This third panel discussion of CEO Unplugged 2018 organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. was ‘Application of Knowledge: Challenge in Today’s Business’. The panel was aimed to showcase the challenge that is harnessing the knowledge of simple ideas in the current businesses scenario. These ideas have let a path of coherent and productive way in business. With a sidelined view towards the main aim, this panel conversed about the thematic areas of skills one requires to grow in life and influence of skill in the life of a certain individual.
CEO Unplugged is a yearly forum organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. comprising series of panel discussion where we try to establish a forum to discuss about contemporary business challenges, opportunities and futuristic view with a sight of experiential learning to the new comers in the business and students with an objective “Today Meets Tomorrow“.
The panel discussion comprised of panelist; Chhaya Sharma, Chairperson at NCTTM, Richard Howard, Country Director at ILO, Sambridhi Gyawali, Executive Director at Nepal Republic Media, Sishir Khanal, CEO at Teach for Nepal and moderator; Asish Thakur, Executive Director of Glocal Pvt. Ltd.
Thakur commenced the panel by showcasing the audience an influential video of skills. He conversed on the current scenario of the Nepali market that is need of skilled manpower and the ongoing brain drain in Nepalese youths. He mentioned, “We have 600 new openings of job each day. On one hand the job market is in need of employees and in the other hand people tell that they are lacking jobs in the country.”
Linking this aspect of job scenario and application of knowledge in the country, Thakur initiated the panel by prompting one such skills these veterans have learnt and have applied in their current work. The panel quenched the queries of the things they look for in their employees, about their views on the curriculum of the country and theme of the skills in Nepal.
Chhaya Sharma, Chairperson at NCTTM
I cannot say a particular skill but the emotion I have into what I am doing today is because I believed in education and mixed this education with the potential of my country, i.e. tourism. So, that is how my sentiment of mixing tourism and education let me to start Nepal’s first tourism management college in Nepal at a higher level. So, that was the emotion that drove me to do what I am today.
I would consider attitude as the first priority when it comes to hiring people. Secondly, I would look up to the person’s body language. I am very particular about the body language a person showcases. When I meet a person for the interview, if the person doesn’t reflect a proper body language I wouldn’t hire him/her because the body language of a person speaks about the overall attitude of the person and if he/ she is willing to learn.
I would consider age as another factor while hiring people. When you talk to an individual in the interview you can know how needy the person is for the job. People should know about their job specific details. The fact is how willing you are to do things.
The word ‘Hospitality’ speaks for itself. It speaks on the skill sets you need to develop. Of course, there is this curriculum and you have to study and pass the examination. I don’t much focus on the curriculum because any student will learn to pass the curriculum. Besides that, there are skills an individual must possess.
What I see now lacking is that we have become so commercial in all our behavior, ink our feelings and living that we have forgotten the basic human value. We forget the word ‘respect’ and especially I think this is a phenomenon trending in younger people. I am not pointing out this thing as a generation gap because I am a woman of 21st century myself. I believe in change, independence but not independent to such an extent that I forget words like respect, the human values and inclusiveness. I would want my students to develop quality of empathy. Besides the curriculum the other qualities we render to our students is how to respect other human beings and retain our values. We don’t need to copy the culture of the West. We still can develop and foster our emotions, culture and retain in the hospitality management.
One thing we have to understand is that why do we always wait on the government to do everything. When we talk about education the government spends so much of budget in education. I would not say the highest budget is allocated to the education sector but the amount that is allocated drains on wasting 80 percent to the salary of educationalist. What about the infrastructure, quality of the curriculum. Instead of always bickering and pointing private schools and institutions, the government should raise the level of government schools to the level of private schools so that the private schools will close down themselves. The students going to government schools also have a right to good education. The government has not been able to ash the private schools to work hand in hand with government schools. In the policy level, these are some of the things that need to be advocated.
Sambridhi Gyawali, Executive Director at Nepal Republic Media
When we talk about skills, I think whatever I have learnt till date it is soft skills that really make a person. One thing that I have learnt throughout these years is time management skills. Since I was a kid, I have been taught about how to manage things and prioritize stuffs. So, I think these soft skills are really important for me to progress.
