Tibetan “Web Celebrity” chili paste popular in Beijing and Shanghai

The news was updated on May 10, 2019.

Chophel Suona is the founder of Mayong Chili Paste in Doilungdeqen District, Lhasa City, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. When he talked about his entrepreneurial history, he told reporters that he had tried many start-ups since college: internet projects, home service, meal delivery, etc., all of which failed. He was about to quit, but when he went to Yiwu of Zhejiang Province in June of 2017 to study, the fever of entrepreneurship and the strong support to self-employment from his school has encouraged Chophel and firmed his determination to start his own businesses.

When Chophel returned to Lhasa, he realized that his mom’s homemade chili paste was very popular with friends and family members, so he decided to start his own food brand, which was how Mayong Chili Paste was born.

Chophel’s team sold the products through Wechat, a popular social media platform. As soon as the products came into market, people loved them and sales took off, and the chili paste became a top selling “internet hit” product in Lhasa. Currently, Mayong Chili Paste has more than 100 sales representatives and a monthly sales of 200 thousand yuan (29 thousand US dollars). The products also enjoy good sales in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu.

There were many obstacles during Chophel’s journey of self-employment. Traditional beliefs made Chophel seem different in his family, where everyone worked as a public servant. In the beginning, his relatives and friends’ lack of understanding and support made him frustrated. In addition, while his company has a dozen employees, there were only three in the management team, and the imperfect management system also made market development difficult.

“My mom has always supported me, and it was because of her help and support that our products have unique features. With regard to the company’s outlook and operation, we’re keeping our existing sales model and scope while improving the packaging, and actively communicating with professional management teams, hoping to get experience in growing sales and profit.” Said Chophel Suona.

Now, Chophel Suona has been accepted as a graduate student at the Tibet University. He wants to learn more about business management and marketing, and helps his company go further.