This is Biratnagar-based family-run electric goods company is going new heights by diversifying and expanding its business and brands.
"A dream doesn't become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work," says Satya Narayan Agrawal, the chairman of Kailash Trading Company (KTC). It was in 1974 when Satya Narayan Agrawal with his humble beginning and a dream to serve the public with high quality electrical products started his journey in the electrical goods business with a small shop in the eastern city of Biratnagar. Today, KTC is one of the market leaders in supplying electrical goods and appliances all over Nepal having a network of over 150 dealerships across the country with four sister concerns namely, NG Electro Power, NG Electricals Pvt Ltd, NG Traders and Electra Electric Nepal Pvt Ltd. The company offers complete electrical solutions to its customers, introducing modern electrical product range such as lighting, switches, switchgears, wires, fans, heaters, geysers etc. The company is also engaged in providing complete industrial electrical solutions such as MCB, MCCB, ACB, VCB, motor protection devices and control panels.
It has been a fascinating and rewarding 44-year journey for KTC, its owners, employees and its customers. With the mantra of "quality assurance and product safety" Satya Narayan moved ahead and ran the business on his own for almost two decades. In 1989, the group partnered with renowned brands such as Usha and Mex to become their authorised channel partner for Nepal.
From around the mid-1990s, his two sons - Nandip Agrawal and Gopal Agrawal started helping him and began to learn the aspects of electric trade by working at the shop at various times as school and college students.“My father and brother would always motivate me to join the business. Once I completed my high school, I started getting many responsibilities of the business,” recalls Gopal. After completing their studies, both brothers started giving their full time to the business started by their father. Today, both of them work as the directors of KTC.
“Gradually following the direction shown by my father and under the guidance of my brother, we started getting associated with different brands one after another and the business also expanded,” says Gopal.
In its journey to become one of the major players in the country’s electrical goods markets, Kailash Trading collaborated with different Indian and international electric manufacturers like Havells India Ltd, Crabtree India Ltd, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, HPL Pvt Ltd, Multispan and Siemens Ltd in addition to Usha International Ltd and Mex Switchgear Pvt Ltd. The company’s business grew remarkably especially over the last decade after the Agrawal brothers changed the business model drastically.
It was not an easily achievable dream of Satya Narayan Agrawal. It was an era when domestic manufacturing companies faced a threat from both cheap products and high quality multinational products. But it was his dream, strength, strategy and support received from his sons which worked out in staying in the market even during those tough times of long civil war and political instability in the country when economy was badly affected.
“What has paid in the long run is our continuous investment in electrical products and a large distribution network across the country that has kept us ahead and helped us win the hearts of millions of Nepali consumers,” expresses Gopal.
According to Gopal, each and every tie-up that KTC established with international brands which was a turning point for the company. Besides that, the end of load-shedding in the country came as a major turning point. “The market of electrical goods has grown significantly in Nepal after the end of power cut commonly known as the load-shedding. The credit for this goes to Kulman Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority,” he says.
KTC launched its own brand Electra Electric in 2015. “That too was a major turning point for us. Since then, we have been manufacturing our own products in India and bringing them into the Nepali market,” shares Gopal. For the promotion of its Electra Electric products, the company had also organized a grand event for the first time in electrical segment in 2015 in Kathmandu where different new electrical switches and switchgears of the brand were launched.
Gopal shares that KTC has witnessed a threefold growth over the last decade. Unlike many other companies which have their head offices in the capital, KTC has its head office in Biratnagar and a branch office in Kathmandu. “We have a network of more than 150 dealers across the country. We have been distributing the products of our own brand and the products of other multinational brands with which we are associated with in all the major cities of Nepal through our present infrastructure. We are planning to expand our network even to the inner parts of the country.”
For strong bonding and satisfaction of its customers, the company has specific teams for different segments. Nandip Agrawal leads the team overseeing the industrial segment of the company. Switch gears, motors, reactive power solutions, earthing solutions, industrial fans, metering and controllers, etc are the products under this segment. Likewise, the consumer segment, headed by Gopal Agrawal, includes products like switches, fans, wires and cables, electric heaters, water heaters and lighting. According to Gopal, Kailash Trading is only the company in Nepal with multiple electric brands in multiple segments.
Four years ago, KTC started NG Electrical Pvt Ltd, one of its sister concerns. “Some of the major multinational brands we are associated with such as Havells, Usha, HPL and Mex have been placed under the roof of NG Electricals,” shares Gopal. Under its own Electra Electric brand, the company produces nano premium plate switches, EL Guard MCBs, EL-LINE DBs among other products.
“We can rank ourselves as one of the leading companies trading in electrical goods,” shares Gopal. According to him, the company maintains an adequate share in the electrical business and is planning to open branches in the western parts of Nepal too. “We plan to be the market leader in the electrical product segment in the country. To expand our market presence, we are going to launch more products in the coming days.”
Gopal says that new companies trading in electrical goods keep coming up in the market challenging the existing companies. The company has been closely following the market trends and taking steps to cope up with the challenges.
Importing electrical goods and appliances from India through the Biratnagar customs office is another challenge for the company. “For the last 10 years, we have been hearing that the Biratnagar dry port will be ready very soon. But that is yet to happen. As a result, we are compelled to import the goods through a flood-damaged bridge on the Indian territory that has not been completely repaired yet. Because of this, sometimes it takes additional time just for the imported products to cross the border into Nepal. Obviously, it increases the transportation costs,” says Gopal.
•Own brand and dealers
•Multiple brands in multiple segments
•Long business history
Weaknesses/ Areas to Improve
•Need to enhance management
•Need to boost after-sales service
•Becoming the market leader
•Emerging need for multiple brands in multiple segments