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'We founded FFLN, addressing classroom hunger and contributing to better educational outcomes'

B360 January 31, 2024, 4:18 pm
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Brijesh Lacoul is a third-generation entrepreneur with a remarkable 16-year journey in the medical business supplies and equipment industry. He has not only propelled his company to the forefront of the industry but is also dedicated to raising healthcare standards.

The East West Group has become synonymous with innovation, introducing cutting-edge medical equipment in Nepal. Its vision led to the introduction of SIEMENS, DentsplySirona, Straumann, 3D systems, Varian, DGShape Roland, Agfa, etc, and advanced medical imaging technologies (MRI, CT, Brain Suite, Bi-plane Cathlab, Intraoral Scanner, Dental Cone-Beam Computed Tomography Systems, CADCAM, CEREC etc.), revolutionising healthcare accessibility in the country.

Since 1981, East West Group expanded its entrepreneurial footprint with Nepal’s first CT-Scan and Nuclear Medicine Imaging installed in Bir Hospital, Kathmandu, The Metro Imaging Centre, Kathmandu with its first SIRONA CBCT, Healthy Smiles with the first intra-oral scanner CEREC, Thamel Dental Clinic - a fully digitalised facility with single visit dentistry rarely seen even in developed countries. This state-of-the-art technology showcases East-West Group’s commitment to providing the latest in medical and dental care technology to the people of Nepal.

Lacoul studied his postgraduate in Electronics Engineering from Assumption University, Thailand. He is fond of reading books, travelling, and learning new ways to improve life. In this edition of Business 360, he shares with us the five experiences that have impacted his work and life.

My family, my inspiration

Inheriting a legacy in the medical business from my grandfather and my uncle who have been instrumental in guiding me to become an entrepreneur and their encouragement to join the family business has helped me become the person I am today. I am grateful for their presence in my life, which has inspired and disciplined me to personally run my own business. My family members have made many sacrifices for me, and I have inherited their traits of being a man of grit, ethics, strategic planning, foresight, and taking calculated risks. I am ever grateful to my mother for all her invaluable support and her presence by my side has made my achievements meaningful. 

Spirituality gives me meaning and purpose

Spirituality has broader dimensions beyond yoga and meditation and is the essence of my personal growth and spiritual enlightenment. I have drawn profound inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita, a classic, timeless wisdom which covers different topics of duty, business, society, politics, war, relationship, universe, the Supreme, Lord Krishna, and many more. With approximately 700 verses, it is a guideline to life that can change an individual’s paradigm and give a deeper insight of life and after. My spiritual knowledge has made me practice a life of simple living and high thinking. 

I would like to put forward my heartfelt gratitude to my spiritual masters, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj and His Grace Patri Prabhu. They are all transformational spiritual leaders, and with their sacrifices in the field of spirituality, thousands of individuals have been enlightened with the weapon of knowledge. 

Living for others

My dreams have evolved. While endeavouring to expand my business in the medical industry, I have tried my best to give back to society. In 2015, we founded Food For Life Nepal, addressing classroom hunger and contributing to better educational outcomes. What began as a modest initiative to feed 18 school children has grown into Nepal’s largest NGO-run school midday meal programme, benefiting over 10,000 children daily. For some, the meals that we provide are the only meal while for some others it is even a takeaway meal for their family members at home. 

Our organisation has seen remarkable growth since its inception in 2015. I attribute this success to the dedication of my team, and it’s clear that our resilience, sound working ethics, and dedication have made significant impacts on the lives of many children. 

My work has changed my life course well, as it has moulded me to be empathetic and analytical. My work is a testament to the positive impact that one person can make in society.

Growth starts within oneself

I believe our mentality and our thoughts have a direct impact on our performance. We should neither be too optimistic nor too pessimistic, but realistic. Since we are living in this dynamic tech-world, we have the tendency to undermine the value of organic growth. We believe that everything should come under the click of our fingers. Growth firstly requires vision, then planning, implementing and consistency. One may fail, but it’s not how hard you fall but how fast you rebound. It has taken East West Enterprises and Food For Life Nepal almost a decade to reach its new benchmarks, and I have learnt that growth requires the proper time to run its own course of resilience before success. If my eastern cultural values of interdependence, sacrifice, and respect for others have been instrumental in my growth, then reading books and thinking rationally are my tools for my continual self-improvement.

Clarity of purpose 

I believe clarity of purpose is essential for success. Referring to the story from the Bhagavad Gita where Arjun, who was initially hesitant of his duty, and later realises the reason behind his presence on the battlefield with the help of Lord Krishna. I am a keen learner of the Bhagavad Gita, and it has helped me see the ‘why’ behind my work. It is true that knowing ‘what’ and ‘why’ is necessary to achieve our goals. In fact, research shows that people who have a clear sense of purpose and direction are more likely to achieve their goals with confidence and self-worth. 

It is important to live a life with deeper values than with the superficial trappings of success; and enjoy all we do. Often taking time for yourself and taking recreational recess can also help you rejuvenate your purpose. The truth is that you can spend your life any way you want, but you can spend it only once. 

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MARCH 2024

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