With this section on our website we are aiming to introduce the many possibilities and opportunities Mongolia can offer despite all the negative light shed lately through the international media.
The focus will be given on the businesses run both by Mongolians and foreigners in Mongolia, on their success stories, challenges and what are their aspirations.
We have invited founder of Nikel Ganba brand G.Dashnyam. Many of our readers might possibly have already become familiar with a Nikel Ganba brand which produces not only bicycles with bright colours, but also e-bicycle, moped, e-motorcycle, wheelchair and karting. Our guest has founded the company and he is going to implement bigger projects with other engineers and experts to produce and supply the equipment for the domestic SMEs.
-What is your profession?
-I haven’t acquired any degree. One thing that I learnt was the extracurricular activities on boat modeling at the Young Technicians Palace when I was in secondary school.
-What was the first product you have made?
-My first product was the handmade electric bicycle. I used aluminum and pipes brought from China. Now, I am planning on launching the bicycle factory in July.
-What was the rationale behind the whole story of establishing a factory?
-First idea of establishing a bicycle manufacture started back in 2010 at the same time when the air pollution issues have been raised sharply. Back then there were not many who would ride a bicycle and many wondered why I would do them. They would say it is cheaper to import from China.
Our product doesn’t have to be cheaper than of Chinese. People need to understand that the cash flow will go out to China if we buy things from there. While if one buys domestic product the cash flow stays here in Mongolia. Bicycle is just one example. Lately many are talking about SMEs, but saying is one thing and doing is another. It is not an easy process. Our production started with handmade bicycles and only after some time and enhancements we have established lines in our production. Main thing here, is that we are doing all our equipment by ourselves. For instance, if one other guy decides to open up a bicycle factory he or she will purchase all the equipment.
The specifics of our factory are - we make every equipment for the production. Behind me there is a team of skillful engineers and workers. For instance, we are cooperating with the Mongolian and German Vocational Training Center and some of the equipment to be used at our factory are being manufactured there as well. We are cooperating with engineer L.Batmanlai who is producing automated plasma cutter machine. There are also other parties who are producing conveyers and lines for our factory. We are envisioning on focusing on factory equipment production as well. So the bicycle factory will be our milestone.
-More on the next project?
-Nikel Ganba is only focusing on production of bicycles, electric bicycles, electric mopeds and carting. Next in line is bigger project involving other engineers and experts to produce and supply the equipment for the domestic SMEs. There is plenty of capacity for the Mongolian engineers to produce equipment here in Mongolia using the raw materials available. I foresee it as the huge opportunity for the manufactures to reduce their costs and yet have guaranteed serviced equipment for their production.
-The factory produces bicycles, mopeds, wheelchairs and carting. Are those mainly produced by order or you have already established the sales lines as well?
-The production started in 2010. In order to manufacture technical item it takes about 6 months at least and up to a year for the development and testing of the final product. We have manufactured electric moped and got the standards approved. Now we have to pass laboratory testing which requires at least 10-20 items. Only after laboratory testing we are able to sell to the end user.
-Besides manufacturing items for sales you also conduct charity program for children with disabilities involving singers and other performing talents?
-When we were producing bicycles only, we had down time during winter months. So instead of sitting around I have started doing electric mopeds and carting. At that time Tugeemel Hugjil NGO approached me with an idea to produce wheelchairs as we were able to produce bicycles and we spent two years on that. With our first wheelchair after the testings we consulted with Japanese engineers and improved the model. Every first thing has many faults, but we constantly improving and bettering to perfection.
-Where do you get the raw materials?
-We procure from China. We purchase raw materials; process it and add value with our own design. It is completely different from importing final product from China and reselling it here. Most of the imported bicycles from China use waste materials, therefore the quality is not good compared to ones which are made from scratch with raw materials. We guarantee at least 4-5 years of durability for our bicycles, while most imported ones only durable for one year. Our bicycles will be good enough for 3 years without requiring any services.
Nowadays almost every one is selling bicycles for MNT 120, which were brought let’s say with MNT 100. While we are producing better ones for MNT 60 and sell them for MNT 100 and are contributing MNT 40 for salary of our workers, which in turn remains in the internal economic circulation.
Mongolians are now using bicycles more compared to several years ago. Currently Mongolians are trying to manufacture things domestically; this is an indication that we are able and capable to develop industry here.
-What are the special features of your bicycles?
-A main specific is that we use aluminum. Aluminum 6061T is the globally used standard for the bicycle production. If one is producing bicycles using aluminum one should adhere to that standard. Moreover, we are following the global trends in bicycle production on top of the distinctive bright color choices that we offer.
-Will you produce car or bus?
-Mongolians have already produced bus. We do not have to compete with them. Because we have small market and we prefer to be united. We have to be mutually beneficial by doing what I can do for you. I follow the principle that we are stronger together. I would produce bigger things when Mongolians start to use products which are made in Mongolia.
-What was your mission?
-I aimed to establish industrial park which consists of small industries that produce everything of each product. If someone initiated wonderful idea to produce water can, he can come to the industrial park and draw the sketch, print it, manufacture one design for experiment and if it is successful, transfer into production process. It is not my only wish and it is being discussed by many young talents. If we work together as one, we will achieve more effective results.
-How many years have passed since the launch?
-We produced eight bicycles for the experiment in 2011 and produced motorcycles and mopeds. We started to receive bicycle orders in 2014. From 2011 until 2014, we produced our products to gain experience and developed them by not selling. We spent money and effort during that time and we still have not reached the time to earn profit. Even though our bicycles are all handmade it is priced same as industry bicycle. Handmade bicycles are very expensive on those markets where handmade bicycle production developed highly such as Europe and Holland. We have posted our products to our Facebook page since 2011, but people keep criticizing the prices for the bicycle as expensive.
-How are the customers reacting to your products?
-Not bad. Wheelchair for people with disabilities is more problematic. Due to our bicycle have good quality, we have not received bad comments yet. Flat tire happens as usual and we can not do anything for that.
If we manufacture bicycle here, the government should approve a policy to protect our products from imported products. However, our country doesn't have such policy to support us. We procure good quality raw materials from China. We are able to manufacture cheaper bicycle, but it is worth the same quality as the price. We are trying to offer good quality bicycle to the Mongolians.
-Have you exported your products to abroad?
-Yes. Generally, foreigners buy our products more than Mongolians. For example: UBean coffee shop is ordering bicycle for the second year and U.S. Embassy ordered bicycles as well. Moreover, we exported our bicycles to Germany. For me, Mongolians should show patriotism by using Mongolian products in their daily life. This would result in increase in both national products and country's development.
We will advance to our next motorcycle project when Mongolians start to support us. Why can't we produce motorcycle in Mongolia? At the average 100.000 motorcycles are being imported annually and it is being purchased by herders. Recently, four wheel motorcycle is becoming popular among youth and it is also being imported and sold with high price tags. But we can produce it in Mongolia. Bicycle is the start of our all new and bigger projects.
Economic crisis caused many industries to be closed, this is our fault. We did not support each other and we did not trust each other. People tend to think that Mongolian products have bad quality and foreign goods are the best. This attitude will not change easily. The new generation will change this attitude and we should let them understand what is wrong and what is right.
-Thank you for your time and good luck.
For more information on the products please click here.
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