Bachelor graduate with at least two (2) years of sales experience, preferably within the financial sector.
Excellent customer service attitude
Excellent skills in communication and sales .Computer operation skills, such as email, Microsoft Office Suite. Ability to manage your work within agreed timelines
Sonika Manandhar, our co-founder and CTO is 1 of the 7 UNEP Young Champions of the Earth. During the Germany Covestro trip she along with her winner colleagues shared their work and ways to accelerate sustainable development in a meeting with the CEO of Covestro, Markus Steilemann.
Once upon a time, Nepal had the leading zero carbon emission public electric-vehicle industry. Yes, that’s a fairy tale now because the amount of carbon emissions by vehicles in Nepal doesn’t tell us we are even near contributing to the zero carbon emission. Safa-tempo started in the mid-1990s and was booming and blooming. It was locally manufactured but not anymore which shows how economical it would have been. At the time when safa-tempo was introduced, it required two sets of 12 acid- batteries which needed to be imported from California. This was one of the drawbacks along with harsh government policies in support of diesel micro-buses that were imported at that time. Once a world-leading commercial electric vehicle, safa-tempo was facing its downfall.
According to the safa-tempo association, there are a total of 714 safa-tempos in the valley right now. Some safa-tempos are still running and some are in the garage rusting. Due to government regulations, safa-tempo owners are currently facing an unanticipated crisis where they are required to pay eight years of income tax at once and if seen running without the proper renewed document then they are being fined for that too. The government denied providing any discounts on the taxes. In addition to that, custom duty was increased from 10 to 40 percent and the excise duty was fixed at the highest rate i.e. 80 percent during the budget for the Fiscal Year 2077/78. But recently, after a meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Cabinet decided to reduce the taxes by between 25% to 80% depending on the capacity of the vehicles, although the VAT and excise tax have been retained. Despite his own government’s commitment two years ago to make 20% of vehicles electric-powered by 2020, in his annual budget speech in May, Khatiwada increased the excise tax of only 10% on battery cars to 40%-60%, and another 60% customs duty. These fluctuations and lack of support from government policies have discouraged a lot of micro-entrepreneurs of the electric vehicle industry.
Present might seem difficult for safa-tempos but there is a possibility that it can turn around the current situation into a positive one in the near future. Aloi as a digital token loan service provider is trying to coordinate with the safa-tempo association helping safa tempo drivers have easy access to finance via digital token, build their capacity and help build multiple models of income. More companies like us and the government itself must invest in electric vehicles like safa-tempo. Electric vehicle industry like safa-tempo needs supports from the government more than ever now just to exist. Once we were able to manufacture safa-tempo so why not do it again! Why not manufacture the batteries locally which are required to run the safa-tempo? Why not make once a pioneering country in the commercial public electric vehicle industry, a pioneer again?
National Geographic Society recognizes and elevates the global changemakers and helps shine the light on the work they are doing around the globe. These global changemakers of the latest class of 2020 are chosen for empowering the next generation of changemakers and to show the power of science and exploration to transform the world.
Awards like these always motivate companies like Aloi and individual changemakers like Ms. Sonika Manandhar to do remarkable works illuminating the issues of our world and transforming them for the better. We would like to thank the National Geographic Society for the recognition of our work. Here’s to changing the world with technology and exploration!
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), nearly one-third of businesses are owned by women in Nepal. As reported by CBS, women own 29.8% of businesses. But if you look at the recent population data female (50.4%) population is more in comparison to male (49.6%). So we should really raise questions why are women far behind in owning enterprises.
There are varied reasons that it is hard for women to own and run a business. For starters women aren’t believed in and trusted on for starting a business on their own. Informal sector has 77.5% females and 66% males which proves that even if more women wanted to start their own micro-enterprise there is not much of data to show the banking institution for requesting loans as capital.
This is the reason why we at Aloi, thrive to build a digital system so strong yet easy for women to take up loans to start their own micro-enterprises and to build a strong credit history for them. It is not a competition between women versus men owned grassroot business but it is a concern of national economy that the bigger population is far behind to uplift the grassroot level economy.
Panel discussion for the virtual commemoration organized by UNEP
Earlier this week our co-founder and CTO Sonika Manandhar spoke at the panel discussion of the world’s first-ever International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. The panel was held on the 8th of September celebrating and embarking on the journey of efforts to keep the air clean. This year’s 2020 theme was ‘Clean Air for All’. For the discussion, our CTO was joined by great personalities like H.E. UNPGA, H.E. Secretary-General of the United Nations, and H.E. Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway.
