Talo: The Making of a Brand

  3 min 56 sec to read
Talo: The Making of a Brand

BY Suchana Mishra

Nikhil Sapkota has created a thriving business by branding a small cloth piece used for car washing.

Nikhil Sapkota, the creative mind behind Motors Nepal and Talo, has transformed an everyday household item, Talo, into a booming enterprise with a wide-reaching impact across the country. 

Sapkota founded Motors Nepal in 2017 with the goal of providing exceptional vehicle servicing through diamond coating. However, his venture initially faced challenges in convincing customers to opt for the superior coating over traditional painting methods. A determined Sapkota, however, refused to give up and managed to turn it into a successful business.

His entrepreneurial journey took an unexpected turn when he began contemplating how Motors Nepal could offer more than just car cleaning services. He rightly spotted a common issue among car owners - they often used old clothes for cleaning which was causing damage to their vehicle paint. When he dug deeper into the workings of Motors Nepal, he discovered that the same old cloth he had been using to clean cars could be improved. “I tried various types of cloth pieces that clean the cars without scratches and colour fading,” he recalled. He ultimately settled for nanofibre clothes imported from South Korea. Sapkota shared how he decided to name the product ‘Talo’ right away. “We gave it the name ‘Talo’ with the hope that people would associate it with the word ‘Talo’ which is a Nepali word for a small piece of cloth,” he added.

He has invested Rs 2.5-3 million in Talo business. Although he was initially nervous about the response that the product would receive in the market, the nervousness soon faded into joy as Talo received an overwhelmingly positive response from customers. 

Talo has made a name for itself in the Nepali market since its inception. Its heated fibre makes dust removal simple. Another distinguishing feature of Talo is its ability to absorb around a litre of water. 

Talo is available in different sizes in the market. When the bath towel launches next week, the price of Talo products will range from Rs 165 to Rs 2,500, according to Sapkota. Premium Talo is currently priced at Rs 1,450, Talo Max at Rs 1,150, and Fuchche Talo at Rs 450-650. Sapkota is bringing Punte Talo very soon. All Talo products can be shopped online at Daraz.

Initially exclusive to Motors Nepal customers, Talo immediately gained popularity, with over 1,500 units sold in a short span of time. Sapkota felt this product could expand his business beyond car cleaning and made the product available to the general public for a wide range of use ranging from kitchens to eateries. However, Talo’s journey has not been without difficulties. The import restrictions imposed by the government on luxurious goods and other commodities hit the business hard. Currently, Talo is manufactured outside Nepal and branded in Nepal. Sapkota hopes to reduce production costs by building a manufacturing facility in Biratnagar.

According to Sapkota, Talo overtook Motors Nepal in monthly revenue in just six months of its launch. The product’s annual turnover is in the tune of Rs 2 million. Sapkota is mulling over expanding Talo stores at malls and shopping complexes in different cities in Nepal. 

The young entrepreneur is aware of rivals coming into the market and is prepared to face competition in the market in the coming days. He, however, is confident that no rivals will be able to duplicate Talo. “Talo has already become a brand and it cannot be imitated in any form,” he shared. 

Sapkota’s mindset goes beyond business. He feels people should consistently put in their efforts behind their product and services. “Money should not and cannot be the immediate goal of your business. When you work on your product, money comes as a byproduct after your plan succeeds,” Sapkota said.

His journey from car cleaning to Talo innovation exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship. He emphasises the importance of understanding motivations, setting goals, and staying inspired to become successful. “Be inspired, not motivated," he advises people eager to start their own business.

Sapkota's innovative journey has not only transformed an everyday item but has also revolutionised how people perceive and use it. Talo is not just a cloth; it's a symbol of entrepreneurial success, determination, and the power of modernising age-old tradition. Nikhil's story serves as an inspiring example of what can be achieved with vision and persistence. 

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