Lo­cal soap & phenyl make it to the shelves

Business Bhutan - - Business - Dechen Dolkar from Thim­phu

Lo­cal laun­dry items such as soap and phenyl are be­ing pro­duced un­der the Moun­tain Mist brand.

Moun­tain Mist pro­duces three types of soap in­clud­ing lemon­grass, ap­ple and laven­der soap. They also pro­duce two types of phenyl: Tongfu and lemon­grass phenyl.

Twenty-nine year old Chimi Lhamo, a mother of two, said that her hus­band in­tro­duced her to the idea of soap man­u­fac­tur­ing.

She said her hus­band ac­quired the skill when he at­tended a soap mak­ing train­ing, which was or­ga­nized by His Majesty’s Sec­re­tariat in 2014 with sup­port from ex­perts from Thailand.

On com­ple­tion, he demon­strated the tech­niques and made soap which she used on trail ba­sis. Af­ter us­ing the soap, she re­al­ized that her skin tone and tex­ture had im­proved.

“My skin be­came clearer, more moist and sup­ple. The soaps’ main in­gre­di­ent was glyc­erin. Glyc­erin-based soaps are con­sid­ered to be one of the most mois­tur­iz­ing types of soap,” said Chimi Lhamo.

The nat­u­ral com­bi­na­tion of glyc­erin, lemon grass oil and color pig­ment such as turmeric helps skin to be­come healthy and mois­tur­ized. Due to huge pos­i­tive ben­e­fits, she asked her hus­band to teach her the skills so that she could pro­duce some num­bers for per­sonal use.

Be­ing a housewife, she made soaps dur­ing her free time not only for her­self but to oc­ca­sion­ally gift some to rel­a­tives and friends. The raw prod­uct be­came very pop­u­lar and in much de­mand in her cir­cle.

Many en­cour­aged her to take up the skill pro­fes­sion­ally and man­u­fac­ture on a com­mer­cial sale. “With this pos­i­tive feed­back and im­pe­tus, I de­cided to man­u­fac­ture a small batch and sold through so­cial me­dia. My ini­tial batch did very well at the mar­ket with very pos­i­tive feed­back,” she said.

Chimi Lhamo started her busi­ness in 2016 with a col­lat­eral-free loan of Nu 600,000 from Lo­den Foun­da­tion.

Moun­tain Mist man­u­fac­tures ho­tel soap as well. “We are also bring­ing up a new liq­uid laun­dry soap but it’s not yet launched,” said Chimi Lhamo.

In­gre­di­ents in Moun­tain Mist prod­ucts in­clude lemon­grass, ap­ple, laven­der and pine. They im­port some of the in­gre­di­ents from Thailand and In­dia while oth­ers are lo­cal prod­ucts.

Most of the prod­ucts are sold to ho­tels, med­i­cal sup­pli­ers, gro­cery shops, tourist ho­tels and to hand­i­craft shops.

“Our prod­ucts are very new to the mar­ket yet we are do­ing well so far. Our prod­ucts have reached five dzongkhags as of now,” said Chimi Lhamo.

Chimi said the chal­lenges she faces right now are the fact that her busi­ness is not yet fully set up, they are not sta­ble fi­nan­cially and mar­ket­ing is also dif­fi­cult be­cause peo­ple do not trust a new prod­uct eas­ily.

A 25g Moun­tain Mist ho­tel soap costs Nu 10, a 60g body soap costs Nu 50 and a bot­tle of phenyl costs Nu 85.

As of now, Moun­tain Mist has em­ployed two em­ploy­ees and is plan­ning to re­cruit two more.

Chimi Lhamo added that cur­rently they man­u­fac­ture the prod­uct man­u­ally but in the fu­ture they are plan­ning to ex­pand the com­pany and in­crease pro­duc­tion.

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