Anjan Shrestha, Executive Director of Laxmi Group is a recognised entrepreneur engaged in manufacturing and trading businesses. Under manufacturing, his company produces confectionary, diary and plastics products while under trading, he deals with industrial goods, automobiles, motor bikes and electronic goods.
Shrestha has the dealership of Hyundai and has created a huge market presence successfully. He sees immense scope for the automobile sector in Nepal considering that a majority of the country‘s population have no access to any sort of transportation. As President of Nepal Automobile Dealers‘ Association (NADA), he is propagating with the government for a change in viewpoint that personal vehicles are not a luxury, but a necessity.
Shrestha strongly believes that a leader has greater role in businesses in taking it to greater heights of success and possibilities. With Business 360 º he shares his ideas of leadership and several other business insights.
How do you define leadership? What do you think are the three basic traits that a leader should possess?
Leadership is all about being inclusive, including everyone in the team and ensuring team spirit. In the business realm, there might be different people working in several capacities, from the security guard to the company CEO or any other top post. What you need is to ensure that all of them are working in a group spirit and in a collaborative manner to achieve your business vision.
Commitment is the first basic prerequisite. Unless you are committed, you can‘t drive yourself or you team. Dedication goes parallel with commitment. Once you are dedicated to your goal, only then can you ensure cent percent commitment. Knowledge of the sector you operate in is another important trait. You can‘t drive the team with the support of other‘s knowledge. You can utilise other‘s expertise, but you will fail if you are not knowledgeable about the business you are operating or what products you are manufacturing. You must have the knowledge and expertise of the work you are involved in. The ability to motivate is another significant characteristic of a leader. You have to be motivated yourself first and then you should be able to motivate your team members. Unless your team members are also motivated to work, your sole motivation will hardly take you to the point you aspire to reach.
How do you evaluate yourself as a leader?
I believe I have some leadership qualities. It is hence, I have been able to drive my company so far. But that does not mean that I am a well-versed leader, instead I view myself as a learner and a mediocre leader. There are miles to go to develop myself as a true and flawless leader. I still need to learn a lot, both about my business and the way of doing business. I am also sure that I will excel in my path to leadership for I have the urge of being a good leader to ensure the well-being of my people.
How is leadership important in the business sector?
No sector can be void of leadership. Leadership is all about achieving common goals. No activity can be done in isolation. We need people to work with us. Leadership is needed to give the group a vision, direction and motivation. In business you have the vision for profit, sense of responsibility, and targets to achieve. Leaders in business prepare their team to attain the same.
As the President of Nepal Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), how do you view Nepal‘s current automobile scenario?
When it comes to the present situation of the automotive sector, I view a whole lot of potential. So far, not even one percent of the total population has access to four-wheelers and less than five percent has ownership of two-wheelers. So in terms of per capita usage, there is still a huge geography and population untouched.
On the other hand, vehicles are an element that is making and can still make massive socio-economic contribution. In near future, the sector will play a gigantic role in changing the economic guise of the country as they say movement is progress. It is also because you can see at the global level that wherever there has been development of transportation, overall development automatically takes place. On top of everything, the transportation sector makes the economy vibrant.
Transportation sector in Nepal still has a broader geography to cover. The government of Nepal seems aware of this fact and is serious about investing in road development. Hence, in view of the current situation, I do see that the future bears immense prospect.
However, the way the government treats the automotive sector is not as warm as it should be despite realising the contribution of this sector. Even in this time and age, automobiles are seen as luxury by the government. People are compelled to own a vehicle today. The pace of our lifestyle demands it especially with a highly unreliable public transportation system. How then can private vehicles be a considered a matter of luxury? If the government changes this viewpoint, it can help the sector grow by reducing taxes and easing availability to fulfill the present gap of per capita usage. Not only this sector, the entire nation will advance.
What has changed at NADA since you took over?
NADA is a joint organisation of the people involved in automobile import and distribution. Since we are a representative organisation of the automobile sector, we work towards promotion of the same in the country. We also work for ensuring the rights and interests of vehicle traders. We regularly follow up on problems faced by any traders and help resolve issues. These works are being continued. Regarding awareness part, we are conducting stakeholder programmes with representatives from the government transportation management agencies, traffic, municipality and division of roads, among other stakeholders. Our vision is to bring everyone together to discuss, share and find solutions for our problems making transportation more systematic and safe. This will also act as a guide for the government to review and establish wards policy frameworks.
Who would you consider leaders in this sector?
I would say the past presidents of NADA, Shekhar Golchha and Saurabh Jyoti. They have given NADA its present shape and prestige, and I am continuing the legacy. Both Golchha and Jyoti have played a crucial role and in their tenure as President, have worked hard to promote the entire automobile sector putting aside their personal business. It goes without saying that they are exemplary in the way they effectively and successfully run their own automobile business.