“We sell road safety” emphasized Prathana Saakha, Co-founder of Helmets Nepal. Helmets Nepal is the first multi-brand retailer of two-wheeler after sales products in Nepal. But, what sets them apart from the numerous other retailers is the type of products they sell. “We are a multi-brand retailer, which sells authentic products that have the proper safety certification needed for the roads in Nepal. All the products that we sell come with a warranty, and we also offer EMI schemes for our customers.”
Business students, Prathana Sakha, Sajal Joshi, always dreamt of running their own business. “Our first venture was not a success, but we never gave up on our dream of running a business” shared Sajal. “We initially entered the two-wheeler accessories market as an emergency helmet delivery service provider.” The idea came to them after Sajal lost his helmet in a parking lot and had to go home to get another. “The incident made us realise that others were also facing the same problem, and we could be providing a unique solution” explained Prathana. “After about year we realized that we were not only an emergency delivery service, but we were also working towards making the roads in Kathmandu safer.” This is when they decided to expand and start selling two-wheeler after sales products like helmets, safety gears, tyres, lubricant to name a few.
“When we initially expanded our business we sold our products online. But we quickly realised that because of our products’ relatively longer product cycle, the internet was a great place for marketing but not a good market for us. So, we switched from a solely online retail business to one with showrooms” admitted Sajal. This move has seen them grow from just an online store in 2016, to opening three branches- one in Maitighar, another in Chabahil, and a third in Teku by the end of 2018.
For Helmets Nepal, the safety of their clients is their first priority. According to Sajal they make sure that all their products are authentic and have the necessary safety certification. “Most of our customers are commuters, and our products reflect this. Since the road condition in Nepal and India are similar and the safety standard that works for India would also work for us, we make sure that the products we sell have the Indian Standard certification.”
Apart from selling safety gears, and other two-wheelers accessories, Helmets Nepal also works with students and colleges to prevent road accidents through Project Prayas. Thought Project Prayas they hold workshops in various colleges about road safety and the precautions that can be taken to prevent accidents. “Since more than 60% of the accidents in Kathmandu Valley involves a two-wheeler, we not only wanted the correct safety gears to be easily accessible to people using two-wheelers, but also prevent such accidents from happening” shared Prathana. Sajal further added that in order to make the roads safer they are working with “multiple companies and the Nepali Government to create a performance and safety standard criteria specifically for Nepal to fulfil the safety needs of a two-wheeler riders in Nepal.”
Helmets Nepal is looking for investments to expand to other parts of Nepal. They are also planning on selling spare parts of all two wheelers not just after sales products.