Back in Nepal, Shrestha re-started his shop in Jhamsikhel and trained staff to become mechanics. “I was very passionate about this business, not only to sell bikes but to get more Nepalis interested in going out to the great outdoors. This is both fun and environment-friendly.”
Shrestha started mapping mountain-biking routes around Kathmandu Valley, giving enthusiasts on-the-spot training to develop biking skills and techniques. Outside Kathmandu, his sister company, Epic Rides Nepal, started guided tours, taking cyclists for one-day trips to Hetauda and Chandragiri Ridge, and then longer and tougher 10-day grinds in Mustang and Annapurna.
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The company organised even longer 21-day trips to Lhasa, cycling 1,000 km. This September, Shrestha’s team organised the first of a kind, 12-day biking trip for Nepali riders in Colorado and Utah.
“Since the beginning we targeted Nepalis because that made the business sustainable,” says Shrestha, adding that his Nepali customers have helped his company grow to an annual turnover of Rs20 million today.
Shrestha is also involved in various charities, organising awareness campaigns through annual bike rallies on Breast Cancer Day in memory of his wife, donating the proceeds to hospitals to treat cancer patients who cannot afford treatment. He also helps with an HIV/AIDS treatment centre in Kirtipur.
Rupesh Shrestha’s advice for success is to muster courage, patience and passion, and learn from failures. And finally: “Only get into a business doing something you are really passionate about, and don’t rush it. Never give up.”