En­joy­ing the sweet smell of suc­cess

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XUWEI and DAQIONG

The grow­ing in­ter­est in Ti­betan Bud­dhism among Han Chi­nese has pre­sented a unique busi­ness op­por­tu­nity for Dawa Phuntsok, who is the ma­jor share­holder in a fac­tory that makes Ti­betan in­cense in Ny­ingchi, a pre­fec­ture-level city in the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

Rev­enue at the fac­tory, which be­gan op­er­a­tions in June, has al­ready hit 70,000 yuan ($10,000) thanks to boom­ing sales among lo­cals and via on­line mar­ket­places.

“We are ex­pect­ing more rev­enue from our on­line chan­nels, and we have re­ceived lots of pos­i­tive feed­back from clients in Guang­dong and Fu­jian prov­inces,” Dawa said.

In Ti­betan medicine, in­cense is a rec­og­nized treat­ment for a num­ber of ill­nesses and as a ster­il­iz­ing agent it can also be used as an an­tibi­otic. Its use is also in­te­gral to Ti­betan Bud­dhist rit­u­als.

Dawa, a for­mer lum­ber­jack, started from scratch 10 years ago when he set up a busi­ness that sup­plied gravel to con­struc­tion com­pa­nies. When busi­ness dried up, he be­gan look­ing for his next ven­ture, and he found in­spi­ra­tion at home.

“I dis­cov­ered a recipe for Ti­betan in­cense that had been left by my grand­fa­ther. I only saw him mak­ing in­cense when I was a child, but I de­cided to try the recipe my­self,” the 40-year-old said.

His ex­per­i­ment was suc­cess­ful, and he de­cided to set up a busi­ness mak­ing in­cense sticks.

Ny­ingchi’s wealth of eco­log­i­cal

It’s im­pos­si­ble for the poverty-re­lief ef­forts to reach ev­ery­body, so peo­ple need to stand on their own two feet.” Dawa Phuntsok, ma­jor share­holder in an in­cense fac­tory in Ny­ingchi

re­sources pro­vides Dawa with a rich sup­ply of medic­i­nal herbs, which are im­por­tant in­gre­di­ents in Ti­betan in­cense.

He set up the fac­tory, lo­cated in a vil­lage near a na­tional high­way, as a joint ven­ture with 10 fel­low vil­lagers and ob­tained a loan of about 1 mil­lion yuan through the re­gional gov­ern­ment’s poverty-re­lief pro­gram. The fac­tory em­ploys four peo­ple from des­ig­nated poverty-stricken house­holds, who earn 1,000 yuan for seven days’ work every month.

Dawa hopes that as the busi­ness ex­pands, the work­ers will gain skills that will even­tu­ally al­low them to sup­port them­selves.

“It’s im­pos­si­ble for the poverty-re­lief ef­forts to reach ev­ery­body, so peo­ple need to stand on their own two feet. I just hope they can learn about the im­por­tance of be­ing open-minded and tak­ing the ini­tia­tive to im­prove their lives,” he said.

XU WEI / CHINA DAILY

Dawa Phuntsok checks in­cense at the fac­tory in Ny­ingchi where he is the ma­jor share­holder.

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