One of the things we really look into people who we want to work is, whether the person aligned to the vision of the company. As we are a media house, we are different than any other business house of the country. The responsibilities we carry towards the society is certainly higher. So, this is something we look into. Secondly, the individual should be very technical in terms of their job aspects. If I am hiring a journalist, the person should possess journalistic skills in him/her. They should be able to understand the new changes in the media landscape as well. So, those are the very job- specific things we look into individuals and differs from positions of the job.
In these past 4-5 years of my experience in media I have conversed with veteran media person. They mentioned that years ago when they opened up a vacancy for a single job, at least 800-900 journalist would apply. But now when we look into the scenario, only 5-10 people apply for the vacancy. These people lack right skills and attitude we require. This is actually concerning for the media industry as a whole. Today media as a whole is facing a lot of challenges because we are no longer in the traditional way of communicating. We have transformed from writing news in a paper into typing it, going to television broadcasting to digital space and now into social media handles. So, communicating these types of information becomes very difficult and it does demand a lot of techniques about how to array these aspects. It is of course alarming for us. Rightly said about the lack of media colleges in Nepal. Although Tribhuvan University and Kathmandu University have a media programs none of them have coordinated with any media houses into showing news room or how practical work is actually done. Lot of students that we get for journalism should be trained to write an editorial. It’s the curriculum that has not taught them about the practical knowledge. I feel that it’s not journalism as per say, other industries and institutions should initiate skill-based learning. We do have CTEVT that conducts vocational training but it’s more about being generic. You really need to nail skills to become competent.
So, we are starting with our own media institute very soon. We will be teaching these graduates on changing media spaces and how to produce news in an integrated newsroom because now it’s not about writing news for tomorrow’s paper. I am working with CTEVT to develop set of skills for bringing a justice to the media industry.
Sishir Khanal, CEO at Teach for Nepal
There are so many skills we learnt throughout our schooling, university education. But one mindset I find it important in my life which had a profound effect on me during my orientation in the US. One of the professors told us, “We don’t teach you content of the book but we’ll teach you how to learn.” This attitude of how to learn has been very important in my life.
When we hire people, we want people to know the technical aspect of the job and then about the whole job in general. We would also look if the candidate applying for the job could do the work he would be allocated and undermine if the candidate has some level of technical capacity to perform the job.
As we are a non-profit organization, a big factor for us is a ‘mission fit’. When we get applications we consider if the person is aligned to the mission of our company and the willingness to learn. Each job comes with challenges and there is so much to learn from the context. A lot of people come, thinking that they know everything and it becomes very hard to work with people who already know so much. So, willingness to work becomes a big factor and problem-solving skills is an important aspect. One of the big things we say to the challenges in Teach for Nepal is- We need to figure it out!
In Nepal, most of the students pursuing undergraduate studies are involved in- education and management. Nepal’s most talented people and young graduates never choose education as a career because of the mindsets. If you gain distinction and first division there are two streams you ought to go, i.e. engineering or management. If people barely pass their SLC they are said to take education as their major subject in high schools and bachelor level. Most of these people are from the rural areas and they have led an underprivileged life. In one side we have a problem of not finding quality individuals on the other hand side we have masses of unqualified people willing to have a job.
People like us who are privileged we have many options but those people don’t have the choice. We started Teach for Nepal to ensure that those 6 million kids who are going to community schools also have the same opportunities like you and I have.
Richard Howard, Country Director at ILO
I think people should have two types of skills in them. The first is critical thinking and its not just learning concepts from the book. Learning concepts from books is important, we all need to do that during our life. Most of the things I learnt were from my work and they were not learnt from school. The question is how you apply those concepts in your work and are you the kind of person who can take those concepts and say ‘‘Hey! This doesn’t quite work for Nepal. It’s actually different.’’ So, you’re always criticizing, thinking around the concepts and using them, modifying them and shaping them for our work. That’s a great skill people can learn.
The other skill is clarity of thought. If you go and listen to people do interviews you will find that some people prepare so much for the interview that they know everything about the company including the market plan to the 10 year market data. But, there is just so much detail coming out that these people have not shaped a story in what they are trying to say. The thing whatever you are doing can you shape a clear logical story that only brings in the most useful information.
When we hire people we first look into the attitude of the person. I am really attracted to someone who shows up with bright attitude. This shows that they really want to be on your team and they are optimistic about the world. So many people can be so critical about Nepal about the government, infrastructure, roads. But these optimistic people see beyond difficulties and see a way forward. Believe it or not, when you are the boss of the company people will criticize you. I find it a hard time to work with someone who fries your brain. When you need short, clear and incisive information they overwhelm you by giving too much exaggerated details. Know your stuff and be able to communicate with a positive attitude.
