Basanti Pradhan is the CEO of Rudyn Agriflora Nepal, a floriculture company established in 1991. Dealing in all aspects of floriculture, the company is an export oriented business. They export bulbous, tuberous and rhizomatous plants on a large scale to wholesale dealers worldwide. Their sister concern Bodhi Brikchya Nursery deals with the local floriculture in the country specialising in ornamental plants, cut flowers and landscape designs.
Pradhan serves as an Executive Board Member of Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal, and is Committee Member of AEC and CTF at the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
She believes one should work on building a business you are proud of. She says she has never gone into any business purely to make money, stating emphatically, “If money is your only motive, then I believe you shouldn’t launch the business at all.”
In this edition of Business 360 , she talks about the five things that have impacted her work and life.
People in my life
My parents instilled such a strong sense of honesty in me, that I grew up preferring to be punished for telling the truth, rather than lie, cheat and steal my way through life. They taught me leadership and a rare character of honesty along with it.
Funnily enough, this attitude has had a very odd offshoot that has affected my relationships in a peculiar way. I am very honest, but if a person “punishes me” for my honesty, then I distance myself from that person and kill off the relationship, whatever its nature. This is because I have a deep-rooted need to be around honest people who can also bear being told the truth. I will not accept any other type of person in my life. Many of my interests – languages, education, spirituality and interest in arts – came from my parents who are not with me anymore.
After my marriage, family members from my husband’s side were always open and honest about everything. Moreover, they have always allowed me to follow my passions and interests freely without any type of control, yet always been supportive and encouraging. They have had full trust in me – they never needed to set any boundaries. So in a nutshell I would say: Love, trust, openness and freedom.
I would like to specially mention here that the support after my marriage received from my husband Yogesh Pradhan and my family was just incredible.
My sister Bhawani has also been an inspiration to me as she has been with me through thick and thin since childhood.
Recently Marjia Ruigrok from Rockstart Impact/ One2Watch has been a great mentor nurturing my business acumen and marketing skills.
Some memorable incidents
Late Queen Aishwarya had visited our farm. She looked at our showcase of well-packaged and labeled flower bulbs with a gasp saying ‘Imported Dutch Bulbs’.
I gently let her know that these were produced from our farm and were exported worldwide, even to the Dutch Market. I cherish her amazing joyful look and how she rushed back to peruse our show window and expressed her pride for these Nepali products. This look is a reflection to me in my life of the poem of William Wordsworth -Daffodils.
Our Prime Minister has also expressed interest to visit our farm soon.
Another Incident was when a Hollywood Star ordered a flower bouquet worth $700 in 1993 and asked us to deliver it to a monastery in a chartered helicopter (the helicopter fare was extra) which carried only the bouquet.
Best life decision
I have always been determined about creating your own identity and empowering Nepali women socio economically to achieve this. This year as we are planning to upscale our exports of flower produce, I have been joyous with one of our company decisions.We plan to go into contract farming with rural women by providing them our flower seeds, expertise and consultancy and buy back from them.
Travelling actually plays an important developmental role in becoming a better entrepreneur. From learning how to communicate in different ways to experiencing new cultures, the entire process of traveling has profound effect on more than just your personal life.
Travelling is like going through a door to another space. It opens up a whole new horizon exposing us to new technologies, products, trends, processing and relations.
Travel, like business, involves changing plans and finding ways to adapt to new environments. Traveling teaches leadership every step of the way.
I have a passion for learning, for creating a life based on spirituality, for pursuing progressive expansion of happiness. I am understanding deeper the importance of balancing our material and spiritual facets of life and aspiring to be more positive, loving and giving.