Bhutan-made frozen French fries makes a decent entry

Karma Chimi

31-year-old Jangchub Dorji, after being inspired by a entrepreneurship session in 2020 by Ministry of Labour and Human Resources ( MoLHR ), got encouraged to start the first ever frozen French fries production company in the country.

It will be known as Kuen-Gha Potato Fingerlings.

It has been three months since the inception of his business in the Startup Centre under the Department of Cottage and Small Industry (DCSI) at Changzamtog.

During the initial phase, like many others, Jangchub faced difficulties in selling his products. However, for the past one month there has been drastic improvement in his sales.

As of today Bhutan imports frozen French fry products. With the new set-up it is expected that import for the particular product which is popular among children will be drastically reduced.

The founder said that prominent café and restaurants in the capital place their orders for his product. He even has walk-in customers and sometimes home delivery is also done.

One of his walk-in customers shares that the product is of good standard and that it is less arduous to make.

The owner adds that the quality of the product depends on how it is kept and also encourages his customers to keep the product in a freezer so as to maintain the quality.

Attaining the right rate and good quality potato is a challenge that Jangchub faces. Since, he is the only person working, he shares that it is a challenge for mass production.

However, with the help of Youth Engagement Livelihood Programme (YELP) he intends to employ additional employees in his firm in the days to come.

Waste management is another challenge he faces and ensures that there is minimum waste from his production plant. In addition he plans to fry the bits and pieces of potatoes that come as by products and then sell it.

With the aim to supply prime product to the client, a good quality potato is required which he brings from Jabana in Paro and from Genekha in Thimphu.

He is thankful to the DCSI for providing the space and procuring the machines and he is also grateful to the Ministry of Economic Affairs for waiving off his rent for the duration of six months.

The startup provides frozen and fresh (regular) French fry products to its customers.

As the production is low, Jangchub says he will only focus in Thimphu for now but plans to expand his business to Paro and other dzongkhags when the production increases over time.

His maximum sales happen during the vacation and weekend where multitude of people goes to eateries.