They promote creativity, encourage surprises and work hard to bring a smile to people's faces. "Surprises are a beautiful way of telling somebody that you love them and appreciate their efforts. But nowadays due to busy schedules, people are not able to plan special events for their dear ones," says Niraj Kafle, co-founder of Offering Happiness.
“We do all the preparations and customisations for the special events, and what our customers need to do is to just come and enjoy the beautiful moments," he adds. Founded in February 2017, the startup has increased its visibility over a relatively short period of time.
Services, Products and Clients
The startup has been brainstorming and experimenting to generate new ways to create happy and special moments for people. The company offers a number of products and services to its clients. For example, it arranges birthday wishes on the big screen in a movie theatre, a surprise romantic dinner date for cupid-hit couples and handcrafted gifts or a surprise dinner or party for office employees who are getting bored of their monotonous office routine.
The venture has partnered with companies like Big Cinemas and Times FM to display and broadcast surprise birthday messages for its clients. The company has been offering services like, Table for Two, Romantic Gazaboo Eve, Motor Gadi Surprise and Big Dine.
Kafle states that the startup usually promotes Nepal made products for their gifts. "The price starts from Rs 100 for gifts. The couple dinner ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 16,000 as per the client's demand. Similarly, the charge for group events may exceed Rs 100, 000," he informs. According to him, most of the customers who take their services are professionals in their late 20s and 40s, whereas the younger clients are attracted to the gift section. Presently, the company has gift items such as hangover kits, family cabinets, camera boxes and wooden love signs.
"Though at first people may find the prices of our products and services a bit expensive, our clients end up highly satisfied after getting the service," Kafle shares.
Investment and Promotion
A graduate in Development Finance, Kafle views entrepreneurship as a crucial element for a holistic economic development of the country. While pursuing his bachelors’ degree, he did voluntary work at an NGO called We Inspire Nepal for four years. "After completing my graduation, I wanted to venture into a business. Gradually I along with a few likeminded friends began to brainstorm different ideas and came up with the plan to start Offering Happiness," he says.
Established with an investment of Rs 500,000, the company is registering a monthly turnover of Rs 80,000 to Rs 100,000 at present. According to Kafle, the startup which was officially launched in February has been attracting around 15-20 clients on a monthly basis. Product wise, it has been offering its services to around 30-40 clients.
“The trial phase for us has ended. It helped us to gain knowledge about the market. Now we have entered the expansion phase. We are designing new types of surprise packages that will be marketed through different mediums," mentions Kafle.
Challenges and Risks
Kafle shares that the working environment in the startup has been quite vibrant. "Thus, we don’t face difficulties in terms of planning. However, as we are trying to bring the concept of ‘surprise’ in a professional manner, it is somewhat difficult to explain our idea to the people," he opines.
Kafle finds market research difficult in this area of business. "We are just doing the basic market analysis with our intuition. There is a lack of proper data and due to this it is taking time to discover our market area," he says.
"We are ready to hire freshers, but it is really difficult to get committed and dedicated people. Therefore, finding the right type of teams along with business expansion are the areas where we have to focus our efforts in the future," he says.
Kafle states that one event takes 2-3 days to organise. According to him, there is no specific job responsibility for anyone in the company. “It is very important for us to be fully devoted in this type of business otherwise there are a lot of risks that would lead the company to failure,” he says, adding, “There are many things for us to learn. But it is difficult to get specific skills in the first few years.”
Kafle believes that the company needs to introduce services from different dimensions and focus on innovative approaches to attract more clients. "For profit, we are looking for direct partnership and planning for calendar events," he says.
“Managing a team is tough and exciting as well. We all are like minded and work hard to achieve the goals," Kafle says. The startup includes four co-founders altogether seven individuals in the team. The team members don’t work on the basis of a monthly salary but work in terms of revenue generated. "We provide remuneration on the basis of performance and the revenue of the company," Kafle says. The company also has plans to share the ownership with dedicated team members who continue with the company.
Besides the current exclusive packages, the startup also has plans to introduce cost effective light premium packages. The team is also launching services such as weekend dinners and other private dinners. Kafle says that Offering Happiness will strive to make its products more unique. Apart from Nepali clients, the company is also planning to design special packages for tourists. "We are planning premium surprise packages in different areas of the hospitality sector to attract tourists," Kafle adds.