Sahaj Challenge Fund intends to contribute to increasing employment and value-add in the agricultural sectors (maize, dairy, cardamom and vegetable) of Province 1 in Nepal. Multiple rounds of Challenge Fund have been envisaged. Sahaj Challenge Fund Round 1 used solicit innovative ideas to address some of the most challenging problems and obstacles identified in the case of logistics services. The fund aimed to address those challenges were disruptive, ‘break-from-the-past’ type innovations are considered key to moving the needle in logistics services which can solve persistent bottlenecks in the private sector functioning in Province 1 and thereby contribute to a higher level of commercialization and economic value-add in the selected agri-sectors. SCF envisaged addressing the above-mentioned systemic constraints by working with the private sector and encouraging market-driven solutions.
SCF looked to support intra-city and inter-city logistics providers; cold chamber manufacturers and assemblers; cold chain and dry chain management service providers; sustainable packaging material producers; new (environment friendly) technologies which reduce post-harvest loss while transporting; IoT/ICT based cold-storage monitoring; digital platform ride-sharing services which reduce cost and increase service availability.
Total of 188 business ideas was received for the Sahaj Challenge Fund Round 1. After various processes of screening, analyzing and conducting the due diligence processes, five businesses were selected to receive the fund:
- Mandala Agrifresh Pvt. Ltd
Mandala Agrifresh Pvt. Ltd. is an agriculture supply chain management company working to increase the efficiency of the agricultural supply chain in Nepal through the adoption of relevant post-harvest technologies. . The company was established in 2020 with the goal to reduce post-harvest losses in agriculture by adopting proper harvesting and post-harvest practices. The company plans to introduce the use of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) bags and ozonating technology to maintain the overall quality of the produce without the use of any chemicals and preservatives, thus giving the company a distinct advantage in the market. Mandala has developed an innovative business model that enables the producers to receive higher prices for consistent supply of quality produce and allows retailers to get timely access to quality produce at a competitive rate.
- Upaya City Cargo.
Upaya City Cargo Pvt. Ltd, established in January 2019, is an online logistics company operating in various cities in Nepal. The company offers an innovative technology platform that delivers quality logistics solutions with a commitment to transform the way things move in Nepal. Its vision is to become the logistics backbone of digital Nepal. Their 5 core values are commitment to customers & trust, accountability, respect, quality, and innovation. Upaya City Cargo’s On-Demand service connects individuals and businesses with their pickup driver-partners as well as two wheeler rider-partners and integrates technology to ensure quick and hassle-free delivery of small as well as bulk goods. The company also provides customized logistics solutions to the corporates/business houses, e-commerce/social-commerce companies and SMEs based on their needs.
- Reverse Vending Machine
RVM NEPAL is a Kathmandu based trading, business representation, and engineering firm actively engaged in supplying equipment, technology and services to various governmental and non-governmental organizations. RVM NEPAL specializes in the fields of Biomedical Equipment Repair Maintain, Medical Equipment Supply, Agricultural machinery design, manufacture IT Industry, Power Industry, Turnkey Project Management and Logistic Management though R VM NEP AL’S service is not limited to this. With over years of experience in regional trading as one of the leading companies in the business, RVM NEPAL has developed a strong national and international reputation for its efficiency and reliability.
- R & D Innovative Solution Pvt. Ltd
R & D Innovative Solution Pvt. Ltd, established in 2010, is Nepal’s first agri-tech company. The company has been working to establish a sustainable agriculture value chain addressing problems through digital solutions. R&D Innovative Solution proposes the development of DECS (Digitally enabled cold Storage system) devices to address the problems associated with the handling and monitoring of cold storage systems. The IoT-enabled hardware installed in cold chambers will monitor the data regarding temperature, relative humidity, and power status in the cold storage in real-time. The system triggers an SMS alert to the user’s mobile if the reading exceeds the set parameters.
- Nepal Can Move
Nepal Can Move (NCM) is a national-level courier and cargo company, established in 2019. NCM provides cargo delivery, advanced logistics, eCommerce, warehousing, and inventory technology services. NCM focuses on trade, commerce, and logistics issues using the Australian management system and technology. NCM has established over 22,500 cross-distribution points through its 163 branches and 11 regional offices (Mechi, Koshi, Sagarmatha, Janakpur, Bagmati, Narayani, Gandaki, Lumbini, Rapti, Bheri & Mahakali). They also provide application programming interfaces (APIs) and integration services. NCM thinks of business in terms of systems. The better the system, the better the business will perform. NCM utilizes its own systems resources i.e. the power of software & technology and a good management team to plan predictable and consistent solutions in the logistics business.