Wow, Binod!


Narayan Humagain left his native Kavre in the 1980s and headed to India to find work. His first son Binod was born a few years later in Kilkata.

Determined not to allow his son to suffer the same fate as himself, Narayan worked hard to invest all his savings to give his son the best education possible. With great difficulty, he got Binod admitted to St Xavier’s’ College in Kolkata.

By 2008, Binod was a honours student in his final year of Bachelors in Commerce. He was also determined to make it good so he could lift his family from its poor economic condition. He was friends with classmate, Sagar Daryani who was from a well-to-do family and the two started to think about putting their education to start a fail-safe business.

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The two had gone on a trip to Darjeeling and came across a momo outlet for the first time. The dumplings were so delicious they decided on a chain on momo restaurants across India. With an initial investment of just INR30,000, and even before graduating, they started the first ‘Wow Momo’ stall in a small garage in Kolkata. 

Twelve years later, ‘Wow Momo’ has over 300 outlets in 15 Indian cities and the company is valued at $12 million. ‘Wow China’ is their latest spin-off to bring mainland cuisine to the subcontinent.

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Binod’s path to success was not without hurdles and along the way they found prominent investors like Sanjeev Bikhchandani, chair of and Padmashree award recipient IT entrepreneur Saurabh Srivastava. Sachin Bharatiya of a venture capital firm Lighthouse Funds has now become the fast food chain’s latest sponsor.

Last month at the Visit Nepal 2020 Conclave in Bangalore, Binod was trying to keep a low profile amidst dignitaries like Nepal’s ambassador to India Nilamabar Acharya, former Indian Ambassador to Nepal KV Rajan and other businessmen. He was rushing off for the inauguration of his latest ‘Wow China’ outlet in Kolkata.

Wow Momo prides itself in employing differently abled people and works with various non-profit. In the future, the company aims to open five cancer hospitals with its own investment and provide medical care for those less fortunate and unable to afford medical care.

The soft-spoken 30-something Binod with an easy-going smile said in a mixture of Nepali and English: “It is unbelievable how fast the fast food chain has grown and spread. Hard work always carries its rewards, but we have to give back to society.”