Rabi and Sujina, the husband-wife duo ventured into food business with the establishment of Surav Food Products in 2007. Named after their son, Surav, the company initially started with the production of Pustakari - a type of sweet Nepali candy made from molasses. During the summer season, they realized that the demand for Pustakari slumps sharply. This motivated them to pivot their business to start producing bite sized milky ice treats – popularly known as kulfis. Given the small size and affordable pricing, kulfis are in popular demand among school children and adults alike during the summer season.
Surav Food has been operating out of a small factory located in Thecho, Latipur. The company ensures that they use locally sourced and fresh ingredients to maintain the quality of their kulfis. With six-women employees running the production facility, they have been able to cater to the local market in Kathmandu, and are also successfully serving the market in Pokhara and Butwal.
The company was steadily growing its business and was planning to venture into ice-cream production when the pandemic forced them to halt production. As the first lockdown eased, the company was hopeful that they could operate during the peak summer season but that plan was also marred with the second wave of COVID in the country. Due to the crisis, the company witnessed a sharp decline in sales and were not in the position to meet their working capital requirements.
Surav Food Products 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). With the help of the fund, Surav Food was able to receive an interest-free and collateral-free loan from Laxmi Bank, which was mainly utilized to purchase raw materials for production and pay off its current liabilities.
OTW also aims to provide tailored business development services to Surav Food. OTW intends to help the company in record keeping and accounting while also assisting the company in branding and marketing to support them in establishing themselves as a recognized brand in the market.