Nepal Day 3 News, Reports from the Ground

News for Today:

Nepal Government officials are appealing for more supplies of food, medicines, specialised rescue services and body bags, as Aid trickles in, whilst thousands of residents are leaving Kathmandu as reported in the Huffington Post.

India is leading a big effort to survivors with 187 tons of supplies (50 tons of water, 22 tons of food and 2 tons of medicine) being delivered on Sunday as reported in CNN.

Facebook have started a donation campaign for Nepal, matching every dollar which is donated to International Medical Corps until $2mio.

Reports from the ground:

My business partner’s mother got a call from a friend in Nuwakot district, Ghalle village. She was told the village had been destroyed, with no food, water, or aid, but the conversation lasted only for a brief moment because the line was cut. She was unable get hold of her friend when she tried on calling back.

In some shops food prices have tripled or quadrupled.

Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu is getting bad publicity from the locals as they have a big garden but did not open the space to the public to use. In times of emergency it would be really good to hear people helping each other out. Hopefully things will change tomorrow or the information is outdated.

Photos around Kathmandu by THT & HEV


Dharara Tower with inscription of 1991, after the earthquake in 1990BS.

Dharara Tower with inscription of 1991, after the earthquake in 1990BS.

I will be double checking on the information written above with my business partner tomorrow. Will ask for more information from the ground on the situation.

Stamp Duty, Trezoro Royalty

News from the UK:

The news of Labour party scrapping first time buyer stamp duty for property less than 300,000 gbp is interesting, BBC has a bullet point list of the pledges for housing by the parties. Wondering if a cap increase on price of properties (say around triple/quadruple the inflation rate) which were bought off plan and re-sold (flipped) within 2 or 3 years by investors after the property’s completion, could protect property prices from getting inflated. The market is to do with supply and demand but maybe the market needs a cap/stability for first time buyers instead of first time buyer schemes which effectively helps leverage first time buyers to buy from investors determining the price. Investors would dislike this idea but they will still make some profit on increase in price due to demand and first time buyers will get better value for their hard earned cash.

My free coffee day:

Met up with a friend in the afternoon. Tried Trezoro a royalty program at Full stop in Shoreditch and by signing up, I got a free coffee.

In the evening went through the business idea and specifications with my co-founder. We think we are ready to start to code on Saturday.

Ideas for Nepal

Ideas to help the survivors of the Earthquake in Nepal.

1. Poncho as used by a lot of runners prior to a Marathon race.

Poncho to keep rain off and keep warm

Poncho to keep rain off and keep warm


2. Sleeping bag using minimum amount of material which could be available in Nepal.

From what is seen from the pictures on the media, survival kits have yet to be given out to the locals, so decided to do a quick sketch of ideas.

Information on Shelter and Warmth Survival Kit on Wikipedia.


Nepal Day 2 After The Earthquake

News for Today:

Nepal Earthquake. Tent cities are springing up for the displaced according to the BBC, with the aftershocks and the failing infrastructure, International Aid is going to be very much in need. It would be good for the International Aid Agencies to tell the media on the current status with a list of items which the people who have been affected are in need of, the severity of the demand of those items and how aid agencies have allocated their focus on the problems at hand.

Guessing, Aid Agencies would divide the demand into Water, Food, Shelter, Medical Supplies, Blankets/Sleeping bags, Clothes, Rescue Equipment/team. If they could have a pie chart or a bar chart of whats being focussed it would be helpful.

From my understanding getting shelter at the moment is hard and I hope companies such as Shelter Systems can step in to help the people of Nepal. An architect friend of mine has designed a primary design of an Earthquake Shelter (eg as below) after we discussed about the need for shelters in Nepal, the design and explanation can be found on Nepal Shelters on his site

Nepal Shelter

Nepal Shelter Design

I have donated to Oxfam but I don’t know where the money donated will be focussed onto. Hope its water and food.

The likeliness of landslides have gone up due to the earthquake and Earthquake without Frontiers, who recently had a meeting in Kathmandu, have a page on the subject with models on which locations are high risk.

The hotel as of last night had one guest who was missing whilst on a trek with a guide. Due to the telecommunication systems being down we were unable to to reach them. Gratefully and luckily we were able to find him and the guide later on in the day.

At the moment Im in discussion with my business partner to get more information from locals in Nepal. Im feeling media coverage is looking more at it from an International point of view rather than a local perspective.

London Marathon, Moments of Genius

London Marathon:

Today was the big day when London shuts down for runners to challenge themselves to run 42.195 km’s. I love the event and I want to run it in the next 3 years. I watched, clapped and cheered runners pass by at the 10miles mark. One thing I realised was, compared to the previous year less Asians (especially elite runners) were running the race. It could be that they had gone for Dusseldorf or Hamburg Marathon instead of London. A friend who had his large intestines removed last year was running and I was really happy when I was able to spot him in the crowd of runners and cheer him on. He did amazingly and finished under 5 hours 🙂

Catch up:

In the afternoon had a catch up with a former uni mate who works at Moixa Technology, I was asking if they had USB Cells to send to Nepal but they aren’t any in stock. After catching up with my uni mate I headed to my 2nd Piano lesson.

Moments of Genius:

I caught up with my co-founder for around 20 minutes after dinner and we were able to get more things done in the 20 minutes compared to the whole day we were together yesterday. There are times of moments of genius and with enough of these I think businesses can survive.

