Print Edition - 2014-09-17  |  MONEY

Foreign returnees lead by enterprising examples

- BIMAL KHATIWADA, Chitwan
Foreign returnees lead by enterprising examples

Sep 16, 2014-Challenging the pessimism prevailing among Nepali youths that nothing can be achieved in the country, a number of young people have become entrepreneurs after returning from foreign employment.

Pradeep Raj Pandey, 33, of Bhandara-9, Chitwan returned home after spending 11 years in London to open a dairy farm. He started rearing cows in April 2013 under the name Astha Cow Rearing with four improved breed of cows and has now increased the number to 28. He produces 100 litres of milk a day.

“I came to know that cow rearing could be a good business in Nepal and started this business after returning home,” he said. After spending several years in the UK, he could have taken British citizenship, but he preferred to return to Nepal. “It is because of my love for this country,” he said.

He has built a cowshed that can accommodate 60 cows on 7 kaththas of land and cultivates grass on 2 bighas of land. Three persons are employed in cow farming. He has also opened two departmental stores in Bharatpur and Parsa, Chitwan and employs an additional 11 persons.

He started his business with an investment of Rs 400,000 and now his capital has grown to Rs 20 million. He is planning to build a department store in Tandi, Chitwan.

During his stay in the UK, he worked in department stores, and the experience has helped him to start his own businesses.

“If we work hard here, there are greater chances of earning more here,” he said. “My family members were first angry with my decision to return home, but they are now very much happy,” he said.

Another youth, Bishnu Hari Pant, 35, of Jamunapur, Ratna Nagar Municipality-11, worked in Israel for five years in the agriculture sector. His next plan was to go to Europe, but rethought his plans after seeing other people making good money from banana farming by renting his own land. He has been growing bananas on his land since 2012. He cultivates the fruit on 25 bighas of land and has invested Rs 4 million in the enterprise.

After engaging in self-entrepreneurship, he is satisfied that he didn’t have to roam around to make a living. His farm is known as B and B Banana Farm and employs four people.

According to him, he is earning Rs 100,000 per bigha from banana farming. “We can make very good earnings in the country,” he said. Pant has planned to expand the farm in the near future.

Similarly, Shekhar Poudel, 32, of Narayanghat is another youth entrepreneur. He returned home last year after spending 10 years in Greece. He has started a hotel business in partnership with his brother Suraj Poudel and brother-in-law Kamal Bhattarai in Narayanghat. He is the managing director of the Hotel Dimama, which they started with an investment of Rs 10 million.

Shekhar has a bachelor’s degree in hotel management from the Metropolitan College of Athens, Greece. He had served as a member-secretary of the Non-Resident Nepali Association, Greece too. Now, he is keen on utilizing the knowledge and skill learned in foreign countries in his business here in Nepal. He has employed 26 persons, eight of whom are deaf. It has been nine months since he started the business.

“In fact, I wanted to stay with my mother and started the business in the country,” Poudel said. He is of the opinion that people should go aboard to learn something and utilize the knowledge in the country.

Another youth, Sri Ram Sigdel, 28, from Parwatipur, returned home after working in Qatar for two years and started a hair dressing salon. He opened the salon three months ago in the Chaubis Kothi area which caters to both men and women. “We should not be ashamed of working,” he said. “We have to work hard in foreign countries and we are not ashamed, so doing the same thing here should not be a matter of shame,” he added.

He earns Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 monthly from the salon. “We can earn well from very limited labour here,” Sigdel said, who has no shortage of customers nowadays.

Published: 17-09-2014 09:25

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