Thu, April 18, 2024

Annual List Of 100 People To Watch : BUSINESS

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AJIT BIKRAM SHAH Director and CEO of Lotus Holdings

Ajit Bikram Shah is the Director and CEO of Lotus Holdings, a family business that is active in real estate, handmade rugs, healthcare, and information technology. Shah’s companies currently outsource across small to multibillion-dollar Fortune 50 companies around the world and are also involved in various technology projects with the Government of Nepal. In his latest venture, Shah has big plans to establish a platform where he could scale up Nepal to become the back office of the world. He envisions that by 2030 Nepal will have an alternative source of foreign currency earnings at par to the current inflow of remittances while creating 1.5 million jobs. With a career spanning close to two decades, Shah is recognised for his sharp focus in growth strategy, business development and customer acquisition. He has worked in diverse and often challenging international environments to deliver high impact results while maintaining operational excellence.

CHANDRA PRASAD DHAKAL Co-Founder & Chairman of IME Group

Chandra Prasad Dhakal has established himself as a first generation serial entrepreneur. He and his brother Hem Raj Dhakal co-founded the IME conglomerate of businesses. His visionary leadership has contributed to evolve IME Group from its humble beginnings into a fast growing group with a remarkable presence in banking, remittance, IT, trading, communications, energy, tourism, automobiles, insurance and infotainment. In addition, he is the Vice President of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and has been serving as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Nepal since 2010. He is also the President of the Nepal Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice-President of the Nepal German Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with being an invitee member of the Investment Board of Nepal chaired by the country’s Prime Minister.

BISWAS DHAKAL Founder and President of F1Soft International

Biswas Dhakal is a tech-entrepreneur and the founder of F1Soft International. With Dhakal at the helm of F1Soft, the company is pioneering in the fintech industry in the country and has introduced SMS banking, mobile banking, internet banking, online payment gateway and other transactional banking solutions in Nepal. Currently, F1Soft is leading the Nepali market with almost 90% of Nepal’s financial institution using at least one of F1Soft’s transaction banking products. F1Soft Group consists of several innovative companies such as Fonepay, Shiran Technologies, Diyalo Technologies, Darshantech Solutions, Logicabeans, ExtensoData, Cogent Health, Fonepay,, eSewaPasal and most importantly eSewa which Dhakal co-founded in 2009. eSewa is Nepal’s first mobile wallet and carries over 200,000 transactions every day. A dynamic IT entrepreneur and a pioneer in his sector, he was awarded ‘Manager of the Year’ in 2017. Prior to this, Dhakal was selected by US Department of State for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 from Nepal. Today, Dhakal and his team continue to break new grounds with innovative mobile apps and mobile financial solutions aimed at making lives of people easier.

HARI BHAKTA SHARMA Founder & Executive Director of Deurali-Janata Pharmaceuticals

Hari Bhakta Sharma founded Deurali-Janata Pharmaceuticals in early 1991. Sharma was an excellent student with a background in medical science. He always had a business mindset and wanted to start his own enterprise. On recommendation of two professors from Stanford University to enter the pharmaceutical industry as the sector was in its infancy, he saw it’s potential, recognised the effort that it would require being in competition with a global market, and started work. The company has now been manufacturing Favipuravir in Nepal. Favipuravir is an antiviral medicine originally made to treat flu in Japan, which the Nepal Health Research Council in December 2020 had decided to test on Covid 19 patients admitted to hospitals in Kathmandu and Pokhara under a phase-III trial.Reportedly, the drug is already being used in Japan, China, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries to treat Covid 19 patients. In addition, Sharma is an Executive Member of Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NICCI) and the Immediate Past President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI). He served as the Senior Vice President of CNI before he was elected President in March 2016.

MIN BAHADUR GURUNG Chairman and Managing Director of Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket

Min Bahadur Gurung and his wife started Bhat-Bhateni as a single-shutter 120 sq.ft cold store in 1984. Today, Bhat-Bhateni is Nepal’s leading supermarket and departmental store chain with its presence in all major cities across the country like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, Dharan and Butwal. Leaving his job in the banking sector, Gurung is an extraordinarily dynamic self-made businessman with the dream and ambition to make Bhat-Bhateni Group a truly professional multinational company. What started with one staff, Bhat-Bhateni now employs over 4500 staff. Bhat-Bhateni is also the largest tax payer in the retail sector in country. As part of his company’s corporate social responsibility, the group helped construct an emergency ward having 72 beds at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital with a spending of Rs 100 million. Gurung has named the ward after his parents. He has also been providing yearly scholarships to two MBBS students, especially deserving candidates from remote villages of the country. With Gurung at the helm of the company, Bhat-Bhateni has been a successful family business since its establishment. Currently, Gurung has long term goals and aim to establish farmer co-operatives in Nepal which is estimated to give employment to 50,000 people. He also serves as a Chairman of Kumari Bank.