Aloi’s CTO talked about how collective grassroots actions are the solution for cleaner air or climate change in general. Kathmandu became a green city pioneer by launching an electric trolley bus in 1975. After that Kathmandu introduced Nepal to 700 electric mini busses driven by women. At the time those mini busses reduced CO2equivalent to 17000 to 22000 kg/day compared to buses. Having said that our CTO explained how the same city suffers from air pollution that is five times higher than the safe level right now.
Aloi’s vision is to support informal sector micro-entrepreneurs in the electric vehicle-led public transport sector with affordable finance. Being a daughter of the former micro-entrepreneur herself, she understands how affordable capital is essential for building a prosperous economy. For instance, Sachita, one of our women safa tempo (electric minibus) drivers is an informal sector micro-entrepreneur, and the lack of enough financial footprints to prove her income leads to distrust of banks. Aloi being a fintech software company is helping mobilize the grassroots climate heroes who have been working from the very beginning to tackle climate change and air pollution. We had the solution before, we have the solution now, it takes grassroots actions to tackle global environmental threats like air pollution and climate change.
Here’s our quarterly (May to July) newsletter! Let us all look back at the progress we’ve made and reflect on the recognition we got from organizations like One Young World, Standard Chartered and GIZ. For more quarterly updates like these, subscribe by clicking on the top left corner in the newsletter.
The challenge is how can we re-imagine solutions to finance the growth of SMEs and trade to unlock prosperity for the world’s communities and to give solutions to this problem. Aloi Private Limited will be working towards it with the support from Standard Chartered. Aloi’s platform works with informal sector micro-entrepreneurs who do not have any collateral or credit history, so they borrow at high-interest rates. Aloi helps them access tailored loan products, increase business income, and automated personalised services, such as business skills support.
By winning Lead2030, Sonika Manandhar has enabled Aloi to expand to 12,000 borrowers and vendors next year. We are more than honored and excited to work with the support of One Young World and Standard Chartered.
The lockdown imposed in Nepal due to COVID-19 is affecting everyone’s livelihoods. The daily-wage workers like the safa-tempo drivers are the ones most affected by this lockdown. We interviewed some of the daily wage workers we work with through our product BijuliPower. It has been over 80 days now since the lockdown was imposed with a strict rule of social distancing and complete stop on public transportation. This impacted our safa tempo drivers adversely with no means of income. They don’t have any income sources to pay their loans, rather they are struggling to survive in Kathmandu with basic food supply and rent issues, as many are from areas outside of the Kathmandu Valley.
Some women drivers were able to go back to their villages which saved them a lot of money. Unfortunately, some couldn’t go back due to the sudden nature of the lockdown. One safa tempo driver that went back home felt like she didn’t fit in with the village lifestyle as she is used to living in the city. When they decided to come back to the city, her landlord wouldn’t allow her due to worries about covid transmission. This is sad for the safa tempo driver but it’s also a measure of precaution that the landlord had to take.
As we talked more, they shared with us their concern for their child’s education as everything is now online but without a daily wage, she couldn’t afford the internet fees. With so many urgent priorities, they don’t want to have to worry about education, but this is still causing a lot of stress. Regarding their business in the safa tempo industry, most women were hesitant and anxious because so far the public transportation business seems risky even once the lockdown lifts.
One woman driver shared she had to take responsibilities for 3 families with zero savings and solely with the income from safa tempo. Her husband has three wives including her and he is currently jobless. Right now, their sole income source is gone. This is the reason why this safa tempo driver says she would hesitate to take a future loan for upgrading the battery of her tempo. An increase in the Electric Vehicle taxes by the Nepal government has the safa tempo drivers worried about their future in this industry also.
To help these women in crisis Aloi launched a crowd funding campaign for 55 families of safa tempo drivers who were struggling for basic food supplies. We successfully surpassed the targeted number of families and have helped 196 families with 301 food packages distributed so far. We hope to help these families in this crucial situation brought by COVID-19.
Building financially resilient economies for the last mile populations
COVID-19 has impacted our financial and social systems and the world over is losing their jobs and seeing their incomes and assets erode. The pandemic is, therefore, putting the financial health of individuals, communities and by implication, entire countries at stake. UNCDF and Sida had organized a webinar that talked about how a financial health lens could help us address the needs and aspirations of individuals and communities most susceptible to the financial crisis in the last mile.
This webinar emphasizes building financially resilient economies for the last mile populations. It also sheds light on the role of digital as an enabler, as well as the varied models and solutions that UNCDF is using and/or repurposing to address the financial needs of vulnerable people: particularly women and informal workers, including those in the gig economy, along with migrant laborers..
Listen to what panelists from different professional backgrounds around the globe have to say on making a financially resilient economy for the last mile population.
For the occasion of World Environment Day 2020 (hosted by the UN Environment Programme), our team, under our product brand name BijuliPower, organized a virtual escape room competition. Called “Save the Earth and the Earth will Save You,” the participants had to solve riddles, decode cyphers and answer questions related to the environment in order to escape the room in the shortest time possible to win.
We had a lot of participants joining us from Nepal as well as from other countries. We would like to congratulate team Youngpreneurs for winning the escape room. On behalf of the winning team, BijuliPower is donating emergency food worth of 130 USD (NPR.15,000) to 10 families working in Kathmandu’s safa tempo sector (public electric minibuses).
Thank you to all the participants for joining us for the World Environment Day celebration through our virtual escape room!
Do you want to try it yourself? Click here to play!
Regrow is our agriculture product and for the pilot, we partnered with Mahila Sahayatra Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha, microfinance. This microfinance has borrowers mainly from farming households, livestock, and animal husbandry owners. Since the Nepal Government announced lockdown, the borrowers haven’t been able to go from district to district for a market to sell/buy. Their livelihood is in danger and are under debt they are not able to pay.
At this crucial time, they aren’t even getting a market for their product and their income source is almost nothing right now. For food supplies, these farmers rely on their production. Farming, which used to be their main source of income has now become useful just for their sustenance. Other than this, for covering small expenses one woman farmer quoted that, “apart from welding iron utensils, we earn from farming and working as a laborer in other farms. So somehow, I am managing to repay the loan from the earnings from welding iron for now.”
One farmer shared that the peas harvested in this season went to waste because normally, before the lockdown the collectors would come and collect it from the farm. Because of the lockdown, it’s not possible to sell even in their local market because their product is greater than the market demand. As a result, the wastage of pea cost each farmer NPR. 30,000-50,000. For the livestock and animal husbandry as well, the scenario is the same, neither they can sell their products nor they can buy due to no cash flow. Normally, farmers and livestock owners would re-pay their loan through this but sadly they aren’t able to do that right now.
For farmers and livestock owners suffering from numerous problems including loan re-payment, Aloi Private Limited has built a system that can monitor financial transactions to ensure that the funds have been used for the intended purpose. Most of the time what happens is these people take up loans initially for their occupational purpose but they end up using it for their household expenditure. To track these funds we link the recipient of funds with the vendors they will spend the funds on. For example; if we provide a digital token loan to Ram, a farmer then he can only use that token loan to buy goods and services like seeds, fertilizers, or agriculture skill training. The restriction isn’t bound to how much or when he spends it on but the restriction is on if he spends the token loan for his intended purpose or not. This solves a major issue of tracking funds. This will help farmers like Ram to spend their loans wisely for a greater return rather than general expenses.
As phones are easily accessible to farmers and livestock owners, we have used SMS as token loans. SMS is easier to operate for taking and processing loans with less or no requirement of mobility. These farmers use SMS to request token loans from Regrow system likewise, it is used by the farmer to pay our registered vendor for the payment of the purchased goods. Later on, the vendor then redeems the token loan through our partnered microfinance. This will be a huge help for faster transaction processing in times of crisis like COVID-19 where mobility is restricted.
Our technology helps in providing accessible and affordable financial services to support these farmers and livestock owners with utmost inclusivity of borrowers regardless of gender or any other social status. The trackable digitized loan helps them gain credibility in taking up loans that usually isn’t trusted by lenders (microfinance). During this pandemic, many people aren’t able to pay off their loans so by monitoring we are reducing the lending risks for microfinance and ultimately moving towards lower interest rates. This benefits both parties; the borrowers and the microfinance organization.
BijuliPower is one of the wings of our Green Energy Mobility platform (GEM). With BijuliPower we work with safa tempo (electric mini-bus) drivers. During this COVID-19 pandemic, people like them whose life depends on daily wages are the ones affected immensely. Crowdfunding is our small initiative in helping those groups of people and their families in this lockdown with basic food supplies through donations. For donations within Nepal we’ve offered three methods: Bank Transfer, eSewa and ips but we’re open to any other methods as well. For other countries, we’ve been using Paypal.
