Old and traditional way of making agarbattis revived in Sikkim by group of youths

Instead of waiting for a government job to fall on their lap, they decided to try their hands at being self employed, and how... Unlike other entrepreneurs who rush in to embrace modern technology, they decided to go back to their roots, and embrace a very traditional practice, that of making organic incense sticks.

We sat down for a short interview with one of the members.

TheDC: When and did you guys decide to start the agarbatti company?
Sangay: We started the company from May this year.

TheDC: Who all are involved - their names?
Sangay: 5 of our friends started this and we are Sangay Bhutia, Dhupden Butia, Sonam Gyatso, Sonam Tashi Bhutia and Ogen Bhutia

TheDC: Where did you guys train?
Sangay: My father Gomchin Pema Rinsing was a Buddhist monk and he had knowledge about making incense sticks (agarbatti) technique. He narrated his story and we started it

TheDC: Did you find it difficult to find funding? Who provided the initial funds?
Sangay: we pooled in what ever resources we had with us, and started the company through Self-funding.

TheDC: What are the materials you use to produce this agarbatti?
Sangay: We us all the organic materials that are available to us and some of these are Bada elaichi, saffron, chota elaichi, aroo, paaruu, luang, jai dana, dalchini, gurr, sangdhup, pangte, jatta mashi, chilautoo etc

TheDC: Where do you procure the materials for producing agarbatti?
Sangay: Some of the materials we get are from Kalimpong and remaining we get it here in Sikkim itself

TheDC: How much do you produce in a day?
Sangay: 50 packets a day - 1 packet has 30 sticks

TheDC: Since you guys are starting up... What are the main challenges you faced?
Sangay: Marketing is the main challenge. We had to visit different monasteries here in Sikkim for marketing. Our product is available in Gangtok bazaar too. In Gangtok bazaar, we provided the shops with our sample product and once the customers started liking our product the shop owner started calling in for more and we deliver it accordingly.

TheDC: Where do you see your business in next 2 years?
Sangay: We have just started and we are sure we will get the market in coming days.

TheDC: How can people contact you to order the agarbatti?
Sangay: Our Address is -
Tashiding Ganyap, west Sikkim
8001395367, 9593976659

Anyone who orders we will get it delivered at any corner of the country

TheDC: Any messages for those who want to follow in your footsteps
Sangay: Our forefathers made use of these jari butti in various ways and presently the use of these valuable things is almost extinct. So, we would like to say please make use of these precious things which are easily available around us can come up with some new exciting products

We are hopeful that this story will inspire thousands of our youths, and allow them to see that if you have the will and are willing to work hard, everything is possible.

We congratulate Sangay, Dhupden, Sonam, Sonam and Ogen and wish them GOOD LUCK for their future...

Take a bow guys!! You all have earned it!!

Nabin Pradhan


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