Kreeti Shakya and Manish Shrestha, the design mastermind and the tech guru, returned to Nepal for good, leaving behind a well-established career in the United States. In 2010, the duo established Kazi Studios with the idea of providing integrated technology and design solutions. Sticking to that core, they also ventured into high end handicraft products (Allare), fun nepali cultural products (Alchi) and IOT based products (Smart Maka). Employing around 20 people, the quality of their work established a strong foundation of the brand among corporates, multilaterals, government entities and small businesses alike.
It is hard not to notice the choice of brand names that Kazi has adopted: Allaré- meaning a vagabond, Alchi - meaning lazy and Smart Maka meaning smart monkey. These names tell a story of how the lazy, allare bunch can actually come up with the most innovative solutions, make optimum use of resources while making time to relax and live life to the fullest.
Kazi’s venture into creating a variety of games, keeping Nepal’s culture and history at its center, came as a breath of fresh air in a market where local board games were almost non-existent.
Their popular game Samrajya mirrors the conquest of Kathmandu Valley by Prithvi Narayan Shah, while the fun drinking games Fittu and Bhatti entices the adult audience. These games are not only an avenue for quality family time but are also educative and are proving to be popular gifting options for the migrant Nepali population, as these games retain the nostalgia of home.
The prolonged lockdown forced the company to close their retail outlet at Jhamsikhel and put an abrupt halt to the expansion plans of Alchi, as Kazi bootstrapped and focused on survival.
Kazi Studios is one of the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 MSME Fund Nepal, supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC and FMO- Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank and managed by One to Watch (OTW). Kazi was able to secure interest free and collateral free loan from Laxmi Bank which they are utilizing to meet their working capital requirements. OTW will be supporting Kazi to market their board games, strengthen the company’s legal compliance and accounting standards among other tailored interventions with the plan of preparing the company for expansion in near future.