Yogendra Shrestha is Director of Quick and Easy Remittance company. A graduate from London Metropolitan University and Chartered Certified Accountant, he established this company in 2010.
According to the company, which is also a partner of Himal Remit, it has more than 2,000 payment points all over Nepal and account deposit in any commercial bank. Shrestha says his company provides, as its name suggests, quick and easy money transfer service at a competitive rate. In this regard, NepaliSamajUK.com recently caught up with him. Here are the excerpts:
NepalisamajUK.com: What inspired you to be engaged in remittance field and how did you come up with the idea?
Shrestha: I came to UK in 1996. Like other Nepalese residing here, sending money to Nepal through reliable source and with less transfer cost was a matter of worry back then. There were very few mediums which were expensive, if not risky. The potential of the market triggered me to establish Qne Remit to serve the Nepalese community who were in need of secure, reliable and fast money transfer service.
NepalisamajUK.com: What are your unique service features? What makes Qne special so that people choose you to others?
Shrestha: In this sector, the only distinction we can draw is through the service we provide. The exchange rates provided to customers from different remittance companies are slightly different, but the service provided to customers can make a huge difference. We always train our staff to provide efficient and personalized service to all our customers. I personally believe in "word-of-mouth" promotion. Keeping your customers happy is the best marketing tool ever. However, the price factor also matters so we always strive to give best rates to our customers. Not failing to mention, the fact that we have partnered with renowned bank like Himalayan Bank Limited in Nepal has also given us platform to win the trust of our customers. Their wide distribution range reaching possible nooks and crannies of the country has facilitated many of our customers to reach their families in secure manner. And we always try to make our service faster, easier and secure too.
NepalisamajUK.com: What is the most common challenge or problem faced by Nepalese remittance companies, using the banking channel?
Shrestha: There are still number of customers who still encourage unregistered firms like Hundi. Using a proper banking channel means following the rates offered by Nepal Rastriya Bank, which inevitably makes us unable to give competitive rates in compare to Hundi. People don't realize the amount of risk they are taking until and unless any incident really occurs. I assume this is the only problem faced by all of the remittance companies regardless of so much of awareness.
NepalisamajUK.com: What is your greatest achievement?
Shrestha: I believe that, having trusted by so many customers and still on business mean one of the greatest achievements in itself.
NepalisamajUK.com: How does it feel being the owner of one of the few successful Nepalese entrepreneurs in the UK?
Shrestha: I feel proud to be trusted by so many valued customers and their concern towards remittance through proper banking channel is very much appreciable. However, it is not an end, I now feel more responsible towards my valued customers, my team, government and country as a whole.
NepalisamajUK.com: Have you ever thought of starting a money remittance business from scratch was a bit too ambitious?
Shrestha: As I mentioned earlier, after analysing the market demand, I just felt it was right time to do it. Determination is always necessary in whatever we do in our life, so I would not term it as 'too ambitious' but a right determination to do the right thing at the right time.
NepalisamajUK.com: What important trends do you see in your industry?
Shrestha: Due to the political and economic instability in Nepal and lifestyle of ex-British Gurkhas, foreign employment will still remain a major attraction for Nepalese people. However, with the current changes in UK regulation for visa process and work permit criteria; slight decline in growth has already been observed. Such a situation, if persists for long, can pose serious threat to the industry.
NepalisamajUK.com: Do you have further plans to expand your business? Where do you see yourself in five years?
Shrestha: We are definitely planning to expand the business. For now we are just focusing in the UK market. Due to the new rules and regulations for payment institutes, we still need some more time to bring our business on the track smoothly. After that we plan to expand in Europe. If everything goes as planned, we will definitely have few branches in UK soon.
NepalisamajUK.com: How helpful have Nepal's banks been to support your venture?
Shrestha: From the beginning of its establishment we are in partnership with Himalayan Bank Limited. Their support has helped our business a good deal to grow. There different facilities like opening different types of account from UK, remittance collection facilities in more than 2,500 points across Nepal and their personalized service for customers have helped us win the trust of customers.
NepalisamajUK.com: How does your service help boost Nepal government's revenue generation?
Shrestha: As per the statistics, remittance contributes significantly to Nepal's economy. Statistics shows that most of the remittance amount is invested in household purposes, purchasing land/houses, paying off loans and investment in new business. Most of the migrants send their money for saving and later on has invested in new businesses. After observing this huge impact Central Bank also started to issue license to private sector organization for remittance transfer business.
NepalisamajUK.com: In your opinion, what are the key factors which make a successful entrepreneur?
Shrestha: Positive attitude for continuous learning and development is one of the key factors to become successful in life. In present world where technology and market are changing rapidly, it is very essential to keep yourself updated in order to survive. Apart from that you need continuous dedication, satisfied customers and most importantly your asset: employees. Some companies spend their most of the time focusing only in meeting the needs of customers but they overlook the importance of their staff. I believe, happy employees have capabilities to make customers happy and if customer is happy they are the key factor to make your business successful.
NepalisamajUK.com: Do you have some tips for potential entrepreneurs who like to start general business in the UK?
Shrestha: Though the sector seems to be promising, there are lots of challenges to be fulfilled in this sector apart from pocketing profits. Since we are dealing with money there is high amount of risk, lots of compliance with regulations and earning customer's trust is equally challenging. Particularly, the margins earned by Hundi's have attracted many individuals to jump into this business, which definitely does not have long term prospective. So I would suggest the new-comers to carry-out massive amount of research before entering into this market.