“The summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters.” – Conrad Anker.
The mountains possess an enchanting allure that beckons to our souls, murmuring captivating tales of adventure and unexplored possibilities. And this very pull leads some to places where they transform their lives and even impact thousands of others. For one remarkable individual hailing from an average and humble background, the magnetic pull of the Himalayas proved irresistible, leading him on an extraordinary journey and he named it “my Pahadi dukan”.
The story of Himanshu Dua, who happens to be the co-founder and CEO of “My Pahadi Dukan,” which is a unique e-commerce store, is one of those real stories that have origins in the mountains and have impacted thousands of individuals living in the remotest areas of the Himalayas. It deserves to be told to the world.
It is the story of Himanshu Dua and his three friends, who were wandering to find motivation, and they found their life goal in the mountains. Today, he and his three friends, Shubham Tandon, Mohammed Anas Zubair, and Rohan Sehgal, have created a platform called ” My Pahadi Dukan” where people from far away in the mountains are able to showcase their products not only to the people living in India but also to an international audience and make a better living.
My Pahadi Dukan started off with just 30 products, and six vendors now have more than 400 products to offer. About 80 vendors from 10 to 11 states, from Kashmir to Nagaland, are able to sell their unique products to Indian and international audiences from the USA, China, the UK, Taiwan, and Singapore. So how did Himanshu Dua make this happen? Let’s go to a flashback and look at how it came into existence!
The Journey of Himanshu Dua from a Student to “My Pahadi Dukan “ Founder
Dua belongs to Bahadurgarh, which is a small town in Haryana. He graduated from the botany field and holds a master’s degree in forensic science from Delhi University. However, since his childhood, he has been exposed to travel. During his school days, he got the opportunity to visit Leh, Ladakh.
The awe-inspiring landscapes of Leh and Ladakh seemingly whisper their enchantment to him, forever captivating his heart and igniting and seeding an unwavering passion for their tranquil beauty and the simple people living there.
A Prodigy of our own, Phunsukh Wangdun( AKA “3 Idiots” famous character) institute
Apart from his degrees, he has also done 2 fellowships at the Himalayan Institute of Alternative Ladakh(HIAL), which is famous for its founder, Sonam Wangchuk, the person on whom the fictional character of Phunsukh Wangdun in the 2009 film ‘3 Idiots was conceptualized and played by Mr. Perfectionist Amiri Khan. It seems “Himanshu” took the lesson “Knowledge ke piche bhago, success jak marte huye piche aayegi” (Gain knowledge and success will come automatically) seriously and put his soul and sweat into finding something where he can make a difference in people’s lives.
Before he started Pahari Dukan, the main focus of his professional life, he had done some projects on waste management in the mountains. He even planned and handled a unique project for a remote village in Ladakh, through which the people living in the remote area were trained to run homestays. However, his true calling came in the form of my Pahadi dukan, which he started with the help of three of his friends whom he met during his Naropa fellowship.
When we realised that few people outside of our area knew about the treasures the mountains held, and that those living here were leaving for the metropolis in pursuit of better jobs, we set out to change that.
How did the Idea of My Pahadi Dukan come into existence
During his travels, he used to notice that there were many indigenously made products that were not getting the exposure they deserved. Countless indigenous products, crafted with love and care, were languishing in obscurity, desperately seeking the limelight they deserved.
So he came up with the idea of opening an e-commerce store dedicated to selling these hidden treasures from remote villages to domestic and international customers. This idea was original and had the power to transform people’s lives by allowing them to earn money simultaneously.
We (the founders) are all enthusiastic travellers. And as we travelled through the years, we came across numerous small ventures offering indigenous, organic, and pure items. But these treasures were hidden in the mountains. We want to give a forum for all of these aspiring businesses to engage with individuals around the country. This enables our environmentally concerned customers to get high-quality items at reasonable pricing. And the lack of middlemen raises our merchants’ earnings. Quality items with a significant on-the-ground effect! In a nutshell, this is what we stand for.
Himanshu and his co-founders felt it was a great opportunity to create something sustainable and profitable. Naturally, their first motivation was to create something to help people living in these regions. And boy, have they delivered? Today, their startup has the backing of IIT Mandi Catalyst, Mr. Ritesh Agarwal from Oyo Rooms at IIM Kashipur, and they have secured financing from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.
What products do they sell, and where are they sourced from?
My Pahadi Dukan is sourcing products from Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Bhutan. If you go to big e-commerce players like Flipkart or Amazon, you will not find the amazing products this platform offers. Some of the best mentions are dry fruits, ladaki shilajit, Kashmiri saffron, walnuts, cow ghee, jams, pure honey, and many natural teas sourced from the high Himalayas.
The platform has a customer satisfaction rate of almost 98%, and they are able to dispatch their products all over the world, including India, because of their unique style of working, where they take preorders as well as deliver fruits and other products in good shape by using vacuum -free packing.
A quick glance through the reviews available on the website will help you understand that they are thoroughly professional, and most customers love their products because of their top-notch quality and uniqueness. Not to mention that My Pahadi Dukan is turning out to be a great platform for farmers, producers, and small businessmen from remote regions of faraway places in the Himalayas.
What is” My Pahadi Dukan “ aiming for in the future?
As Mr. Himanshu Dua shares his grand vision for “My Pahadi Dukan,” he aims for the stars, believing that the sky’s the limit for their e-commerce venture. He wants his brainchild to be known as the Amazon of Himalayan goods. While some may say it’s a tall order, he firmly believes that with every passing day, their inventory will grow, their reach will expand, and even the most remote corners of the mountains will have a chance to showcase their incredible products on their e-commerce site.
Our goal is to create an Amazon for all things Himalayans. And the results suggest that we are heading in the right direction.
He concedes that there are challenges, and maintaining a business is not a small task. However, he thinks his ideas are noble, his efforts are honest, and he will accomplish his targets in the future. And he has no reason not to think in this manner and aim for the sky. Because his passion is pure and his purpose is noble, and with the knowledge and support of partners and co-workers, “My Pahadi Dukan” will undoubtedly fly high.
At My Pathadi Dukan, you’ll find magnificent treasures including handmade marvels, tantalizing flavors, and support for local craftsmen. Look through the window at the most peculiar Pahadi items, and check out their Instagram, Facebook, and website! Try something that is not just real but is surreal.
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