As of today, this is our 3rd week of crowdfunding and we have managed to surpass our target families which are 55 and have expanded our food assistance to 112 more families. In total, we’ve raised ₨.637,525 (US$5,234) and have helped 167 families with a distribution of 222 food packages till now. To assist these families with basic food supplies we have been working with our partner organization Krishna Khadyanna. They have been distributing food supplies to the families at different locations with adequate prevention. Our team would like to thank all our supporters that made Crowdfunding possible even in this crucial time.
On 23 September 2019, Aloi’s co-founder and CTO Sonika Manandhar spoke about Climate Action at the SDGLive zone on the sidelines of UNGA.
SDG Advocate Dia Mirza and Young Champion of the Earth 2019 Sonika Manandhar had a brief conversation with Covestro regarding an idea of creating an influencer-icon that is climate-focused is a great way to make people follow things that helps the environment. She says just like a fashion icon we also can have a climate icon being a thing around the world.
Aloi would like to congratulate our co-founder and CTO, Sonika Manandhar for being awarded the United Nations Environment Programme, Young Champions of the Earth award. She was one of the 7 award winners who presented her Green Energy Mobility platform (GEM) which aims to make electric public transportation a quality alternative to private vehicles to combat climate change. As Safa tempos, or electric minibuses, are ubiquitous in Kathmandu and well-known for being women-owned, GEM’s vision is to help women own and upgrade their electric vehicles through low-interest impact financing.
On January 15 2020, our co-founder and CTO Sonika Manandhar spoke at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi in the panel discussion: “Millenials Do it Differently: Young Environmental Leaders and Their Vision for Tomorrow”. Along with the other two of the United Nations Environment Program’s “Young Champions of the earth” in the panel discussions she discussed how she co-founded and run an enterprise like Aloi.
On November 28, 2019, Aloi’s co-founder Sonika Manandhar spoke at the side event during the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Beijing+25. She spoke about about how our company Aloi is helping the champion women to fight for climate action which was also one of the targets of the Beijing+25 Conference.
Our BijuliPower campaign was successfully launched at the third iteration of OWN IT conference of Woman Lead Nepal on February 29, 2020. Through our transportation partnership with the conference, we had a great kick start to BijuliPower which provides private hire services for events like this. As OWN It conference is there to fill the gaps between the female leaders and the aspiring young women leaders, there wouldn’t have been any better summit than this for us because we believe in uplifting women leaders and microentrepreneurs like our Safa Tempo women drivers.
We were overwhelmed by the participation of more than 200 young leaders from different fields. The participants included our well-known female leaders like Miss Nepal 2002 and entrepreneur, Malvika Subba. As our campaign focuses on promoting clean and green transportation services she quoted:
“if you use the electric-powered vehicle like Safa Tempo, you will be supporting a clean green environment”
Likewise, the executive director of Woman Lead Nepal Hima Bista, herself encouraged our campaign by saying BijuliPower sets an example through the change we’re trying to bring from the grass-root level by empowering women drivers and advocating a clean green environment. Kudos to the team of Woman Lead Nepal on conducting an impactful event like OWN IT conference, we were honoured to be a part of it.
Last month the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published an article ‘Climate leadership for inspiration on Women’s Day and every day’. The article included six women with extraordinary climate leadership qualities: Greta Thunberg, Christiana Figueres, Anne Hidalgo, Carolina Schmidt, Kibarisho Leintoi, and our co-founder and CTO, Sonika Manandhar.
When asked why others should consider green entrepreneurship her answer is simple: “Because that’s the future. That’s where the money will be in the future. The impact investment sector is valued at US$502 billion, and there’s the huge problem of climate change facing us—as well as a lucrative opportunity to solve it.”– Sonika Manandhar, Cofounder and CTO of Aloi Private Limited
Thank you to Women LEAD Nepal for hosting a very successful OWN IT conference on 29 February 2020. We were honoured to be there to launch our BijuliPower product that helps events, individuals, and offices hire private safa tempos to provide transportation services. Here are some photos from the event:
GEM, through BijuliPower, will be providing clean and green transportation before and after the conference.
On Saturday, February 29, 2020, Women LEAD Nepal will hold OWN IT Nepal, a one-day leadership summit for young women. OWN IT Nepal seeks to bridge the gap between female leaders of the 21st century and the young women who admire them by producing accessible events for young women of all demographics—not just those who can afford to pay their way.Through OWN IT Nepal, we aim to change the narratives around what it means to be a woman in Nepali society, promote and discuss intersectional feminist values, and ultimately to bring together young women who are eager to change Nepal through art, business, journalism, politics, public service and more.The first OWN IT Summit was held at Georgetown University in 2014. 2020 OWN IT would mark the summit’s third iteration in Nepal.We had over 200 young women and men, between the ages of 18 to 26 years, participate in OWN IT Nepal last year. OWN IT Nepal saw the youth come together to celebrate women’s leadership and to learn from current female leaders. This year too, we will have amazing speakers who inspire to change.
Date: Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 Time: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Venue: Ageno: The Hestia, Dhobighat, LalitpurIf you have any queries, please contact email@example.com!
Global Green Business Ideas Competition to fix climate change
“It was an eye opening experience to see the range of solutions that could help climate change.” – Tiffany Tong, Aloi’s Cofounder
ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest green business ideas competition with the mission is to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change.
“A green business school in disguise, that is how former participants refer to our competition. We train people with green ideas to become successful entrepreneurs. Since the start in 2014 we already helped 1,500 teams on their way with setting up their global businesses. This year we will run the programme in at least 50 countries. We know climate change is solvable. We also know there will not be one single cure, we need – and there will be – thousands of big and small cures. That is why it is our mission to fix climate change, one start-up at a time.” – Frans Nauta, ClimateLaunchpad founder
Aloi Private Limited was one of the national winner from Nepal to pitch in the global grand final of ClimateLaunchpad in Amsterdam with our product Green Energy Mobility (GEM).
This year, our cofounder Tiffany will be representing Aeloi at Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF), under the theme of “New Frontier of Tech Venturing”. Backed by the Hong Kong SAR Government, Cyberport is a key institution spearheading Fintech in Hong Kong. The Forum is designed to put you at the epicenter of the trending ecosystem on venture capital and beyond – the rising corporate venture and strategic investing, dynamic investment markets along the Belt & Road region, shifting capital flow amidst the geopolitical volatility, disruptive funding platforms, and more.
Aloi would like to thank UNESCAP for their sponsorship to attend the Forum.
Our team is excited to be a final winner of the Social Innovation Challenge 2019 hosted by the Civil Society Academy (Welthungerhilfe). Thanks to CSA’s funding, we’ll be able to scale our current agriculture pilot. Watch our pitch!
We are excited to be representing Nepal at the global finals for Climate Launchpad in November!
According to their website, “ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest green business ideas competition. Our mission is to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. The competition creates a stage for those ideas. ClimateLaunchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC.”
All finalists will participate in week-long boot camp in Beijing with visits to leading Chinese tech companies and incubators, networking with investors and cultural visits before the finals. We’ll also be pitching in the final round in Beijing in September 2019.
Our co-founders met in 2017 at the Singularity University Global Solutions Program. As alumnae, we were mentioned in the Singularity University newsletter recently: ‘Tiffany Tong and Sonika Manandhar (GSP17) saw their startup Aeloi win the Women MSME Fintech Innovation Fund for their business that “uses digital tokens to channel impact investments into micro-enterprises.”’
“The Coaching Fellowship nurtures and brings together the world’s high potential young women leaders of impact.
We believe that through the combination of coaching and fellowship at a crucial point in their career, young women leaders will manifest the change they want to be and see in the world faster and at an exponentially greater scale.
Together, we are bringing forward a new generation of women leaders building the world of tomorrow today.”
Aloi is amongst the top 8 finalist for Climate Launchpad Nepal 2019 with the product Green Energy Mobility (GEM), channeling impact investment in green businesses such as Safa Tempo (electric 3 wheelers mini bus in Kathmandu)
Quoted from the press release: “The Women MSME Fintech Innovation Fund provides risk capital and technical assistance to pilot technology enabled financial service solutions for women-led enterprises. Out of the 110 applications received, the top 30 proposals were asked to pitch their ideas to an independent investment committee made up of industry experts and regulators.
Over the next year, ESCAP and UNCDF will provide financial and technical support to the ten winning companies as they develop and pilot their business initiatives. In the short-term, the initiatives aim to support more than 9,000 women led MSMEs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Myanmar, Nepal, Samoa and Viet Nam.”