lindu: not your average workspace but much better
“There aren’t many job opportunities in Nepal.” This is what we hear a lot of youngsters saying. The amount of truth in this statement holds may or may not be accurate as the situation varies from person to person in regard to their experience with the job hunt they do. However, the start up culture that has been booming for a few years now is the ray of hope in Nepal where if it is executed properly may create job opportunities for people here as well. First comes the idea, but after that comes a place where that idea can be properly executed; a proper workspace to plan and implement what is already there in the head. However, for a startup to afford and rent a workplace is a big challenge. That is where Lindu Co- Working space comes in, with its too good to be true cost. The space is inside the premises of Wanderthirst Hostels located in Thamel, this is a space that’s lets you be as free and creative as you can be. Shiva Shrestha, says “This was not much for money but for creating that initial platform and support for youth with ideas that might do wonders to our economy.” Let’s read what else he has to say.
There are so many youngsters with
amazing ideas here but it might be
really expensive for them to set up
their own office they can come here,
have meetings, work like anyone
would in an office.
HOW DID THE NAME “LINDU WORKING SPACE” CAME TO BE?
It might sound really cliched but I think of this as my Taj Mahal. The inspiration for this place was a Danish girl, Lindu. She came into my life when I was feeling really low and things weren’t working out in my life. She made me realize what strengths I had and made me believe in myself. When she came to Nepal, she was amazed how close we Nepalese are with each other. Her idea was to create a space where people could come together to work as well. It took a lot of time to build this space with the vision that we had and during that time we went our separate ways. But, this space was more of her vision than mine so I just want to give her the credit she deserves. A lot of people ask us about the name because it might sound a little weird but the name holds a special place in my heart and I dedicated this space to her.
WHAT FACILITIES ARE THERE FOR THE CUSTOMERS THAT VISIT THIS CO-WORKING SPACE?
Our customers can order food from the restaurant we have which is decently priced. They can also leave their comments and suggestions which we are open to hearing. We provide internet with a special service. For example, if you’re working and you have a specific data requirement then we can hook you up with a connection that meets that requirement. There’s cable internet too for faster speeds, and there’s a port on every table. To use the Wi-Fi here, you’ll need to get a coupon. Now, if your internet usage is inactive for 10 minutes, your network will be blocked so as to not dampen the overall internet speeds.
You can use the space at no expense. Likewise, you can reserve a table for meetings, events, and they’re all free of cost. Of course, you’ll be charged for the coffee.
IF YOU HAVE A DREAM,
TAKE IT FORWARD,
LIKE THEY SAY, “THE
TURTLE IS STILL GOING
FORWARD EVEN IF IT IS
AT WHAT TIME DID YOU THINK THAT THIS WOULD BE A CO-WORKING SPACE AND WHY?
Like I said, the co-working space is available to anyone who comes here and decides to have a coffee. They can use up the space as much as they would want to. There is no hourly cost or any other extra charges. But, initially we were just focusing on foreigners as this space is inside the Wanderthirst Hostel which caters to backpackers from all around the world. A lot of volunteers came to help when the earthquake struck, but they had a big problem with the internet which was hampering their work. Then, we thought, let’s give them a space to work from rather than their room. It gave them a nice break from just sitting in their room. And that’s how it took shape of a working space.
Then we added a café, and the high-speed internet, set up a few more tables, hammocks, and other unconventional items that you don’t see in other working spaces.
The thing is that there are so many youngsters with amazing ideas here. But it might be really expensive for them to set up their own office. So, they can come here, have meetings, and just work like anyone would in an office. It is a great step for startups or even to just do your assignments or projects. The ambience would set the mood for anyone who comes here to work.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE FOR THE FUTURE?
I’d like to see how people will take my idea. We created this and we took the risk and we’d definitely like to see how this business will go. We also have seen people take an example of our work, take references, and improve upon it. So, I see the future will go well for this industry. Maybe in 5 years’ time, there will be cabins that will be dedicated for office purposes. It will be a place where you can rent for a few months as startup businesses. The cabins are there for those who cannot afford their own office set up and for those who are have an uncertain future for their business. I plan to work on this idea.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MESSAGE FOR YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS?
There are a lot of words, but it is never enough. You need to take them to action. If you have a dream, take it forward. Like they say, “the turtle is still going forward even if it is really slow”. Find good people who can help you make them come true. Take many opportunities. There are possibilities everywhere and I have seen them. It’s simply about who is daring enough to take them. We also need to break the trend of migrating to foreign countries to work. It’s like an epidemic. These days, if you want to go to America, your parents spend $40,000 or $50,000 just like that to send you there. But if you want to invest that money into a business, they won’t support you.
The thing here is, it’s not that your parents don’t trust you, it’s just because you haven’t shown them the better vision. Take my concept for example, when youngsters get their hands-on money, they’ll invest into businesses without doing proper research and when that business fails, their parents naturally won’t continue in investing them anymore. So, do your research before you start a business. Make it successful and you will make your parents proud. Every business has the potential. Just know your market and have a good location base and it will work out.
WORDS: SHAQUILLE S. GHOTANE | PHOTOS: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR