Burey busi­ness flour­ishes across the bor­der

Business Bhutan - - Business - Jigme Wangchen from Sam­drup Jongkhar

It is a gloomy day and Sam­drup Jongkhar is ca­cophonous with the traf­fic and crowds.

How­ever, this is noth­ing com­pared to the air of ex­cite­ment about 4km away to­wards the bor­der town of Daranga in Assam.

Com­muters make vis­its to the crowded street known by the name Mela bazaar or Gu­dama where piles of unique tex­tiles are dis­played on the racks that are per­fectly fab­ri­cated with tra­di­tional Bhutanese de­signs.

Apart from all forms of gho and kira, the hawk­ers also sell other burey items like thread, kab­ney (scarf), shawl and te­gos.

Com­muters buy burey for them­selves while some buy them as gifts. The ma­jor buy­ers are peo­ple liv­ing in the eastern dzongkhags.

Gupta, 44, who has been sell­ing burey items for the last 25 years greets peo­ple pass­ing by in Shar­chop and ask if they want to buy burey.

Like Gupta, other shop­keep­ers also speak flu­ent Shar­chop as they had been in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple from the east since time im­memo­rial.

With more than 20 Bhutanese cus­tomers vis­it­ing his shop daily, he sells burey items worth Nu 200,000 a month. “I have cus­tomers as far as from Paro and Thim­phu who thrive on do­ing burey busi­ness there,” he said. “Es­pe­cially dur­ing win­ter va­ca­tion and sum­mer va­ca­tion I can make more profit.”

The price of a burey gho and kira ranges up to Nu 15,000 and for kab­ney the prices range up to 4,000 de­pend­ing upon the qual­ity.

Another shop­keeper said that his monthly sales range from Nu 50,000 to Nu 200,000.

Sim­i­larly, a whole­sale dealer, Vi­jay said that he keeps a very small profit of Nu 100 to 200 per piece. “My cus­tomers are from Thim­phu, Bumthang and Paro, they visit only once a month and buy silk worth Nu 200,000.”

Sonam Jamt­sho, 28, from Trashigang who thrives on do­ing burey busi­ness said he has been in­volved in the busi­ness for the past two years. “I am con­tin­u­ing my fa­ther’s busi­ness who has been do­ing burey busi­ness for the past two decades,” he said. “Ev­ery­one buys burey items and we can make a good profit from the busi­ness.”

He also said that burey busi­ness is his main means of sur­vival.

Ad­di­tion­ally, he also said that he does not have to worry about not be­ing able to sell the burey items. “There is a big rush for the prod­ucts in the coun­try.”

Un­like Sonam Jamt­sho, there are other burey buy­ers who come to buy burey items ev­ery year for their fam­ily.

“This is a place to stay if peo­ple come look­ing to buy burey items,” said one of the shop­pers. “Burey prod­ucts are af­ford­able here.”

Mean­while, of the 50 shops, nine are whole­sale deal­ers sell­ing a va­ri­ety of burey clothes, while there are shops deal­ing with re­tail busi­ness.

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