Diwas Lal Pradhan, Chakshu Malla and Sailendra Dangol cofounded Pangro in 2014 with the aim of solving problems of common bicycle riders and fill a market gap. But since then, they have changed their vision and now focus on creating a platform for outdoor adventure lovers in the country.
“We started by selling gloves in our paper bag at Basecamp Restaurant,” shares Pradhan. “As we commuted on our bicycles, we knew that there were a lot of problems people were facing in Kathmandu, which is why we first started to sell gloves, reflectors and helmets which could be used by everyday riders.”
But they soon realised that selling items and maintaining inventory were time consuming and they weren’t really making a lot of profit. Hence they stopped selling items and decided to get into event management.
“While volunteering at various events for Cycle City Network, we had realised that our strength was events, which is why we stopped selling items and worked at organising better outdoor events,” shares Dangol, adding that both him and Pradhan also took part in various running and mountain biking events.
Taking part in these races, Pradhan and Dangol realised that most events were managed poorly and the organisers didn’t care about the athletes. That drove both of them to start managing events so that the athletes were looked after well and would come to participate in the future events.
They started the event management with Laxmi Cares Mountain Bike Ride, which got them good response and the contract to manage Himalayan Outdoor Festival.
“We have been managing Himalayan Outdoor Festival from 2013 and Godavari Running Festival from 2014; and each year, I think we are improving and getting more and more participants,” adds Pradhan.
When Pangro started managing Godavari running festival in 2014, they got 20 teams. But this year they got over 60 teams. “We had to say no to teams because we didn’t have space. One team came all the way from Dubai to take part in the event so this must mean we are doing something right,” adds Dangol.
Pangro since its inception has also been the administrative and management partner for Asian Enduro Series 2016-17, Prodigy MTB 2016-17, Showdown Dharan 2015, Tansen Ultra 2015, and Nakhipot Urban XC 2015. But they feel that they are still a work in progress.
“Outdoor events is our strength. Our team comprises of mountain bike coaches, IT professionals, photographers and medics who all are passionate about outdoor adventure. All of us in our team are working to host events which are different from others,” continues Dangol.
Pangro’s aim now is to create a platform for cycling lovers and in the future want to create a cycling hero/celebrity. They believe doing that will make it easier to involve people into cycling.
“What happened to trail running after Meera Rai came into limelight with the help of Himalayan Outdoor Festival; we want to do the same with cycling. That way, the sport can improve which will be beneficial for the country as well,” adds Pradhan.
They add that they want to create amateur athletes so that the adventure sports in the country get more participation. Currently, it is the same group of athletes taking part in almost all event happening the country.
“Majority of the athletes are working together and training together. Most of them are tour guides involved in mountain biking and rock climbing. No one trains as hard as them or spends as much time training as them,” adds Dangol. He feels that the country needs more amateur athletes who can compete with the best in Nepal.
Pangro, with the help of their events, has also helped these athlete network. The Himalayan Outdoor Festival, for example, has been a great place for athletes to come and meet people from different walks of life. They also meet future clients who then go on mountain biking and rock climbing treks with them.
“I’ve seen the contestants come up with new ideas. One started fast trekking, which has been receiving a lot of praise in recent times,” shares Pradhan.
They also want to make their event inclusive so that everyone comes to participate. Pradhan adds that they don’t want only national level athletes to participate, because that would mean no one else would come. “We want people to come and have fun during the events. We want to spread the message that outdoor events are fun and that everyone can come and take part in it,” he adds.
They also share that they want to do a cycling race in the valley every week which will give the riders a platform to test themselves and train with the best and develop a competitive spirit. Pangro also has plans to give interested people mountain bike training and also teach them about first aid and managing bikes which will definitely be helpful if riders plan to embark on trekking with on their bikes.
They believe more people need to do so because mountain biking and rock climbing can also help the tourism industry boost in Nepal. “Many come to Nepal to trek, but people are also coming to Nepal for mountain biking and rock climbing adventure. And our job here is to help create more and more people which will help cater to the needs of these adventure lovers,” shares Dangol.
Photos: Bijaybar Pradhan for Himalayan Outdoor Festival
Published on March 14th, Thursday, 2019 1:15 PM