Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Pelden Wangchuk Of Nazhoen Food Processing


This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

(Source: Yeewong Magazine)


By Pelden Wangchuk | Yeewong Magazine


Pelden Wangchuk started Nazhoen Food Processing for two purposes: to make Bhutan resource-independent and to provide employment for young people.


Products of Nazhoen Food Processing.

Photo: Facebook/Department of Cottage and Small Industry 


Today, Nazhoen Food Processing is a local snack production company run by a group of youth. They produce snacks such as Bhujia (a crispy snack made with chickpea flour and potatoes), tengma (roasted corn) spicy chips, roasted peanuts and different kinds of Bhutanese khabzey (biscuits).

Aims of starting Nazhoen Food Processing

The business started with an investment loan of Nu. 0.8 million granted by the Bhutan Development Bank (BDBL). The Department of Cottage Industries advised Pelden to set up a food business which could provide jobs for unemployed youth.

Upon surveying the market, Pelden found that many packaged snacks were actually imported. Hence, Pelden and his colleagues decided to produce food that could be made in Bhutan.


Khabzey is a Bhutanese biscuit which resembles a deep fried pastry. It comes in different shapes and sizes. khabzey can be sweet or salty and is normally enjoyed with tea. 

Source: Youtube/WildFilmsIndia


With the help of recipes and cooking tutorials on Youtube, Pelden learnt to make snacks. He then passed the skills on to his young employees.

Challenges faced by Nazhoen Food Processing

Unlike other start-ups, Nazhoen Food Processing already faces competition both from inside and outside the country.

“It would be easy if we were the only ones, but there are others who make the same products. So we must work hard on our production and time,” said Pelden.

In addition, if two businesses offer the same products, shopkeepers tend to pick the cheaper one, whereas Nazhoen Food invests in good packaging which raised the price marginally.

Another challenge for Pelden is to procure other material inputs in which he has to resort to importing lots of packaging materials for his products from abroad, as there is no local packaging supplier.


Photo: Facebook/Department of Cottage and Small Industry 


Currently, Pelden employs 11 young staff who hail from various backgrounds. Some of them have completed their Bachelor’s Degrees, some have high school level education while the others are school dropouts.

Success achieved by Nazhoen Food Processing

Nazhoen Food Processing supplies its products to all marts in the capital, Thimphu as well as other districts such as Paro and Bajo.

The company makes about Nu. 150,000-180,000 per month, out of which they earn a profit of around Nu. 70,000 (1011 USD).

Pelden is proud to be where he is today. He is grateful to the Department of Cottage Industries for helping with an affordable workspace at the Start-up centre in Changzamtog.

He has some advice for budding entrepreneurs and he urges them to make Bhutan more self-sufficient in food production through doing businesses.

“If any young person is really interested in starting a business, we will always be here to help them in any way we can. We have learnt a lot and are more than happy to share our experiences and give pointers to young entrepreneurs,” said Pelden.


This article first appeared in Yeewong Magazine and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Choki of Bhutan Herbal...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 24, 2019 19:15

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Lhamo Of Bumthang Milk...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 18, 2019 10:19

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Thinley Yangzom Of Bhutan...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 07, 2019 20:26

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Tshewang Dema Of Tshejor's...

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 02, 2019 19:59

Bhutanese Bakery 'Rolling Pin' Boost Sales With Social Media

Using social media, Rolling Pin's products have been selling like hot cakes.

May 09, 2018 15:12

Founder Of ‘Sushi’s Candles & Crafts’ Wants To Inspire More Women...

Sushanta wants to set a shining example for more women in Bhutan to fulfil their dreams of starting their own...

Jan 05, 2019 15:19



Bhutan Celebrates World Children’s Day, Renews Commitment To Well-Being Of Children

UNICEF’s Bhutan Representative, Dr Will Parks said that children today encounter multiple challenges to childhood that were not envisaged 30...

Nov 21, 2019 23:38

Dumtseg Lhakhang Restored To Its Former Glory By Her Majesty The Royal Grandmother Of Bhutan

Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother graced the consecration ceremony of the renovated Lhakhang on 15 November.

Nov 17, 2019 16:28


Homestays Gaining Popularity With Tourists Seeking To Experience Authentic Bhutanese Lifestyle, Food And Culture

Villagers were provided with grants to help them develop homestay facilities such as indoor plumbing.

Nov 18, 2019 21:58

Global Happiness Alliance Aims To Spread Concept Of Gross National Happiness Worldwide

The alliance seeks to enhance the understanding of GNH as a concept and to spread it all around the world.

Nov 08, 2019 23:08


Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Tour Of The Dragon – Toughest One Day Bike Race Starts On 7 September In Bhutan

It takes sheer toil and stamina for the top riders to complete the 268 km race which finishes at the capital, Thimphu.

Sep 06, 2019 23:58


Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kinley Rabgyel Of Goximbo

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Nov 20, 2019 23:58

Gakyed Gatoen - Festival of Happiness Seeks To Promote Bhutan’s Products

The idea of the festival was to enable tourists and Bhutanese to learn about the traditional cottage industry.

Nov 01, 2019 23:28


Bhutan’s Black-Necked Crane Festival Drawing More Foreign Tourists

Some 500 tourists from around the world came to Bhutan to see the Black-Necked Crane festival, exceeding the number of locals.

Nov 14, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Bird Festival Set Bird Watching Haven Of Zhemgang Abuzz

Zhemgang is home to more than 500 species of birds, which is an area much sought after by bird watchers from around the world.

Nov 13, 2019 12:48


Bhutanese Textiles To Be Exhibited In Paris Trade Fair 2020

The exhibition is an initiative of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

Nov 10, 2019 12:48

Launch Of Karen Greenspan’s Footfalls From The Land Of Happiness: A journey Into The Dances Of Bhutan

The book delves into familiar subjects that are what continues to shape Bhutan’s image.

Oct 05, 2019 10:18

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!