Na kper is a business run jointly by a husband and wife duo. In their interview Mr.Damewanmi suchiang and his wife Mrs. Sheila Angelica Rymbai tell us about their inspiration to start the business. Sheila Angelica Rymbai has completed her post graduate in Masters of Psychology and counselling, where Mr Damewanmi has done his Masters in Environmental science. More often than not, do we see people become passionate about the subject they studied, or even think about passionately pursuing, the knowledge they gained over the years and applying it. Na kper defies all odds and stand apart as a business that looks after mother earth and help preserve the traditional farming techniques of Meghalaya.
Although the business plan was formulated years before it was actually established. It took them 3 years and finally in 2020, they started their business. Na kper brings out the world’s best variety of Turmeric (Lakadong Variety). It is grown in the soils of Shangpung in west Jaintia hills of Meghalaya. It is harvested using age-old farming techniques, devoid of the harmful chemicals and fertilizers usually found in other conventional harvesting techniques.
Lakadong turmeric is one of the best quality turmeric and is a special kind due to the fact, the curcumin usually found in turmeric is 8.30% high than other turmeric, certified by SGS India. Some of their products are Na kper turmeric, sticky rice, and perilla seeds.
As the pandemic strike in 2020, they had a huge obstacle in front of them, the market was down, the lockdown was on the rise, but they refused to give up. Mr Damewan says- although times were tough, we decided to stick to the business and take it, “SLOWLY AND STEADILY”. Na kper is a woman driven company with only 3 men monitoring the operational duties.
Na kper is an indigenous phrase meaning from the garden, Mr Damewanmi says, we kept this name for the business because of the love we have for our native land, and we wanted to give something back to the community you know something like a Brand to remember our hometown by.
Na kper is a small business venture, but they are here to accomplish some big missions, one of the missions here, is to retain and maintain the indigenous farming techniques which are on the verge of being replaced by the modern techniques. Another mission is to help people connect to their roots, to awaken people to the old ways of “slow and steady”. Na kper is offered various initiatives as help by the government, but they humbly decline them in order to stick to their vision and complete their mission. The most important thing for Na kper is hygiene and fair trade. They don’t believe in swindling other for profit. Their packaging is made up of UV protected plastic, which increases the cost a bit, but in the end its benefits the customer .Na kper measures their success with the happiness of their customer and prides themselves on being able to give employment that can help many families.
They have a core belief that they will not compete with anyone, but rather find their ways to establish themselves on a bigger platform. They want to benefit fellow human beings, and want to give their very best to their cause. They have no mantra for success, rather a vision which they cherish and forge; it is “the promotion of indigenous farming techniques”. In the future Na kper wants to expand their business, they sincerely hope Na kper becomes a household name associated with quality, they are even thinking of establishing their own website and stepping into international waters.
In the end Mr Damewanmi shares that, “even though Na kper is a full-fledged business now, we still haven’t reached the breakeven point”, the salary of their employee sometimes comes out of their pocket, but they are determined to take things slow and steady.
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