dating your eggs
Ever wonder how long those eggs you want to buy have been on the shelf at the kiraana pasal? Golden Egg put a date on the whole lot of them. Now you know how long.
One of the first remarks she made to me about her trip to England was about the labels on eggs. Giggling like a child, my maiju told me that they have an expiration date. To her, the quality of England’s food industry was so high that even product like eggs came with a warning about their shelf life.
Golden Egg has been bringing that quality to Nepal by noting the timeframe within which its eggs need to be consumed. As the first company to brand eggs in the country, it has met a few skeptics. People have asked Managing Director Satish Shrestha if eggs can even have a name. But Shrestha knew that there was a market for branded eggs here.
“In Bangladesh, there is a company that has been doing this for the past 8 to 10 years,” Shrestha explained. “If you look at factors like its per capita income and standard of living, Bangladesh is really no different from Nepal. Nepal was ready for it.” Thus far, he has proved himself right. When it started out a year and a half ago, Golden Egg was collecting 500 eggs per day on average from farmers. That number is now 25,000. Next year’s target is four times that.
Shrestha attributes Golden Egg’s increasing sales to much more than being transparent about the egg’s shelf life. The secret to the company’s success lies in the way it handles the entire business process, from maintaining the same standards across all partner farms to marketing eggs for Mother’s Day. Some of the company’s strategies include:
Regular trainings and check- ups: Two to three times a month, Golden Egg conducts trainings in different locations. The farmers understand how to properly run a farm and meet company expectations. The technical team makes a monthly visit to the farms to ensure that the farmers are keeping the farms up to Golden Egg’s standards.
Target consumers: The cost of placing 6 or 12 eggs in their own containers meant they had to be sold for more than the market price. The company therefore targeted people who were more aware of quality control and valued brands. The eggs were first sold in grocery stores like BigMart in neighborhoods where the target consumers shop. These marts then started selling Golden Eggs in their franchises. After seeing the eggs’ popularity, Bhat-Bhateni Store stocked them too. The eggs became available online for special occasions like Mother’s Day, and on e-commerce sites like Thamel.com and Muncha.com.
Providing a constant flow of eggs as demand rises can be risky with bird flu acting as a serious threat. Golden Egg collects eggs from farms in various parts of the country to hedge against major losses. If one of the 3 farms in Rupandehi shows traces of avian influenza, the company can still rely on the other farms in the district and the ones in the Kathmandu Valley. By sourcing the eggs from local farmers instead of only from his farm in Butwol, Shrestha also cuts down on the expenses associated with opening and maintaining a farm.
A well-functioning enterprise still has to be on its toes to prepare for the future. Golden Egg does this by:
Having its own farm: The company is considering opening a farm in the Kathmandu Valley to safeguard supply because depending on outsourced farms has its own risks. With its own farm, Golden Egg can be confident that a certain percentage of its eggs will always be available for the market.
Training potential farmers: Golden Egg’s regular trainings are not restricted to farmers with whom the company conducts business. Potential partners, especially those in upcoming markets, are also invited. Through trainings, these farmers can better understand the egg production process and collaborate with Golden Egg when the company is ready to enter that market.
Reaching out to the masses: Golden Egg is making its eggs accessible to the mass by selling them individually in the familiar 30-piece trays. These eggs, differentiated by the ‘’Golden Egg” stamped shells, will be sold for the same price as generic eggs. To gage people’s interest in the individually sellable eggs, Golden Egg is offering the produce in select neighborhoods first. Shrestha’s astute inclination to test the water before diving in traces back to his banking days. While working at Citibank, he took on a project in the poultry industry. After a year of working in both banking and agriculture, he took over the poultry company. This experience later led him to launch Shreenagar Agro Farm, Golden Egg’s flagship company.
Shrestha saw an opportunity and seized it, even if it meant becoming a part of an entirely different industry. He advises entrepreneurs to do the same by drawing in inspiration from successful enterprises in countries akin to Nepal. Figure out if something similar is feasible here. If it is, hold tight to the belief that your venture will succeed and move steadily ahead.