ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Business Opportunities Corner: Making Ice-Cubes

"Thimphu is a cold place" is the sentence taught at our schools. Whether summers are getting hotter from year to year or else Thimphupas are becoming more sensitive, there are quite a bunch of shops in Thimphu now selling air-conditioners.

But how about "cooling from within"? A few entrepreneurs have already started offering great services: Sonam Tshoey's ice cream cups, Willy's ice cream parlor, and the cafes offering frozen drinks are some examples.

This brings me to our Ice-Cube Making business opportunity. We volunteered to run a small lemonade stand at the upcoming sports day at a local school to revive the many sweating & thirsty kids. I therefore went in search of ice cubes but nobody seems to know of any such joint.

What does one need to start making ice cubes? An ice-cube making machine, electricity, drinking water, and packaging. Possible customers are hotels, cafes, restaurants and perhaps even a few grocery stores (now that many have freezers). Not to mention families going out for picnics or organizing parties.

Disclaimer: Our ideas are just ideas, not necessarily sound business advice. If this business already exists in Thimphu and we missed it, please let us know! Before rushing to implement the idea, do some research about costs. Create a spreadsheet with the costs and see how much you will need to earn to break even and to make a profit. See if you can survive for a year with no profit and perhaps loss, until the business is more established. The best approach is to consult with organizations that help local entrepreneurs such as the Loden Foundation.

We're also glad to post good ideas from our readers! Please email us your idea.

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