After devoting a year to research and market study on the feasibility of a care home for senior citizens, Yamuna Katuwal has not merely established Orchid Care Home (OCH) in Bansbari on April 14, but is also confident about its future prospects.
Katuwal began her career as an administrative staff at a clinic at the age of 16.
Barely two years later, her burning desire to initiate and establish something similar by herself led her to launch Merit Medical Centre (MMC) in Shantinagar in 2006. Armed with experience from her previous tenure in the medical field, it was no big deal for her to commence a care centre for senior citizens after that.
“Since care homes for senior citizens is a new concept and not much in practice in Nepal, people are not familiar with this business venture,” she says adding that raising awareness among people about the services provided is a major challenge before her.
Chairperson of OCH and MMC, Katuwal is currently juggling time between both offices and her studies. The young entrepreneur, who is pursuing a Masters in Business Studies, says, “From the very beginning, I was more interested in the service business rather than products, as working in this field imparts a unique sense of satisfaction.” She adds, “Serving elderly people means being blessed in return.”
According to her, at present they offer three types of services to senior citizens — day care and nursing as well as recreational and social activities. Their services include physiotherapy, acupressure, ayurvedic treatment, yoga, meditation, steam, sauna, medi-spa and other medical treatment to individuals who are aged above 50 and can no longer look after themselves due to physical, emotional or senile condition.
Citing that her medical centre has already established itself among service seekers, Katuwal emphasised that the newly opened care home desperately needs her priority and hence she is focusing more on it now. Attributing her achievements to knowledge cultivated from her previous experiences, she observes, “Had I not received such valuable professional experiences, I would not have reached this position today.”
Hers might be a business, but when it comes to providing services to those who are unable to afford payment, she assures, “If there are senior citizens genuinely unable to afford the charges, we provide the required services at minimum charges.”
According to her, for any business venture to succeed, courage, teamwork, dedication and patience are essential. Focused on her goals, she is determined to set up a well-organised old-age home (Bridda-ashram) for elderly people, where they will not spend a dull retired life but an active and exciting one. “To make this dream come true, we have created the Orchid Foundation, where Rs 5 will be collected every time an individual pays for our service,” says Katuwal. Moreover, she is also committed to take Orchid Care Home to a different level within five years from now, by extending it to separate entities for separate services and facilities.
“I have much more to deliver and achieve for substantial success in life,” she explains, adding that patience is one of the major traits she
has acquired through her professional endeavours.