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Chepang Retail Shop - IIAD
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Chepang Retail Shop

Chepang Retail Shop

Opening a retail shop might be a simple concept for most of us, but it means a lot to the indigenous Chepang community of Jimling village in Nepal. Life is hectic and resources are scarce in Jimling. One has to walk for 6-7 hours to reach the nearest bazaar to buy daily basic goods like salt, rice, sugar, oil, rice etc. Keeping this in mind, IIAD decided to support the locals in establishing a retail shop at Jimling. This would not only create access to market for the locals easier, but also save them time, money, and create livelihood opportunities. The retail shop would be a bridge between local products available in the community and the market in Chitwan and Kathmandu. Through this model, locally available products could be sold through the retail shop to market outside of Jimling. This benefited the local indigenous people as well as create access to market. This will ultimately benefit local people to generate income based on local products that they make.

With this notion, IIAD established Chepang Kirana Pasal in the central area of Chepang settlement located at Jimling, Korak VDC 3, Chitwan. The shop was financially supported by Kiran Sitoula and Pranaya Raj Acharya. The amount total received was Rs. 1,00,000 in the first phase. With the initial financial support one shop was constructed at Rs. 75,000 and the remaining balance was used for commodities in the retail shop.

The opening ceremony of retail shop was done in May. The basic necessities like salt, oil, soy bean, beaten rice, noodles, biscuits, and chocolates are available in the shop. Rs. 20,000 was spent for these items and Rs. 3,500 was used for logistics. The turnover of the shop on the first month seems quiet impressive. The daily average sales turnover is Rs. 500, which has resulted in monthly sale of Rs. 15,000. Motilal Chepang manages the supply chain and products in the shop by purchasing it from the nearest wholesale distributor. Bishnu Maya Chepang looks after sales and operations of the retail shop.

The establishment of retail shop has benefited the villagers in many ways. They do not have to walk for 7 hours to reach the nearest bazaar to buy twenty rupees of salt. Now the daily basic necessities are easily available in the village. If the villagers had to go to the bazaar, it would be costlier as they would have to eat on the road and at times having to stay in the bazaar overnight due to travel difficulties. This has saved valuable time for the villagers and now they can spend their time in productive activities like planting maize. Though giving items on credit has been controlled, only a few
customers have taken items on credit promising to pay it in a month’s time. During monsoon season; the local
bus will completely stop for 5 months. So the items from the retail shop will be highly demanded during this
time.

Shopkeeper Perspectives:

The shopkeepers are really happy to keep themselves busy in shop. They collect all the money earned in a day and count before they go to sleep. Now as monsoon approaches slowly, it is good time to attract customers. But the shopkeepers express that they have only limited stocks which may not even last for a month. In the first month of operation we have earned Rs. 18,000. Its not a profit. It’s a turnover. They reinvested Rs.8,000 as the stock had finished.

What they wish is to invest more on urea and fertilizers for this month as it is crop cultivation season. But they are lacking investment and the roadways have been blocked due to landslides and soil erosion. Shopkeepers would also like to thank the sponsors who have contributed in establishing Chepang retail shop. It would not have been possible to establish on their own. Frankly speaking it would have been a dream to establish retails shop as they will not have bulk sum of money.

Villagers Perspective:

The local people are happy to receive the basic necessities in their own locality. They are also happy to pay the amount that is tagged for each item as they understand that the transportation cost has to be added too. They have now saved time and extra money that they would have spent on going to the bazaar. Villagers say that the items are not given on credit but they understand the problem as it is a recently established shop they have to get the investment back.

Biswash Chepang, IIAD Chairman’s Perspective:

It has been a great pleasure to establish retail shop benefiting more than 1,000 people directly or indirectly. The basic necessities are kept at retail shop. What we have thought is to add more indigenous items and sell it to the visitors. We will also be collecting the locally available products from the village and selling those to the markets that pays well in Kathmandu.