Entrepreneurship in Overseas: Heart in Homeland

Raju Manandhar
An editor at Nepalese Australian

Everest Momo Australia

Great numbers of young Nepalese are involved in wide-ranging entrepreneurship across Australia. Many of them are making name for themselves as inspiring entrepreneurs putting the community first. They are very mindful of their obligation towards their clients and committed to fulfilling their patriotic responsibilities towards the country of birth. The Nepalese community’s entrepreneur duo of Santosh Adhikari (CEO) and Pramod Rimal (CPEO) of Everest Mo:mo: Australia, who had come to Australia in 2008 on the same day, set up the restaurant ‘Everest Mo:Mo: Australia’ in 2017 in the magnificent city of Parramatta with the catchline: “From the top of the world to the rest of the world.”

When Santosh Adhikari, the established Flower City entrepreneur, was asked about his journey of mo: mo:, he shared,   “When the idea of getting into this business flashed through our minds, we at once envisioned that we would be selling frozen mo:mo:s  in Australia as the wholesaler in a way I had been doing in my Flower City since 2013. On second thought, we also decided to serve the cooked mo: mo:, in a different version and fusion. During our initial stage, we first used a machine to make mo: mo:, but that did not yield the expected Nepali taste and shape of mo:mo:. Then, we decided to make the mo: mo:,  in the traditional way of using hands. The taste and flavour came out as per our expectations or even exceeded it when made with hands using fresh dough and fresh ingredients. In the initial stage, serving cooked mo:mo: through restaurant came out to be an added bonus as it helped our customers to get attached to the taste and flavour that we wanted to produce which helped us in accelerating the frozen mo:mo: market.”

It is learned that Santosh had ever been in love with the mo:mo:, made by his wife Nitu Neupane Adhikari and he always teased her saying, “What if we take the same taste to the market? I believe they will love it”. And in the same way, Pramod Rimal, a passionate mo:mo: Chef, wanted to do the same thing. His wife Pragya Shree Rimal has equal enthusiasm and support for her husband’s skills. In 2017, when Santosh had spare time while his wife was away for 5 weeks, the duo got an opportunity to brainstorm regarding the new venture of Everest Mo:Mo: Australia. That is how they started their restaurant in Parramatta, and when it gained momentum, opened another restaurant in Westmead. Now, they are looking for more stores after the covid pandemic.

Variety is Spice of Life

When asked about the remarkable varieties of mo:mo:s in their restaurant, they would answer, “We always appreciated the classic view- If you want to make a difference in the world you must be different from the world. We offer more than 100 varieties/ options in different categories and flavours that include Goat, Lamb, Chicken, Vegetables with Vegan which are not available anywhere else in Australia.  We are the only mo:mo: restaurant that sells only mo:mo: and in these many varieties. Rather than selling mo:mo: in a general way, we aim to specialize in the art of making mo:mo:. As we mean to establish ourselves as the specialist in mo:mo: industry, we need to make sure that we exclusively offer different ranges of mo:mo:s in different kinds of flavour. We have been making consistent research on it so that we can have finding which is likely to guide us for further improvement. We have been offering quality mo:mo: that fits everyone’s taste as a result, the top doctors and professionals from Westmead hospital are also our regular customers.”

They added, “Mo:mo: is normally liked by Nepalese and when we started in Parramatta the non- Nepalese customers liked it too and showed the love towards our mo:mo:. When some people asked us if we have the types of mo:mo:s, they have been looking for their native tastes and flavours in our Nepalese mo:mo:, we could proudly answer positively because we have incorporated foreign fusion twist in our mo:mo:s. Targeting the Indian customers we crafted chat Mo:mo:, made sukuti mo:mo:s for those we like to have it with drinks. Our recent hot product is Tandoori mo:mo:and Kur Kure mo:mo:. And by the end of 2021, we will have launched more amazing flavours such as Smokey Mutton mo:mo:, Tangy Kothey, Spicy fried mo:mo: which we believe will be the best sellers in no time.”