There is a social and economic hierarchy in every country but it is pronounced a bit more in Nepal and you see the best of the best in Nepal. You see people of economics, social security and lot others in Nepal. I am blown away by the way the minds of Nepalese who work in private and government sector of Nepal. The only challenge in Nepal is the lack of quality education.
When we talk about education which is important spiritual education or material education?
Chhaya Sharma: If you are to ask me, I think both are important. In order to gain material education, you require spiritual education. Spiritual education helps you know and value human beings. Nowadays we talk about stress management. It’s because we are running and moving in such fast pace for our works. Certain spirituality is needed to slow you and calm you down. When you are peaceful and calm then only you can think properly and if you are not joyful inside what you have cannot be delivered. In order for your well-being you need spiritual education then you will attain material education to new heights.
Sambridhi Gyawali: In today’s world it’s not about either or or. It is more about the balance act. As long as you can hit the balance right personally, that’s where you excel.
Sishir Khanal: I don’t see any duality in both of these educations. I remember visiting a rural area of the country and asking parents of the kids, “What do you want your kids to become after they accomplish in their academics?” Lot of these parents told that they wanted their kids to be become ‘happy and good’. I think these two things are the true point of education. ‘Happy and good’ both carries the essence of materialistic and spiritual elements. There is materialism because you need some physical aspects to be happy. The point of education is to prepare young people for life, to prepare for workplace and become an engaging citizen of the country. Life has personal and professional element.
Why there is only theoretical knowledge in Nepal and not practical approach knowledge?
Chhaya Sharma: In Nepal there are schools that have initiated progressive education. The progressive education includes practical application of the cultures they learn in books. We need life skills that will help us in life. The curriculum needs to focus on this.
The final panel discussion invited an essence of the spirit that Nepalese youth are lacking as well as the prospects they have in the field of Nepalese job market. The experience shared by the panel was a worth to watch and listen.
This second panel discussion of CEO Unplugged 2018 organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. was Business Adaptation – Changing Nepal. The panel was to discuss in the certainty and predictability ruled in the country through the insight of Boomers Leaders tapping the economic development change in Nepal. Discussing on the major bottleneck for Nepal to achieve higher levels of economic growth.
CEO Unplugged is a yearly forum organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. comprising series of panel discussion where we try to establish a forum to discuss about contemporary business challenges, opportunities and futuristic view with a sight of experiential learning to the new comers in the business and students with an objective “Today Meets Tomorrow“.
The panel discussion comprised of panelist; Chandra Dhakal, Chairman of IME Group, Joseph Silvanus, CEO at Standard Chartered Bank Nepal, Puneet Varshney, MD at Bottler’s Nepal, Dr. Upendra Mahato, Founder of Mahato Group of Industries and moderator; Anil Chitrakar, President at Siddhartnic.
In his opening remark, Chitrakar mentioned, “It is not an irony when you generally say Nepalese are comfortable with change, but then businesses is about change. But when you talk about change to people who inherently seek comfort it is not an easy thing to understand. How many of you believe that most of the products/opportunities that you see today is because something changed? And how many of you think we don’t need to change certain things, like learning English? Now, this is very important to understand that businesses are created because there is change.”
Chitrakar opined that the discussion of the panel could bring the best out of how the audience could take advantages of certain changes to start the businesses but which changes are completely not necessary in a business. He asked these veteran entrepreneurs on how do they want young people to think about change, how do they adapt to change, their plans on initiating change in the enterprise, turn their failures into lessons, resistance to changes and preparation of change that leads them ahead of their time.
Jospeh Silvanus, CEO at Standard Chartered Bank Nepal
“Change is a constant. Even in my organization people who get their comfort zone, there’s no place for them. When the rate of change of an organization internally is slower than the environmental change, the organization loses in the short time. So, we have got to change faster than the environment itself.
For financial intermediate space- fresh axioms and no surprises. You have to manage surprises and you got to be ahead of curve. For us, a client stays longer who has more products and gives us more revenue and the question is- How do I keep a client engaged over an entire lifecycle of his banking with us?
