My name is Raushan Jaiswal, founder of Rara Themes, and I hail from the serene landscapes of Nepal. My early years were spent in the remote village of Nepal, a stark contrast to the vibrant energy of Kathmandu, where I later moved.
My academic journey began late, and despite the late start, I quickly excelled. My thirst for knowledge was insatiable, leading me to leapfrog from class 2 to 3 and then from class 6 to 8, accelerating my academic progress.
Chess was central to my life during these years. Not only did I win the National Junior Chess Championship, but I also represented Nepal in prestigious tournaments like the Asian Junior Chess Championship (2004) and the World Junior Chess Championship (2008). These weren’t just personal milestones; they marked historic moments for Nepal.
After high school, I aspired to study abroad and applied to several countries. However, due to limited scholarship opportunities, I chose to continue my education in Nepal.
I enrolled in a college affiliated with an international institution, offering unique four-month semester breaks. This break from the traditional academic structure sparked my entrepreneurial spirit.
The Journey Began
After settling into my first year of college, I found myself with a few months of holidays. Eager to use this time productively, I conceived the idea of interviewing people and sharing their stories on a website.
However, my knowledge of website creation was limited to HTML and CSS coding. That’s when a friend introduced me to WordPress, marking my first encounter with the platform.
Raushan Jaiswal at WordCamp Nepal
My first interview was with Chandra Maharzan, the co-founder of the WordPress Nepal community. His story inspired me to delve deeper into WordPress.
In 2012, I volunteered at the first WordCamp in Nepal, where I learned more about the WordPress community and its potential.
The Need for Rara Themes
Rara Themes Logo
While working from a co-working space, I met a Danish traveler. He had a travel marketplace project but needed help with his outsourced team. So we talked, and I suggested that a local team could do better.
Despite my lack of experience, I assembled a team of talented developers, and we delivered the project in 4 months.
While helping him to get travel agencies on the platform, I met with several travel business owners and saw their digital struggles.
This experience led me to build my first travel website using WordPress for a client and eventually establish my own agency, Codewing Solution, in 2013.
My girlfriend, now wife, joined this venture. Four years in, we sensed the limits of a service model. So, we pivoted our focus to creating a WordPress theme business.
Then Rara Themes was born. We aimed to create WordPress themes that anyone could use without needing technical expertise. That’s why we put a lot of emphasis on user experience and design.
We also focused on building a solid team culture. We aimed to create a team passionate about WordPress and solving user problems. We hired people who shared our values and were committed to making a difference.
Today, we’ve transformed into a product powerhouse from an agency. We’ve empowered hundreds of thousands of WordPress users globally with several WordPress products: Rara Themes, Blossom Themes, WP Travel Engine, WP Delicious, Coachify Theme, and more.
Myself with my Brilliant Team
Here is a picture of me with my team.
Raushan Jaiswal with his Team
Advice for Business Owners
Firstly, you should decide whether you want to be an agency, create a WordPress plugin, a WordPress theme, or something else.
Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to do your research and choose the one that suits your skills and goals.
When it comes to advice for starting a business in a particular niche, there are a few things to consider. If you are looking at hosting, it might be best to talk to someone with more experience in that field, as we are unfamiliar with it.
As for agencies, we used to work in that area, but we are not up to date with the current industry trends.
If you’re interested in plugins and themes, finding a niche with a significant opportunity is essential.
One example of finding a niche is our product, WP Travel Engine, which more than 10,000 travel business owners use and is currently the market leader in creating travel booking websites.
We created it because we saw an opportunity while working with travel agencies and building their website. We were building the same thing repeatedly, and there was no good solution in WordPress.
It’s essential to find a niche and dominate it to be successful. You may have some knowledge in a specific area that can help you identify opportunities, or you can look into current trends and find a niche there.
When it comes to growing your business, there are several things to consider. Firstly, marketing is crucial, and we are currently focusing on that.
Additionally, it’s essential to future-proof the products, especially with the changes happening in Gutenberg and the increasing use of AI.
We want to ensure that our products are compatible with these changes and we can integrate them into our products.
We are also looking at adding more value and services to our existing customers. This could include offering hosting services, customizations, website maintenance, and logo design.
By doing this, we hope to improve the overall customer experience and create a loyal customer base.
Finally, we want to niche down our products further and focus on our strengths to become even more successful in our chosen areas.
WordPress & Beyond
While it’s difficult to predict the future of technology, I believe that Gutenberg and AI integration will play a significant role in the evolution of WordPress.
Gutenberg is constantly improving, and AI technology is changing the way people work, with automation becoming increasingly prevalent.
As a result, performance will be a crucial factor for WordPress going forward, as user experience will continue to improve.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that only some have a developer’s mindset, so providing simple solutions that allow people to focus on their business will be essential to WordPress’s continued success.
While there is competition from other website builders, WordPress is already a massive platform, with over 40% of the web using it.
As such, there are no immediate threats to WordPress, but there will be challenges.
Niche website builders may appeal to specific users, but WordPress must continue to improve to maintain its position as a top website builder.
Overall, I see WordPress growing and evolving in the coming years, and while there will be ups and downs, WordPress companies will need to adapt and find their way to continue to thrive.
My Love for the WordPress Community
I have attended WordCamps since 2012, when I first volunteered, and later became a speaker and co-organizer.
Over the years, our company has also sponsored and volunteered at numerous WordCamps, including being the platinum sponsor for WordCamp in Nepal in 2019, 2022, and 2023.
I have also attended WordCamps outside of Nepal. These events have provided me with valuable knowledge-sharing opportunities and allowed me to have intimate conversations with WordPress product founders.
Raushan Jaiswal with Mustaasam
As for an inspirational story, I suggest interviewing my wife, the founder of Blossom Themes.
In 2017, she didn’t find quality feminine WordPress themes. So she started started Blossom Themes. Today, it is the leading feminine WordPress theme company that has empowered hundreds of thousands of female bloggers and entrepreneurs. Her story is inspiring and often overlooked in the male-dominated tech industry.
Additionally, Yam Chhetri, a friend and the past lead organizer of WordCamp Kathmandu, also has some compelling stories to share.
How I Keep Myself Updated
I use many different tools to stay connected with people and stay updated on the latest news and trends.
I follow various blogs and newsletters and keep an eye on Twitter (now X), which provides me with curated content daily.
Additionally, I participate in different online communities and forums where I can engage with like-minded individuals and share knowledge and ideas.
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
In addition to running my business, I enjoy a few hobbies, such as playing chess.
Although I used to play more often professionally, I still play in my free time, usually with my brother, who is currently Nepal’s National Chess Champion.
I also prioritize my meditation practice, attempting to meditate twice daily for one hour each time.
Another activity I enjoy is participating in the salsa and bachata dance community and going on hikes. Recently, I have also started learning boxing.
I have also been actively involved product community and Toastmasters community.
As for travel, I have yet to venture outside of Nepal much, but I love exploring the beautiful hiking trails in Nepal.
I Reward Myself by
When it comes to rewarding myself for a good deed or achievement, I prefer a 10-day silent meditation course.
Currently, I am doing the Vipassana meditation that Gautam Buddha originally taught. I have benefited a lot from it. It has helped me to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, and boost my overall well-being.
During the course, I can disconnect from the distractions of daily life and focus solely on my meditation practice, which helps to deepen my understanding and experience.