NICHOLAS PANDEY Executive Director of Kalika Constructions

With Pandey at the helm of the group, the company is considered to be one of the best construction companies of Nepal. Kalika Constructions has consistently bagged multiple awards, and in a developing country, his company plays a vital role in building the nation’s infrastructure. After finishing his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School, Pandey has been fully involved in the construction industry. Today he has accumulated over 15 years of experience in one of the country’s toughest industries. Additionally, he is also the Managing Director of Kalika Energy, a NEPSE listed venture committed to develop hydropower projects. Pandey is the second Vice President of International Federation of Asia and Western Pacific Contractors Associations (IFAWPCA), Senior Vice President of the Federation of Contractors Associations of Nepal (FCAN), Immediate Past President of Nepalese Young Entrepreneurs Forum (NYEF) and also former President of the Youth Community for Nepalese Contractors.

PAWAN GOLYAN Chairman of Golyan Group

Pawan Golyan is Chairman of the Golyan Group that carries a legacy of more than six decades with investments in different business verticals like manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, real estate, information technology, financial services and renewable energy. While Reliance Spinning Mill (RSM) is the flagship company of the group, it also has institutions such as NMB Bank, Westar Properties, Atlanta Trading, City Properties, Dhanalaxmi Synthetics, Himali Pashmina Industry, Shivam Plastic Industries and Makalu Cashmere in its portfolio. The Golyan Group is backed by a workforce of over 5000 people with a turnover of over USD$200 million. Golyan started his career when he was only 16 years old and became a full-fledged businessman by 22. He is considered one of the most prominent business leaders of the country. He ardently believes that a strong domestic production base is a must for a sustainable and resilient economy. Golyan is working to support the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) integrating them into the value chain of large scale industries particularly in garment production and agriculture.

RAHUL CHAUDHARY Managing Director of CG Corp Global and CG Hospitality

Rahul Chaudhary leads CG Hospitality, the hospitality wing of CG Corp Global. His specialty lies in building tactical association in recognised as well as promising markets which helps in the growth and development of the company. Under his leadership, CG Hospitality has created a portfolio from a mere three to 135 hotels, resorts and spas in 12 countries and 94 destinations with over 6,414 keys, and is adding almost 20 hotels to their portfolio annually. CG Hospitality has a proud history of successful joint ventures in the hospitality sector with esteemed partners and today owns some of the most iconic assets globally with brands such as Taj, Vivanta, Jetwing, Radisson, Ekho and its own brands The Farm, The Fern, Summit and Zinc. In 13 years of his journey in the hospitality sector, Chaudhary has worked hard to champion what it takes to become a complete hotelier. He aspires to be a billionaire hotelier with a target to reach a portfolio of 200 hotels across the globe within three years. Chaudhary is a strong proponent of entrepreneurship and to foster the start-up culture along with partners has started Prestellar Ventures which is an early-stage venture capital fund that seeks to partner with passionate entrepreneurs and disruptive start-ups. After three successful investments, two in Singapore and one in India, the company is currently reviewing several ideas driven by Nepalis. Among the many awards and recognitions, he is also included for the third consecutive year in Hotelier India’s Power List 2020, India’s prestigious Hotelier magazine which recognises him as one of the 25 most powerful hoteliers.

SHEKHAR GOLCHHA President of FNCCI Director of Golchha Organisation

Shekhar Golchha joined the family business established by his grandfather Ram Lal Golchha almost two decades ago. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Delhi University and a degree in Business Administration from Webster University in the UK. Today, he is one of Nepal’s most successful businessmen and currently serves as the Director of Golchha Organisation which was established in 1931. Today with over almost a century of experience, the Golchha family inclusive of Shekhar Golchha operates over 100 companies that have been playing an important role in the development of trading and industrial sectors of Nepal. The Golchha Organisation has significantly contributed to the economy of Nepal by providing employment to thousands of people. Shekhar Golchha is the current President of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). He is the former President of Nepal Automobiles Association of Nepal (NADA) and Executive Member of Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NICCI). His term with FNCCI aims to increasing the impact and engagement of the umbrella organisation to create a more functional and progressive business environment that includes the voice of SME’s in policy and implementation.

Dr. UPENDRA MAHATO Founder of Mahato Group of Industries

Dr. Upendra Mahato is a well-known philanthropist and an international entrepreneur with business ventures spanning across many European and Asian Nations. He is the founder of Mahato Group of Industries and the founding President of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA). In 15 years of operation, Mahato Group of Industries has been able to maintain an excellent track record and has heavily invested their time, effort and finance in various sectors including infrastructure, healthcare, telecommunication, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, banking and real estate. Dr. Mahato is the Chairman of Nepal Mediciti, the President of Russia-Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Honorary Council General of Nepal to the Republic of Belarus. Dr. Mahato was awarded the title of ‘Manager of the Year’ in 2007 in Russia organised by Free Economic Society of Russia and International Academy of Management under the support of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, making Mahato the first foreign national to receive this award.
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MARCH 2024

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