I employ young people who are aspirational. The longer you stay with me, you will learn and grow with the organization as well as the corporate culture. You will be handling all our clients and you will be the ambassador of the entire bank. Therefore, people power is inside us. If I invest in you and you grow in your career, you will handle my clients. This is the simple truth for me to stay ahead of the game.
Today between banks and institutions and financial intermediation space there’s no difference in the products we offer. The differentiation is the brand and people who manage the brand with style, consistency and every moment with customer care delight.
I think there is no harm in failing as long as you learn from it. For us this is important that you realize that there is difference between creating a wage and salary and wealth creation. So, this is where I am going into the core area of my finance. This country needs wealth creation and it needs wealth creation in all your hands. It’s different from earning a salary because your propensity to spend is 92 cents according to the facts and statistics of the country’s economy.
How do you save? You have got to change your behavior. You have to think about tomorrow. If you end up spending what you get today and tomorrow in the country having sales and investments rate of 7 percent, what does it offer to the country’s capital formation in a medium and long term?
So, for me it’s very important for me to see that my staffs are savers. Then I can portray to the larger public and you people here about saving being very important.”
Puneet Varshney, MD at Bottler’s Nepal
“Change is something that has been spoken till death like, change is constant and one should change within time. This has evoked a lot of theories, lot of good thought and debate as well as a lot of funny jokes around what change is all about. I think it is important for every organization and especially for organizations like ours.
We manage the biggest brand in the world, i.e. Coca- Cola and for a brand to stay contemporary and still be rooted in a manufacturing process is especially tricky. The most challenging aspect of the job is that the world will change, whether you like it or not and if you can change in line with the world is when you stay relevant.
One has to understand that there will always be failures. There is no environment, there is no business situation or there is no personal life situation for that pattern where there won’t be failure. So, there is going to be failure in everything you do. The question is what you learn from that. Every failure adds to experience for sure. For us as a company or as a business, we like to stay focused on a consumer than a customer. We spend a lot of time and energy going through our consumers. So, we believe if we can get that right, the rest of it can be structured. So, if the consumers are changing either because of technology or what they believe in then our enterprise changes and follow it quickly.
Often people take entrepreneurship as different from corporate life. The biggest challenge for corporates is how we get our associates to think as entrepreneurs. It is a concept which is not devoid of each other. It is not a family structure vs. a corporate structure or a non-entrepreneur vs. an entrepreneur. Every person to succeed in business must have a spirit of entrepreneurship. It means if a corporate structure can actually challenge that spirit in a manner that gives you the best chance of success, then that’s where you are able to make it to the best.
Every corporate will probably laugh to know when the employee will think like an entrepreneur because what entrepreneurship means is change. What entrepreneurship means is the ability to predict what will happen and ability to understand how that will impact your own business products and services and how to make money in that. Therefore, if you are able to understand what’s happening, channel the process and make money out of that process then you will be successful.
One must understand a fact that the people who generally are at senior levels in any organization or in society in general, there is something that has given them success and that success has let them to the top of the organizational structure. It is difficult for those seniors to believe that what they have got them to the success will lead them to success in the next ten years. So, whatever I have learnt in these 10 years is not necessarily the company needs to be in the next ten years. Therefore, building organization is a change. This something that doesn’t come naturally to you and so does that happen to every other person in the company. Nobody likes change because you are always comfortable and confident in what you know. So, that is what brings you to the important value culture of the organization culture, i.e. are we able to encourage people do new things differently and make them safe in the belief that it’s okay.
The best organizations I hear about or I have worked with have always said that, “Look its okay to do things that are different.” In fact these enterprises would reward you for doing that. These ideas are not just radical or random. It is a well-known in marketing circles, when you start a new business idea, you can’t go to a consumer or a customer and ask that customer what do they want. You can’t go to somebody and say, “What should I give you?” because consumers don’t know in advance what they need. But when you present them with an idea they can’t say what they like or not. So, you have to understand what the customer is saying, take that, have an internal process to build ways to adjust those customer’s needs. Get your team to have that mindset. This is not just applicable in any product launch, be it area of business operation or while dealing with vendors.
Every year new theories come in a business, but vandalizing principles always remain the same, i.e. let’s look at doing better tomorrow than what we’re doing today. It is always the overlook at the small steps that bring development.
