There are a few industries in Nepal that are still waiting for their glory days. Automation, design, and sophisticated manufacturing can safely be counted amongst them. With the country nestled between two design and manufacturing powerhouses, Nepal has traditionally concentrated on trade. However, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in this sector and a few companies have started concentrating on research and development and manufacturing prototypes. One of them is Aiden Engineering, established in 2014. Founded by five engineers, Ashish Bahadur Singh, Ashish Ratna Kansakar, Gaurav Panthi, Sangam Karki, and Sanjay Gyawali, the company aims at becoming a stellar one-stop-shop for all design and manufacturing needs for a variety of industries that are still dependent on imports. “It is imperative to boost confidence in the ‘designed-and-made-in-Nepal’ brand and we are playing a small but vital role in reversing thought processes among professionals,” says Ashish Singh, one of the co-founders.
One of their initial projects was to build automated beds for use in hospitals. “We chose this sector since our research showed that many items of regular use in hospitals were being imported and we brought our combined skills together to offer a choice of electrically actuated beds, semi-follower bed, foldable chair-bed, trays, instrument and therapy tables, and utility carts. The products we design meet all regulatory standards and are cost effective,” shares Ashish. “We are especially proud of our automatic foldable beds that have been designed keeping in mind ergonomics, patient comfort and safety, infection control – a good bed helps optimize patient movement thus reducing bed sores that can occur due to prolonged stay – whilst maintaining the highest engineering standards,” he adds.
An area where the company has had much success is in designing and building prefabricated homes, demands for which have sharply risen after the earthquake. Currently undertaking a multitude of individual and commercial construction projects, both within the valley and outside, the company has recently made forays into reinforced cement concrete (RCC) building design and construction. “It surely helps to have a diverse team that allows us to successfully take up and implement a variety of design and supervision challenges. We have managed to keep our overheads low and increase our depth of collaboration and partnership at all levels of construction and site supervision. That helps us get desired output while augmenting client satisfaction levels in quality and cost effectiveness. We now have a complete array of services ranging from floor planning, interior design, cost estimation and analysis, to engineering design and consultancy,” shares Ashish.
An interesting project in innovation for Aiden was building Nepal’s first hydraulically-operated foldable mobile theatre for the Mandala Theatre group. Mandala used the truck in a number of road shows and called it ‘Junkiri’. The company is currently working on a truck-based mobile hall for some clients that will be another first in the country.
This continuous desire on improvement and growth also made the company participate in the second iteration of Enterprise Business Accelerator program, which was an intensive 90-day course. The program, Ashish tells, opened up another vista for them, bringing in the realization of augmenting the business end of their operations. “It was an important lesson for the team in developing a comprehensive Business Model Canvas, and get insights into the financial, legal and networking aspects that will help us grow in future. We were lucky to have Mr. Udeep Shrestha of the Panchakanya Group as our mentor for the program. We have since grown from a product and service company into the consulting and manufacturing industry.”
Amidst all this growth, Aiden – which interestingly means little fire or fiery – stays true to their core passion of bringing class-leading product innovation and design to Nepal.