A team of young graduates with agriculture and civil engineering backgrounds began selling local and imported vegetables and fruits online through their website called Bhutan Smart Shop (BSS) a few weeks ago in Thimphu.
Developed after a year of market analysis and with investment of about Nu 2.5 million, Bhutan Smart Shop currently caters to about 1,000 buyers and to two hotels in the capital.
BSS started first distributing vegetables in Pamtsho, Jungshina, and Taba. A member of the team, Kencho Tobgay, said the response was positive and encouraging. The team will launch full operation from today.
“I have come across huge traffic congestion at centenary farmers market, especially on weekends. It was also difficult to get parking space,” said Kencho Tobgay. “We feel that our service will be a solution to these problems faced by residents of Thimphu and contribute to reducing pollution.”
The team claimed they provide quality vegetables at competitive prices. Delivery of order placed online is reached twice a day, at 1pm and 12am. Delivery begins after 50 orders. There is no shipping charge applied while delivering the orders.
The team has collaborated with Zero waste initiative, an initiative of a civil society organization in Samdrupjongkhar to use eco-friendly bags to wrap vegetables while placing the orders.
Consumers are required to create an account with their shopping site, Bhutan Smart Shop, to place the order and proceed with the order for the online payment, processed using Royal Monetary Authority’s payment gateway, an instant interbank electronic fund transfer through internet banking.
“We expect that our service will help consumers find better family time,” said Kencho Tobgay. “We are trying to bring in more local produce.”
The team said the online shopping site would also assist users manage and see the record of their expenses. “This will help the consumers know about their expense and make them financially conscious.”
BSS plans to grow vegetables in future.
Member Kencho Tobgay is a graduate from College of Science and Technology; Sangay Nidup and Kunzang Namgay are BSc agriculture graduates from India.