We were exhilarated the other day to have Anugraha Ghale with us the other day. She is an eighteen-year-old charismatic entrepreneur who is planning to revolutionize the art industry in Nepal and we are all here for it.
So, this is how our interview went like. We talked about her background, her startup, her aim to bring a mental health revolution using art in Nepal, and many more so why don’t you get some snacks and read what two young ladies talked about on one summer afternoon.
Kritagya: It is so good to have you. Thank you for being here with us. Let’s start the same old way. Tell us something about you.
Anugraha: So. Hi. My name is Anugraha Ghale which means grace in English in case somebody is like, what even is this name? So I think it’s kind of beautiful to think about in a way that in any conversation I just started with my meaning in case things go weird. So I just started like that. So academically, currently, I’m doing my undergraduate program in BBA. Yes. And professionally, I’m engaged with this community organization known as Gharmai Productions that targets the youth.
And because I personally believe that youth is the future of this world and I sort of want to elevate people and their mindset to something possibly different. And there’s like a smaller project for the bigger vision of what our production is all about. So Gharmai productions is trying to target the mindset of people and just helping them think beyond schooling in a way, especially to the young people. And the project or the vision of the company is all mental revolution.
Kritagya – How you got into entrepreneurship so early? When did you learn about it? Did you do anything before Gharmai Productions?
Anugraha: When I talk about my career, it started at age 12. How I started was like I was always kind of thinking about it, just thinking about how the business world works.
I would see movies about business and think this could be something I could be interested in because talking about my history of schooling, I’ve personally never been a straight-A student.
It was just like getting the passing marks 33 percent. So academically, I just wanted to go beyond schooling because I thought schooling in a way it was amazing, but it just wasn’t something for me. So obviously. But as a young child, you don’t have a lot of options. So obviously I had to study in school, but then I started thinking, like, what can I do while I’m studying and also follow my passion and possibly help other people realize their passion as well.
So at age 12, I knew I wanted to do something. Back then, digital media had just started to come into the news and the media. Talking from even experience, it was very easy to be scammed on these kinds of online platforms. So I kind of analyzed this problem and I thought, what would the demand be right now? And I was really passionate about music.
So back then many people did not know how to play the guitar. They wanted to try a ukulele. And there was a huge market for the ukulele. Plus, it was easy to be scammed. So everybody was just sitting. So I bought a couple of ukuleles from an online platform and sold them. I earned good money. And I continued this until grade 12 until my board examinations.
So that was like a breaking point for me personally because it was also a self-reflection point. So what can I do more than this? What goes beyond this? Like, obviously, I’m not going to be always be selling ukuleles. That makes no sense. And that doesn’t align with my visions as well. You know, just consumerism is not what entrepreneurship is really about and I wanted to go beyond that go beyond this.
Kritagya: Wow, that is so great. So, how did you start Gharmai Productions? How did the idea click?
Anugraha: As COVID hit, mental health issues and so many things going around in the world. And I thought maybe this is a time when everybody needs to self-reflect on themselves. I thought about it. How can people self-reflect? Right. So I think that is through reading, writing, singing. So I wanted to target the stationary brand in the stationery world in Nepal. So I created this notebook as I produced the notebooks from my room.
I think that is kind of like a unique selling point as well, producing notebooks from them. And that is how it started. And it’s going to continue for a long time, I believe. Yeah.
Kritagya – That sounds so great. Can you tell us how stationary is promoting mental health in Nepal?
Anugraha: I think not connecting with oneself is the main issue behind mental health problems. In the age of social media, we’ve just been occupied with social media platforms, that it is toxic to be ourselves. We are seeing pictures of our friends living their lives or even celebrities living the best of their lives. But I think that is the issue of what contributes to a bigger factor in the mental health world.
I personally believe that you will never be able to create a bond with Messenger or WhatsApp, maybe to some extent on the notes app on your phones, but you will never be able to create a bond with an app in general.
But when you write down your ideas, you think about some things, put an extra effort into a relationship that is with yourself. You will sufficiently be able to create a form of communication with yourself. And I think that is only possible through actually writing in the physical form instead of a virtual thing. So I think a stationary brand really helps you connect with yourself and find out who you are and think about what you can do. And I think that’s what we need in the world right now.
Kritagya: Were you scared before launching the start-up, did you ever think you might not be able to do it? Does it ever get overwhelming?
Anugraha: I do think about it. What if things go wrong and, you know, there’s always an overwhelming feeling of starting something new, be in a country like Nepal where so many of the things are exported and nothing is actually produced. It sort of did make me question, will it even be successful? But instead of focusing and choosing to think about what I cannot do and might possibly go wrong, I thought about my vision.
I think people should have confidence in the thing they can do and believe that it is going to happen. Manifesting and, motivating yourself is the key.
I was constantly writing my visions, my dreams in the notebook. So I was believing in it before I was seeing the changes. So that really helped me while I was starting out.
Kritagya: What’s your plan for Gharmai Productions say in the next 5-10 years?
Anugraha: So for the next five years, we have education programs, helping out students in school and organizing multiple art programs, including things that would directly affect or promote mental health issues. And there’s just a ton of things planned out even because of the lockdown.
Plus, when you think about it 5-10 years. I really think life is unpredictable. So why should I be? Yeah, I’ve got plans set out. Things are slowly being cleared up and there’s a lot of things coming, but there is something, a very concrete idea.
Kritagya: I am so excited to see all the great things you do in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. This was great.
So, that was amazing! She was so graceful, thoughtful and inspiring with her words. I am extremely excited about the future of Art in Nepal. Read my article on the prospects of Art Startups in Nepal.
Art and Entrepreneurship in Nepal
Art is the essence of Nepali culture but we see very few startups working to promote/protect it. Read this article to find the opportunities in the Art space in Nepal.