23 years have passed since Supply Support Pvt. Ltd. paved its way into the tourism industry. Kreepa Shrestha, MD of SUPPLY SUPPORT Pvt. Ltd. has been running at its helm since past 10 years, with arduous entrepreneurial spirit. Supply Support Pvt. Ltd. caters to the tourism industry providing various kinds of promotional products like t-shirts, caps, mugs, water bottles, totes, etc. It specializes in manufacturing, printing, and embroidery. While their specialty is custom orders they also have a retail line of t-shirts, totes and other products with Nepalese and environmental themes.
Growing up in a family business environment she never wanted to be a 9-5 employee; neither did she have any concrete plan for her future. The sudden demise of her father led her to rethink about what she wanted to do and that’s when she decided to venture into her own business. Having seen the press and printing business of her father from childhood she was already familiar with this industry.
Despite the commonality of products in the market, her emphasis on quality keeps her customers happy and satisfied. The retail section focuses on creating unique designs maintaining high exclusivity by omitting repetition. Though there is immense competition in the market, her products are still highly in demand. In fact, they sometimes have a difficult time catering to the demand.
For Kreepa Shrestha, her role models are those who work hard. She recounts the time when her mentor Tashi Sherpa of Sherpa Adventure Gear Pvt. Ltd told her that business is 26 / 9 and which means the role of a business person is overly demanding.
During her business journey, despite the uncertainty in the business environment, there was never a point where she thought of giving up. And through this journey she has been trying to take life as it comes, taking decisions strategically rather than in rush and importantly she has learned the art of saying ‘No’.
In the future, she plans to improve and diversify the products that enhance Nepal’s visibility in the national and international arena.
She firmly believes that entrepreneurship empowers a woman and when one woman is empowered the whole family is automatically uplifted. Keep trying and don’t give up, if you keep trying – you will land on something good. This is the message she wants to send out to everyone.
And on being asked about what challenges do women entrepreneurs face generally and what kind of support is required to overcome the challenges, her response was: An entrepreneur, whether a man or a woman, mostly face similar challenges like having to work with limited financial and other resources, lack of mentorship, etc. As we are entering new waters, day in and day out, we are still juggling with our own fears and wonder whether the risk we took is worth it or not, whether the risk will bring in returns or will keep tumbling in an uncertain environment.
Having said that, she feels she has been extremely fortunate to have received much respect and rust from all her clients since early days in her career. She says “I think hard work eventually makes everything visible. But I have also seen many women being pushed aside when they are not competent enough or too soft for business.” She opines that women entrepreneurs need to produce competitive products that sell not just because it is produced by a woman but because the product is good in itself.
In Nepal women are generally looked down upon and underestimated but as established women entrepreneurs get recognized for their contribution, more women will take the risk to prove their potential. She ended with saying that “When the general business environment is positive, the power of the women blossoms on its own. It is like when your flower pot has good soil, enough water and sunlight, the plant can grow on its own. Women should just trust their instinct and believe in themselves.”