[This article is a part of our First Person series, in which entrepreneurs and professionals talk about their lives, jobs and careers.]
I would say I am an accidental entrepreneur. I got a chance to start my entrepreneurial journey with an analytics company Marketelligent and became a minority partner with two well-known people in 2007. Eventually along with my five friends in 2009, I started Simplify360 which is currently the market leader in Digital analytics in our country. I am hungry for creating new things. If I am not creating something for long time, I lose sleep. Money or brand or fame is secondary to me. My main inspiration is my desire to create things, that includes creating new products and bringing to the customers.
I have an undying passion for food. I always wanted to start something of my own in the food industry. Like Josh James of Domo says “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” I registered a company under the name Khanal Food Pvt Ltd as a reflex to this idea. Initially I wanted to start with packaged human food specially the cuisines that were not marketed in India – like the ready-to-eat foods from the North East. While we had products like MTR representing South Indian food and Haldirams food from the North, I wanted Khanal Foods to represent cuisines from East India.
Finally, I quit Simplify360 by bringing professional management in 2015. At this very opportunity, I started exploring ideas catering to this segment and went on a sojourn in the Himalayas and toured the North East and Nepal. One day as I was trekking in Elam, a small district in Nepal, I discovered local stray dogs with shining furs, perfect teeth and overall with a great amount of energy. Curiosity kicked in and I started talking and networking with the locals residing in Elam. That conversation was a revelation for me. I learned that hardened Yak milk cheese, which is usually consumed by us, were being stolen by dogs and getting popular as a dog food! This was an impetus to my further research.
I continued networking with the people in food industry and found that dog food industry desperately needed someone who can disrupt with innovation on product and design. I am a dog parent and I love my pet Mowgli unconditionally. As a responsible pet parent I want to include natural ingredient in his diet. So I knew I have an innovative product right next to me i.e. natural and handcrafted yak and cow milk based chews all the way from the Himalayas.
Dogsee Chew is purely born out of love for dogs, passion for natural food coupled with close affinity with the Himalaya. I believe if there is one legitimate reason which you believe what it can do, then you know it is to change the world. I knew I wanted to bring change in pet parenting and pet’s diet. My vision is to make natural and healthy dog food and treats available for all dogs across the globe. The artificiality in food should end. My mission for my company is to create the world’s largest pet food company with health and quality focus.
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Co once said “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” I have faced a lot of hiccups while building Dogsee Chew for instance my company faced serious supply chain issue with Darjeeling bandh last year. On the other hand we had issues getting approval for Brazil; we tried 6 months and retracted. Later, I decided to focus on markets that provide friendly access to Indian goods. With this approach we have been able to expand our footprints in 11 countries for our products within two years and I am really proud of my team for making it happen. We became profitable from second year of operations and I was able to build world class team within a short span of time.
My mantra is very simple, be courageous to make a decision. And once you know you are at it, act quickly on it. For me this approach has worked and I am going to advise the same thing to every entrepreneur.
[The author of this post is Bhupendra Khanal, the Founder and CEO at Dogsee Chew]