To the youths of tomorrow, often we get where Nepal is and what we’re doing right and what we’re not doing right. There’s enough problem around us which makes us think, “Hey! Where are we going? And What will happen?” I hear a lot of people saying, “My future is outside Nepal or when I finish this course I am going outside.” The point is you have to create opportunity in Nepal. So, there is a lot of opportunity here because here we don’t need to go through the cycles as developed countries went through. We have the advantage of a leapfrogging technology. In technology we are not behind the world.
You must have read how Nepal is planning to put its own satellite and therefore those are things which fire the imagination and convinces others that we are among the best. That’s something we must never forget-never ever!”
Dr. Upendra Mahato, Founder at Mahato Group of Industries
About the change, everybody is changing. Change is related to everybody, in everything and in every sense. So, change makes us grow. When you are confident that there is change and change is in your mind, you will be changed.
I am overwhelmed to witness such enthusiastic mass of young generation. When we talk about change there comes innovation. Innovation is local and product is global. Most of these innovations commence through the developing countries because in the search of opportunity to do something our minds have learnt to sharpen themselves. But this innovation must have a continuity and for this we need to establish some cultures.
For instance, in Nepal there’s a system of ‘Once you hire a person you can’t fire him/her’. This is the biggest problem of Nepal. If we want to fire someone from the job, then we must go to different channels to plead. But if the employee wants to leave, he/she can leave the job in a second. If we really want to develop the country we need to eradicate this culture.
Take risk. Entrepreneurship whether minimal or extensive, is about taking risk. You can initiate you own enterprise. The more society has people of small and medium background, the more it is stable. You are the generation who can make this stability happen. The government will provide you with 40-50 percent employment, the rest percent of employment you have to create yourself.
If anyone knew how to put the business in a right track, then most successful entrepreneurs would be professors of Harvard and Oxford University. They have been teaching all their lives about how to become prosperous, how to manage the business. But, you the one who learns it and applies it pragmatically becomes more successful than them.
Nepal provides opportunities as one can invest in many enterprises. Statistics is a relative thing but your thought is always a constant. What you are thinking you should continue that. If you want to be successful in life, you should act with honesty and labor.
Culture should be changed by evolution and economy should also be changed by evolution. When you are thinking about something and planning to do something, think and plan by closing your eyes and do your work by opening your eyes. That is your change.
In life, change happens by some incident or situation. This incident invites new changes and thinking in the life of the individual. I would like to give an insight of an example of my life. If I had the ability to treat people through the money I had, my mother would be with me today. If that night, my mother had got an access to a doctor, she could have been with me today. From that day I realized, Nepal needs a health service that didn’t let anyone’s family die untimely in the lack of treatment. Even though I am not a medical doctor, I felt like doing something in the medical sector of the country.
Many people told me to initiate hotel and housing business as they seem to bring easy money. But I chose to do something in medical sector. What I have experienced is that Nepal is the only place in the world where people have a full-fledged service oriented heart. So why not Nepalese do something in the field of service-oriented fields like education, health, agriculture and tourism?
Today’s world depends upon three things- networking, branding and perception. So, if you want to change with time by taking these three things you will surely develop.
Chandra Dhakal, Chairman of IME Group
In my opinion, in accordance to time everyone should learn to change. If people don’t change in accordance to the time, definitely the result will not be produced as in the thought process.
Whenever I plan to work, I look up to three major things. Firstly, the project should look up to solve the problem of public. Similarly, the project should be initiated in accordance to the motive of the government as well and finally the product you will to give should fulfill the motive of your enterprise.
I would like to give my example on the basis of the above three things I mentioned. 18 years ago, the trend of Nepalese going abroad was raging. In this conflict period, the government was in an ardent need of a formal channel that could invite the foreign currencies to the country. So, we commenced the beginning of IME as a remittance enterprise. Similar is the idea behind the establishment of Chandragiri Hills. The ongoing pollution in Kathmandu is unbearable and in such situation people long for a place that presents them with the beauty of nature. So, we brought the idea of Chandragiri Hills. This profited the government as the government was in works to instigate a project related to tourism. As an entrepreneur I have fulfilled the necessities of the plan to work.
As I mentioned earlier, we should learn to transform according to time. Transforming the traditional and conventional work pattern may be difficult. But, every one of you must look at the broad vision of the work that is set to be initiated. A level of patience should be inherent and a lot of effort is required. Even if you initiate an enterprise it should profit the government’s goals.
