A business model named “Gladden Gulli” by a student team from the Royal Thimphu College (RTC) has won silver medal at the Mekong Business Challenge 2017 held in Yangon, Myanmar. This is RTC’s second consecutive win at the competition.
Last year, two teams of students from RTC took part in the challenge. Team Bhutan Interlocking Bricks came second, while the other team, Menjong Pasta, secured the 4th position.
This year’s business idea- Gladden Gulli- is about setting up an enterprise specialising in producing avocado products. Ugyen Thinley, one of the members said the idea centres around producing avocado tea from avocado seeds and avocado powder from avocado pulp.
“For now, it’s just a plan but we hope to be able to start our business by end of 2018. We will have to get loans because our estimated project cost is quite high.”
The three-member student team says their business idea stems from the concerns over unhealthy eating habits. Tashi Dema, a member, says eating health is an important ingredient for happiness. “Sadly, we see many Bhutanese consuming unhealthy foods. Bhutanese farmers export home grown fruits and vegetables at cheaper rate and import expensive processed food.”
Mekong Business Challenge is an annual entrepreneurship competition for university students in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, which includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan Province in China.
The competition invites business and social venture ideas relating to various sectors including IT, technology, agriculture, and tourism and service sector. The Mekong Challenge aims to help launch businesses and social ventures by providing training and mentoring.
Mon Maya Chettri, another member, said being part of the completion was a great opportunity. “It was a wonderful international business platform where we learned how an entrepreneur thinks and develops business ideas.”
Top 10 business ideas selected from over a hundred entries took part in the 2017 challenge. The RTC business faculty and Druk Holding and Investments jointly funded the team’s participation in the competition this time.