Nepal Earthquake and donations

News for Today:

Earthquake in Nepal killing over 1000 people. Really sad to hear about a Natural disaster causing so many death again. My thoughts are with the people living in Nepal. Really hope the rest of the Earthquake’s are after shock and the earthquakes cease soon. I was in Tokyo during the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and prior to the major earthquake, there were a few quakes which were quite big. Initially it could have been thought those quakes were the big one and those that happened later were the aftershocks, but actually it was a lead up to the big event.

My advice to those living in Nepal would be to keep safe, surround yourself with relatives and friends, make sure to get plenty of rest, eat and drink properly. After big earthquakes people can be affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but by having people close around you to you to speak to, it can have a calming down affect. Resting, eating and drinking will help with the anxiety and the body will be less tense.

The report from my business partner in Nepal (one of my project) is that her mother is ok, but the family are going to sleep outside as the next 48 hours is critical. The house is a mess (photo of the shelf being thrown onto the floor is attached below). No news on the status of the Hotel at this present moment in time.

Please donate by looking at the below website. From my knowledge housing insurance is not very common therefore a lot of people could have nowhere to return and no funding to rebuild there homes.

How to help Earthquake Victims in Nepal.

From an article on Reuters in 2013 please note the comment “The Nepalese insurance industry currently lacks sufficient professionals to operate at peak efficiency and effectiveness.” Rebuilding of infrastructure, facilities could take a long time if insurance payouts for those covered are ineffective.

For those of you at Google, there should be gift matching available soon. Unfortunately one of the execs was caught up in the Earthquake.



Nepal Earthquake


Learning from experiences, State of Mind

Learning from Experiences:

For Today, the co-Founder and I had planned on generating and spec-ing out what we were going to create for our business. This effectively meant creating a road map and specifying the contents of the application. But earlier on in the week, we had experienced bad news causing us to lose focus. This meant today was unfortunately going to be one of those days where we faced a big wall and there was no way in getting over or through it.

Our lesson for the day was:

Realising the importance of being in the right state of mind and environment, when creating a business.

Therefore instead of trying to keep banging our heads in regards to the idea, we decided to go to Partridge’s Food Market (near Sloan Square) for lunch and take a walk around Battersea Park, discussing about our state of mind and what was bothering us privately, instead of thinking about the business.

As its an early stage to our business generation, we are going to see if helping each other privately works. Hopefully we can learn from the experience of getting bad news/ rejection and next time steam through.

Campus, Where’s Shaun? Property Tenancy exploitation

Half a day at Google Campus creating a road map of the business idea, collecting data and asking friends about how to improve the blog.

Had good feedback about adding more media on the blog and explaining about the contents.

Instead of Where’s Wally, Londoners or visitors to London can do a Where’s Shaun. Wallace and Gromit Charity have a spring event with 50 Shaun’s scattered around the City.

News for Today:

BBC Panorama Housing Benefit Scandal. This is an interesting and worrying programme about the current state of the property market for people on social benefits. Exploitation of tenants is the keyword which can be thought of in this article.

Relaxing day

After 5 days of courses and trials, I decided to take today easy.

Had a really good kick start to the day with marmalade which I bought from Bread and Pig with toast and Lady grey Tea. Nice and refreshing.

Met up with a neighbour and finally found out he’s Westie dog is called Barney. He’s 15 and really adorable.

A visit to Borough Market to pick up veggies from Paul Wheeler, where I discovered the lady serving me for the last few months used to live in the block of apartments where Im living at the moment. She told me how the area was back over 20 years ago. Really fascinating to hear about how the area has changed so much.

Cumberland Sausages from Rhug Estate (they sell really good spicy chicken wings). Mango, Oranges from Jock Stark.

Decided Coffee for this week would be Finca de Cuchi Gonzalez from Bolivia from Monmouth Coffee. Found out the big roasting machine is down at the moment and it will take time to get it back up and going. They have a 3rd smaller machine now but the roasters are roasting for longer than usual as the volume they can get through has been capped. Found out there was a Japanese girl who is working at the shop. I might be able to get advise in regards to my coffee next week.

In the evening went through with the co founder our business idea and how we should lay it out for the big ideas session on Saturday.

Overall a relaxing day of much needed rest.


Last Day of Trial in Property

Today was my last day of my trial at the local estate agent. Very quiet day with nothing for me to do. Picked up a couple of calls, 1 from an advertiser for a senior letting agent and 1 from another agent looking for a property calling the sales manager. The owner of the estate agent bought lunch for the team. As I had to leave early to join the Startup Tribe, talked to the owner on my analysis of the agency and left.

The analysis I gave the owner of my three day trial was:

  1. Make sure the team were eating healthily as they keep snacking all the time on crisps, biscuits, ice cream and this will in the long run cause health issues.
  2. Don’t release the new website as its “too wordy” and hasn’t been created to function for the prospective tenants, buyers, landlords, sellers.
  3. Make sure the team prioritises and calculates times for showings. Felt that the agents were slow compared to how quick they potentially could have been.
  4. Make sure templates for emails via Veco are setup so there is less manual labour correcting sentences before sending emails to clients.

The reply from the owner was that I wasn’t suited for a sales or letting role and I was more suited to a Business Analyst role. I have a feeling, instead of giving points of improvement, if I had told the owner that I got a massive kick from talking to clients about a property or how the portfolio of properties the agency had were awesome, I might have been more suited to a sales role. Its communication and understanding between people. The fact that I wasn’t able to do a flat viewing for potential tenants or sellers was a shame, because I would have been able to get more of the feel for how agents felt.

Overall no regrets about the experience and I think I was able to learn a lot from the team and Im truly grateful for having the chance to experience the working life of an estate agent.