Citing example of a parable of inspiring story of change of Budhha and his disciple Chitrakar concluded the event. Chitrakar’s sole method of asserting examples and asking questions to the entrepreneurs was a spark of his technique to inspire the audience. The second panel gave the event with knowledge, expertise and the strength to the aspiring entrepreneurs of the country.
This first panel discussion of CEO Unplugged 2018 organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. was Generational Change to Family Business: Mapping Young Minds. The panel looked into status of Nepal’s millennial’s who are set to welcome an economic revolution in the country’s entrepreneurial space. The panel’s main objective was to mirror the innovative changes that the young minds of the family have brought out in work, careers, family life and family business.
CEO Unplugged 2018 is a yearly forum organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. comprising series of panel discussion to establish a forum to discuss about contemporary business challenges, opportunities and futuristic view with a sight of experiential learning to the new comers in the business and students with an objective “Today Meets Tomorrow“.
The first panel discussion comprised of panelist; Shekhar Golchha, Director at HH Bajaj, Akhil Gupta, Director at Shanker Group, Satish Pokhrel, Director of Agni Cement, Siddhant Raj Pandey, CEO of Business Oxygen Pvt. Ltd. and moderator; Suman Shakya, Founder of Smart Paani.
Suman Shakya asked these young entrepreneurs about their experience of taking over the family business, challenges that came over when they want to bring a wave of change in the traditional family businesses, stereotypes that hit while working and wisdom of words they would love to share to the aspirants of the country.
In his opening remarks Suman Shakya roused an ambience of delight through his first question. Shakya commenced the panel by giving an instance of a car that attracts a crowd. Adding to the definite reason why people gather to look at the car, Shakya mentioned that the car lacked an engine but it was operating because of the ‘brand’ and not an ‘engine’. He prompted his first query of ‘Are you a brand or an engine of the enterprise?’
Akhil Gupta, Director of Shanker Group
” More than me saying I am a brand or an engine of the enterprise, it’s more of my work to speak. It’s a very old organization in Nepal and it was the largest manufacturing private sectors companies in Nepal. Juddha Power Motors was my initiative when I got back after studying and have done a lot of work. To answer your questions, I am still learning to become these parts and the integrity to make the engine working. It is a long process. I was lucky enough to have a family who set me in that direction of entrepreneurship.
There came challenges when I wanted to bring a change. But I was lucky enough to work with my cousins who wanted to move forward and understood our challenges.
Most of the companies have CEOs and it’s not a very old thing. We are trying to bring in the best knowledge. For example, for our motors business we got the best professional who understands the business, for alcohol business we have person from India working for the business, for steel business we have steel authority from India working for the business.
We do now have CEOs who are running our businesses. Primarily because they do understand certain things better than we do. But that is more in an operational front and if it would still come into planning. We are still learning as we are learning.
I’ll just share something from the last 8 to 9 years I have always done what I wanted to do. I also started out working at a bank in India and I realized that I didn’t want to work. I wanted to work on something of my own. I did my masters and came back. When I look forward I want to say, I have a big organic farm of my investment where I am myself one of the farmers. But what I have understood till date is just keep following whatever you think, whatever you dream and whatever your passion is. If you can manage it in the right way and if you can manage your resources, time, develop the skill sets required for your passion you will be set up at a right track.”
Satish Pokhrel, Director of Agni Cement
“As a matter of fact, our family are real entrepreneurs. They have come from a level to this level. It takes a lot of effort to achieve this level. If you see from the outside, it feels an easy job but to keep up with the expectations and work, the amount of effort we need to put up is extra.
First of all, when I joined the business I started from the bottom and worked as an employee. We have a policy in our family that we start from the bottom and grow ourselves to the top. I completed my bachelors at the end of 2013 and joined the company as an engineer. During the initials while your parents and uncle is your boss, there comes a conflict to treat them as your boss or family. I thought when I was leading there should be certain things I need to consider. For example, we have to show some level of respect to the senior workers. Otherwise things will be messed up. At the beginning this was the case. Recently, I was promoted to the director of the company and it was because of my family’s guidance. As a family business there were hurdles but then when you know how it works it is easy.
We have a platform for all of our siblings and our family. Recently, my cousin has also joined the business. Few of my siblings are in abroad but the ones who are here they are genuinely interested to join the business. So, they are not pushed to the top in the beginning but have to go through the struggle.
