Entrepreneurs In Spotlight: Walkman-A Step To A Fitter Life
Imagine if you could earn by just doing the usual daily activities like walking. How amazing would that be? It’s no more an imagination but a reality. A group of four people — Suyam Vaidya, Ashik Subedi, Sushant Chalise and Sandeep Maharjan has developed an application called “Walkman” through which we can earn by walking a determined number of steps in a day.
Suyam Baidya, one of the co-founder of this application explains, “100 Green Coins can be earned by walking 10,000 steps a day. These green coins then can be redeemed to get discounts and offers from various partnered up stores.”
When Baidya was pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering he came across the information about an application called Charity Miles which was running in America. That app was launched for a non- profit cause which donated the earned coins to charity to the needy people. He said he was very inspired by this concept and he put forward this idea in Youth Thinkers Society Event. This idea was selected as the top 35 but was rejected eventually as it was not sustainable as it was for a non profit cause. Since then he and his team has been shaping it into a sustainable business model.
“As we all know the popular Sony’s Walkman. As the original Walkman has already disappeared among people, we wanted to give birth to a new concept of walkman. Through this concept we decided to name our application Walkman”, says Baidya when we asked how the team decided on the name of their application.
We asked them about the hardest challenge that they had faced during their startup journey in which Sushant Chalise, another co-founder of Walkman replied that the hardest part was to figure out what would make the people encourage to download and use this app. As there are many applications on the market and various ways those applications are grabbing the attention of the people. We had hard time coming up with the idea which would excite the people.
Furthermore, he adds “Initially the concept of this application was a non profit concept which shaped to be a business design. We come from Engineering background in which we have no idea how a business works or functions. So we are gradually overcoming and learning the way the business world works.”
Continuing, he adds,”As this is a new concept, people don’t believe that they can earn by walking. People doubt their unique concept of this application. But we believed in our idea and we are determined to make it work and make the audience believe in this.”
The team of Walkman have many future plans for their application. They wish to reach as much population as they can and make more people aware about our application. They are planning to place stickers in the sky bridge so that as each person walks by he/she can see the walkman logo and their QR code which which will lead to the download page of the application.They are also planning to Partner up with the Traffic Department and use the logos and symbols of walkman for Zebra crossing.
In addition, they also plan to stick walkman stickers in the vase/pot of the plant or in the trunk of the tree. This sticker will include the logo, their sponsors logo and the QR Code through which they can scan and install the app.
They also added that they have a vision of reaching bigger mass of people by targeting not only the walkers but also the trekkers, hikers and bikers. “As we are in the initial stage we plan to reach them in the next phase. Similarly, we are also planning to extend our services to other parts of Nepal and not just limiting it to Kathmandu.”
Being an entrepreneur main challenges the developers of Walkman have been facing are family expectations and financial discomfort. “Parents seek quick returns which is not easy in the early stage of any startup. They are always worried that we might not earn as much as we could have earned in a secure job. As we are from engineering background my parents want me to have a secure government job in engineering sector.” says Baidya. “We need people around us to be a little supportive. If the close people don’t believe in our idea it’s hard for us to get self motivated sometimes and work hard for it,” says Chalise.
Adding on, they expressed that they have small expenses on day to day basis which is hard for them to fulfil without having any source of income and which is hard to generate in the initial stage of startup.
“In our opinion, the most important thing for a startup is proper team. I think financial factor is the last thing that matters for a startup. I know its hard but there are many other important things for a startup to work. And I think team is the most important factor.” says Baidya.
This application will be launched on 14th February 2019. They have Partnered up with many Stores in Labim Mall, Goldstar, Himalayan Java, restaurants like OR2K, Triangle and other restaurants in Jhamsikhel. They have also approached Nabil Bank and Goldstar for sponsor as well as partner to reach to as many people as possible.
“Keeping the discounts and financial benefits feature of the app aside, this is an opportunity for the people to be fitter. I also have a personal bike but I don’t use it everywhere I go. I try to walk to the places where I can go by walking. The number of vehicles in the road is increasing in a very fast pace. Now we are even offering rewards to people for walking to become fit . So we hope that the general people can understand this idea and join us for a better Nepal. We cannot just sit back and dream for a better nepal. We should start from us first.” says Sushant.
The most hardest change is the behavioural change. These group of young men are working hard to encourage Nepalese to bring this small change in their daily habits through this application.