‘Business on Wheels’ project in the making in Kazakhstan

ALMATY (TCA) — The Trade Committee of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan on February 19 held a meeting with the participation of state bodies and entrepreneurs on the development of “Business on Wheels” project as a way to earn during the crisis in Kazakhstan.

“Today we raise a very interesting topic that is at the forefront of attention — it is a mobile food truck, a small format of catering or ‘business on wheels’,” the head of the Trade Committee Secretariat Zhibek Azhibaeva said opening the meeting, the Chamber reported on its website. “Today this type of activity is becoming a trend. This is due to the economic crisis: big restaurants do not want to lose their position and act in a smaller format. Such projects have appeared in Almaty and Astana, there are a few of them in Western Kazakhstan and Shymkent.”

The meeting listened to Nursultan Sharipbayev, a 22-year-old businessman from Astana who was featured in media publications and social networks discussions after authorities in Astana had forbidden him to open a food truck in the form of a brightly painted bus with the image of US President Barack Obama. The authorities said that Sharipbayev used a registered vehicle which he didn’t remove from the register, and that the conversion of the bus was against the law “On Advertising”, according to which the drawing can be applied to not more than 40 percent of a vehicle.

“This is mobility: where there is an event, we come to supply it with food,” Sharipbayev said. “We launched this project in the run-up to EXPO-2017 (in Astana), as we assume there will be a large inflow of tourists to the country. We wanted to help, and to make money on it,” the entrepreneur said.

“One bus is called ‘Obama’. I would like to call the second one ‘Nureke’ as my [first] name is Nursultan. But I would like to have a portrait of President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the bus, with his permission. The inhabitants of the city would associate the bus called ‘Nureke’ with the Kazakh cuisine. The third bus will be called ‘Vova’ [a clear reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin — edit.], there will be the Russian cuisine such as kvass and fried dumplings,” Sharipbayev said.

Sergey Kwan