When asked if mo:mo: would have a noteworthy future they answered, “When cooked with steaming, all nutrition will remain within which is beneficial to our health. Secondly, in the past people used to think that the ingredients in mo:mo: would be that of left-over food and was made tasty just using the spices but now people have started looking quality in this food. We are using the finest mince and the quality flour that covers it. In the past, there was a widespread practice of making it hot and spicy and using fat to make it tasty and juicy. We avoid these traditional ingredients as we intend to develop mo:mo: as a decent healthy product that would be loved by everyone. If you deliver a high-quality product and sell it at the normal standard price it will be high on demand. Mo:mo: has a great future, the only thing seemingly preventing us from taking it to the next level is that people have not given due devotion to it.”

 “We use the most common words that are very popular about Nepal within the foreign community included. Everyone knows that one of the best places for trekking and adventure in the world is Mt. Everest, and the most popular Nepalese food is mo:mo.” 

Heart in Nepal: Spirit in Australia 

The public-spirited youth entrepreneurs have a natural tendency to donate money to charity besides their business promotion.

Santosh Adhikari had a proud volunteering experience in Nepal. He was involved in the Post Graduate society of sociology and anthropology at Patan Multiple Campus, TU, Nepal. It raised the fund to support the school for kids in Nepal. Ever since he landed in Australia in 2008, he has always been seeking an opportunity to continue his passion in Australia with his like-minded business partner Pramod Rimal.

In 2018, Santosh and Pramod tried their hand at the charity work of distinction in Australia. That has motivated the duo to make further voluntary contributions to help noble causes. They supported Puskar Shah, who has paddled 211000 km around 150 countries in his bicycle and climbed Mt. Everest. They have taken responsibility to manage his social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and helped him to publish his Life Experience Story Book and distribute them in the international market. In 2021, they stepped forward to involve in the next charity endeavour.

In the last week of May, the world’s biggest virtual mo:mo: (a typical Nepalese dumpling) party to help COVID-19 victims in Nepal was held. The program was organised by ‘The Deepesh Show’ and Everest Mo:Mo: Australia was the Platinum Event Partner of this Guinness Book of World Record campaign. It had aimed to set the world record in The Guinness Book of World Records, however, they got recognition from World Books of Records. It set the record with more people eating mo:mo: at one time but it is yet to be certified by GBW. The event also raised the fund for the pandemic hit people in homeland Nepal. The proceeds went to “Nyanopan”, a Nepal-based renowned volunteer organisation.

Everest Momo Australia 1

Significance of the Name of the Restaurant

“We use the most common words that are very popular about Nepal within the foreign community included. Everyone knows that one of the best places for trekking and adventure in the world is Mt. Everest, and the most popular Nepalese food is mo:mo.”  These are the two words, every individual who has been to Nepal or has known Nepal or lives in Nepal would know. We decided to take these two words to promote our Mother Land Nepal. Since we started this journey in Australia and have equal love with this Nation which has given us so many opportunities to build our career, we wanted to associate this Nation as well in our Brand so we kept the Name Everest Mo:Mo: Australia which will be proud brand worldwide in the future.

They further added, “We have always been keen on skill development and the occupation that would make us independent. We asked ourselves why not do so by promoting arguably the most popular Nepalese cuisine. We wanted to introduce the proud Nepalese cuisine to the local Australian customers and the foreign migrants as there was no Nepalese restaurant in Parramatta when we started, and we gave a physical shape to our first dream. In the beginning, there was a massive flow of Nepalese customers, but still, more than 70 percent of our customers are from outside the Nepalese community which makes us feel prouder that our Nepalese food items are enjoying increasing popularity and are being loved by foreign nationals. Mo:mo: has a great future but many of us have not devoted ourselves to it so we have jointly decided to put our every effort into promoting it and expanding this business.”

When asked the scope of mo:mo: in Nepal and Australia, they would respond, “Here in Australia, with the limited resources, we, the less experienced ones have made the local people familiar with it and satisfied them with the Nepalese food and made them habituated to eating mo:mo: here, whereas in Nepal, with more qualified manpower, they can flourish much better in this industry. They have a plethora of opportunities and do not require a large amount of capital. The only thing we need to consider is we have to select the best ingredients and conduct consistent research in order to improve and maintain quality. We must, if necessary, resurrect it and continue to revise the product while maintaining the cleanliness of our own store and prioritizing promotional activities.”