There is only one thing that I say to everyone. You have studied here, you’ve worked here, gained knowledge and you have gained experience. So, don’t go abroad. Nepal is a land of opportunities despite of the hurdles. Where there are gaps, there are opportunities to fill the gap, so commercialize it, and find a solution to it. But, don’t go abroad. This is a place where you want to be because this is a place of growing economy.”
Abhimanyau Golchha, Director of HH Bajaj
“I recently joined the company and it’s been 26 months. The expectation carries a lot of weight. If you have heard the saying, ‘Every problem comes with its layers’. From outside it looks like you are wearing a crown, when you take it off its pretty painful. So, in the first day itself people have a lot of expectations and there’s no room for error from the very start. There’s a lot to learn a lot from it but at the same time there’s a lot of advantages. For example, sometimes I can get a room for error. If I do an error in 8 out of 10 businesses I uptake, the remaining 2 that I do good in will be remembered. But at the same time there’s a lot of expectation which puts up a lot of pressure on you from the first day itself.
I graduated two years ago and I worked in India for a couple of years. I worked in Delhi’s Samsung and then I worked in Pune for a year with ‘non-salary’. So, it’s not like that I directly graduated and directly entered to the company. In my company I pretty much started as a director. But I am not looking off at the entire company and I am looking at the automotive and three wheeled division of the company.
But once I become confident, I can take more and more companies. Coming to the other point, in our company we do have general managers who run day to day activities and I look up to the bigger picture of it. So, we do believe in a company run by a professional CEO and I think with that it gives you confidence. If you are ready to empower your team to run the day to day operations, you can take it much easier.
When I was in school I wanted to become a taxi driver. I used to love driving cars, getting paid and driving all day. That’s the best thing in the world. I think that I am fortunate enough that all the businesses I am involved in is my passion. Selling motorcycles is something I love and I can’t complain about that. I did engineering and business was not even in my bachelor studies.
This is something that I am loving every day. Every day I am learning so much. I cannot see myself doing anything else apart from this.
The educated people of Nepal don’t come back, it is very difficult to work on the economy. Even if you go abroad for your studies, you must come back and contribute to the society. In terms of all the chaos in Nepal, entrepreneurship is born in a chaos. There are a lot of opportunities that have not been utilized. If you can’t succeed as an entrepreneur in Nepal, there’s no other place. I think this is the best place to be an entrepreneur. Go off your dreams and be focused.”
Siddhant Raj Pandey, CEO of Business Oxygen Pvt. Ltd.
“As a private entity venture we do invest in businesses that are run by family and with partnerships. But before I get into the businesses we invest, worldwide 70 percent of the family business get fold up or sold up when the second generation takes over mainly because there are so many things the family business do not follow. This includes core structure of a business that make it to the third fourth generation. Keeping that main in mind, we as a private equity investor, invest in businesses run by family and small to medium enterprise.
We are not just brining capital into this business but we are bringing a partnership, handling over the company and doing change management. Most of the companies that are run in Nepal have a traditional management system. They don’t have financial framework, marketing branding, corporate government and transparency that are long resistant. These are the parallels that ensure a company to survive, so we teach these businesses on how to operate the management, succession planning, and professional management. We also teach these things to the families that want to give their less qualified and sons the position of CEO in the family business.
We are an outside intervention that bring capital as well as expertise so that we could dictate basic fundamental structure that makes the business stable.
What I want to make sure is that so that I am not misinterpreted. These fine young men who have done their time going to good universities, studying, coming back and they didn’t stay where they were studying- that’s a good point, that’s a plus. And the families that I have seen in the past 20- 25 years are investing in their children for abroad study, learn about what’s happening out there so that they can drive their businesses in the future and they are dealing with companies in India which are so compression. So, that’s a plus point.
Their grandfather/great grandfather/ father may not have been born to a business family. They created a business family and it’s all about entrepreneurship. So, it’s about passion. You’ve got to put your time in, work hard on it and the sky is the limit. There are no glass ceilings here. So, it’s up to you could be happy with whatever you want. But the point is dignity of labour is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter what you are, be what you want to be.”
‘Generational Change to Family Business: Mapping Young Minds’ being the first panel discussion of CEO UNPLUGGED made sure that entrepreneurs belonging to the business family should work harder to keep up with the name of their family and their family business. Four of these millennials gave an insight to the savor of their understanding of entrepreneurship in the panel. Not only did they converse about their journey to become what they are today, through the wisdom of words they shared was an insight to hard work being a key to success.