The Potential Of Acquiring Baking Skills In Bhutan
Trainees can apply for the priority sector lending scheme started by the government to start their business in Bhutan.
By Krishna Ghalley | Business Bhutan
In early May, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with financial support from the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources organised a 10-day training for 35 would-be bakers.
Held at the NEC Restaurant, the trainees were taught basic bakery skills. They were expected to start their own bakery business or work in already established bakeries soon. The trainees were also awarded certificates on completion of the course.
Where are the trainees from?
The trainees comprised mostly of women entrepreneurs and unemployed youth from the provinces of Phuentsholing and Samtse. There were also two other trainees each from Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar and one from Thimphu.
Nisha Rai, the 28-year old trainer, who has a degree in hotel management from the Regency Institute of Management Studies in Kolkata, West Bengal, said that the trainees have major scope to do good business if they put their skills to good use.
Along with her assistant from the NLD Institute in Thimphu, Nisha trained them to bake 20 different varieties of cake including pastries.
Catering to the rising numbers of Indian tourists in Southern Bhutan
With the increasing influx of Indian tourists into Bhutan, the bakery business is expected to boom in the southern belt.
“Since Indians love sweets, bakery is a good business idea because of which I participated,” a trainee said.
“They are keen to learn,” the trainer, Nisha Raj said. She added that if Bhutanese baked cakes and pastries entered the market, it would help in curbing such imports from India as well.
Working in bakeries at major hotels in Bhutan
Also, since bakery is a part of every major hotels in Bhutan, some plan to work in hotels after the training. Rinchen Dema, a hotel employee in Gelephu said that the training has enhanced her basic baking skills. Earlier on, she used to watch Youtube videos to learn the know-hows of baking.
“Now I am confident to bake many varieties of cakes and pastries for guests,” she said. She plans to start a bakery shop if the government funds her.
Funding needed for bakers to fulfil their dreams of starting their own business
Unlike major business projects, bakeries can be started with minimal investment. Sonam Tobgay, one of the two male trainees plans to start his own bakery.
“But without capital, I have to look for funding,” the class XII graduate said. “We can innovate our own flavoured cakes to cater to tourists,” he said.
To solve the issue of funding, Phuenstholing’s Regional Labor Director, Sonam Tenzin said that the trainees can apply for the priority sector lending scheme started by the government to start their business.
This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.