When asked about the peculiar decoration of the restaurant, they would answer, “People speak reverently of hanging a flag outside one’s home and it is a pure patriotic gesture. That is the reason we have placed many Nepalese national flags and Nepalese themes in the restaurants along with other accessories which reflect Nepalese identity. The staff including us wear the dress which has red, blue, and white colour symbolizing the Nepalese national flag.”

When asked about Corporate Social Responsibility, they would say, “All great entrepreneurs have been considerably influencing social change by persistently maintaining corporate social responsibility.” They intend to promote their business by giving back to the community. In order to grow our business, we believe that we can give our customers new and improved products in addition to taking on volunteer work. Because we want to make a positive impact on society, we have adopted the CSR ideal. This is something we have always taken into consideration when it comes to our CSR efforts”

Promoting the Values of Co-existence through Excellence

When asked about the competition they are facing in the business, they would answer, “There is nothing like cut-throat competition among those who are in this business. Of course, we all believe in the healthy competition which encourages all of us to make better efforts into serving our customers.”

When asked about their relationship with the staff and customers, and competitors, they answered, “We are running our business on a daily basis, and you need good people around you. We value our staff, and the company is doing well because we are a strong team. All our staff is our own family members, and everyone gets equal care and opportunity for growth.”

When asked about the specialty of their mo:mo: to Pramod Rimal, who is the product engineer for his mo:mo: varieties and fusion, he would answer “We have been always inspired by the golden saying -Whatever you do, be different—that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out. – Anita Roddick. It is difficult to say if ours is the best but one thing we can guarantee is that our mo:mo:s are different from the rest. We make our mo:mo:s from the fresh dough. Even the spices that we use are freshly ground and we use the finest fresh ingredients. Everything in our store is made from scratch as we make it in our home. All our products even if they are served through the restaurant, you can get the touch and emotions as if they were homemade. Because, we do not make it with commercialization in mind, we put our love and emotions when crafting the mo:mo:. There is a love and care associated with every single mo:mo: that we produce.”

When asked why he left his good permanent job, he answered, “Job is the Temporary Solution of a Permanent Problem” and doing the job means you are fulfilling someone else’s dream with the skills and knowledge you have.  Also, no matter how successful you are in your job role when your kids grow up, they will have to start their careers from the scratch. But if you are a successful entrepreneur/businessman, your kids will have the luxury to take the business from the point where we leave and will not have to restart from the ground. Whatever we achieve will serve as a strong pillar for their success. Every business regardless of its size and type is good so, I would like to encourage all, if you have passion and enjoy the business, to get into a business of any kind. We are not making the Brand for now and to make some quick money and fame, we are Building the Brand for life. when our kids grow up, they will proud of the Brand we created.”

When asked about their forthcoming activities in this business, they would answer, “You will have to dream big. If you run only one mo:mo: shop, it will be limited. You will have to make a plan to take it to a large scale. In the future, we will take it to the franchise level. We have more plans to invest in the local community so that we have the rewarding experience that we have put something back to the community that loved and pushed us beyond our boundaries. The proceeds from the sale of every plate of mo:mo: we sell,  5 cents goes straight to Nyanopan Nepal. We are committed to contributing to charity work.”

Dr. Shamser Singh Thapa, a Sydney-based reputed Nepalese lawyer, and social campaigner said, “Santosh Adhikari always wanted to give some portions of his earning back to Nepal and even the name Everest reflects the love of the nation. He is motivated indeed by the exceptional sense of patriotism. He not only loves talking about the welfare of Nepal and her countrymen but wants to extend practical help to the homeland through various charity works. He is less concerned with his assets, wealth, and business as he is always inclined to serve the motherland that he misses much. Best wishes to his splendid journey in his commendable entrepreneurship coupled with the philanthropic campaign.”

NRNA, Australia vice-president and NSW coordinator Deb B. Gurung said, “It always feels great to see the first-generation Nepalese making their mark while serving the community in their own way and inspiring the second generation through their remarkable efforts and contributions.   The businesses run by Nepalese often create community identity and goodwill. They can provide jobs to the Nepalese because they are well-versed in preparing native cuisine. The local customers will be more curious to know about our tradition and culture as their shops are decorated with images reflecting native values and identities. We would like to express best wishes to our community’s duo of Santosh Adhikari and Pramod Rimal and all other community-spirited entrepreneurs.”