London-The first Nepalese billionaire Mr Binod Chaudhary who was recognised by The Forbes Magazine has described all his feelings, emotions, family history, business success, failure, achievement, frustrations and many more in his autobiography “Making It Big”. This book inspires many entrepreneurs and young people to keep their hopes alive. Businessman Mr Chaudhary wants to instil a sense of confidence in all and show that success is not out of reach if you prepare and face the reality while keeping ambitions high.
It can be seen that the phenomenal success Mr Chaudhary has gained over the years has been his great networking skills and effective way of approaching the right people at the right time with the right business plan. His ambitions, determinations, relentless efforts, correct attitude, calculative risks taking ability, decision making power, correct judgement, managing resources are all explained well in this autobiography. He has been criticised for manipulating Nepali law in order to do business aboard. Despite his business success, Mr Chaudhary’s tax record to the Nepali government has been controversial.
A good leader always must ensure to get the best out of people, resources, information to achieve the goal of his/her company. Mr Chaudhary has been well capable of analysing and successfully making the right judgement on industry structure, the capabilities of competitors and their expected behaviour and broader social, political and macroeconomic trends which are always critical tasks to ensure strategic health and survival.
He has determined on forced-growth strategies of his business where he has been successful on vertical integration, geographical expansion, diversification, acquisition, competitors and so on. From all the experience he has over many years, he knows well that strategy is a human construction, it must in the long run be responsive to human needs. It must ultimately inspire commitment. It must stir a business to be successful amid striving competition.
Communication is one of the most important tools in the businessman’s arsenal and it must be admired in him. He has done well to utilise this effectively throughout his business activities. Every failure proved to be his success later in his life.
Earthquakes were responsible for an estimated 1.87 million deaths in the 20th century with an average of 2,052 fatalities per event affecting humans between 1990 and 2010. The 411 page autobiography of businessman Mr Chaudhary starts with the Chilean earthquake of 2010 and finishes with Nepal’s earthquake of 2015. He faced both natural disasters and described his feeling and emotions in these difficult time. It has given him great satisfaction that the charitable work of his foundation has been doing so much good work after the devastating earthquake in Nepal.
From the beginning of this book, he has described great Mawaris trading communities of Rajasthan when Rana Prime minister of Nepal Bir Shamsher invited four Marwaris families to start trading in Nepal. His grandfather came to Nepal to assist Mangal Sahu’s fabric shop. After a few years, subsequently his grandfather started his mobile fabric shop. He eventually opened his shop in 1934, the foundation of Chaudhary group.
Lunkaran Das (Mr Bind Chaudhary’s father), worked extremely hard to continue the business and expanded much further. He was involved in the construction of Soltee hotel, Jute industry, Arun Emporium and so on. He earned his success with dedication and hard work and was popular in the local community of Kathmandu.
Mr Binod Chaudhary became involved in the business after his father had a sudden heart attack. His life turned in to the field of business. He faced many challenges from the beginning as his father’s trusted man wanted 25 percent of share of this business. He handled it well and moved on.
Mr Chaudhary was a talented young boy who was 5th in School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam in the whole of Nepal. It shows his early sign of capability and potential success, although he had no desire to be an academic. The Nabil Bank saga had proved his negotiation skills well. He was able to pursue the Arab and Bangladesh Bank with his clever tactics.
He managed to make good contact within high ranking people and the Royal Palace of Nepal. He admired ex prince Dhirendra greatly for his openness and personality. As time went by, he had love hate relations with many top brass people in Nepal.
Four parts and 23 chapters of his autobiography, he has mentioned his good relationship with many Asian leaders like Hussain Muhammad Ershad of Bangladesh, Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad of Malaysia, Narendra Modi of India and so on. The natural question comes in every reader’s mind to what extent did Mr Chaudhary try to ease the tension between Nepal and India when he had such a good influence over an Indian Prime minister?
The extraordinary success of Wai Wai noodles was the turning point of his business. Wai Wai was invented by him but owned by consumers. Wai Wai has been produced in Nepal, many parts of India and beyond. Mr Chaudhary aimed to make Wai Wai noodle over a billion dollar company within few years.
He has learnt and contributed a great deal within the Federation of Nepalese chamber of Commerce (FNCCI). He was deeply frustrated by losing second term presidential election of this organisation.
Every failure made him more determined and he soon progressed with the partnership with Taj hotel Group of India by taking over run down hotels in Sri Lanka and Maldives which was a very bold move but turned out to be a great success and set a journey for much further international business expansion. Then after his experience and confidence grew he became involved with many other sectors of hospitality and safari and estate agent and much more in the Indian subcontinent, ASEAN, Middle East, Africa, USA. His business continued to grow. He has described the development of his brand Cinnovation, Zinc and other businesses.
His unprepared last minute talk with estate agent’s CEO of Dubai Properties was truly a world class speech. It was full of confidence, and was professional and inspiring indeed. The multinational corporate world is brutal, there is no room for any mistakes.
He has great support from his family and he knew the importance of education of his sons. This is being paid off as three sons are looking after his business now.
This autobiography contains many touching scenes. Mr Chaudhary’s feelings and emotions of grief at losing his premature daughter and innocently being suspected of murdering his own cousin moves the readers. Mr Chaudhary frequently mentions his country Nepal and worries about the lack of development due to political instability and lack of good leadership. He is aware of the constant conflict between the elements of humanity and sometimes unkindness in the society. He has also described without hesitation about the suffering of injustice.
He took a keen interest in politics in Nepal but he lost his confidence due to many wrangling and unethical incidents. He has said that Butwal Power Company and Land’s End Hotel were two projects lost and which he badly regrets.
Firm belief in the spiritual, he has tremendous respect and love for Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Mr Chaudhary described the audience with Sai Baba and his magical power to cure diseases. He opened up a discotheque named Copper Floor in Lazimpat in his young life and recorded many songs as well. Keen interest in films, he mentioned meeting Indian actors Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Amitabh Bachan and made personal friends with Vinod Khanna.
Mr Chaudhary mentions how The Forbes Magazine approached and recognised him. He has been delighted with it. It is not only him but the whole of Nepal that is proud of his international recognition as a billionaire businessman. It was a great achievement and is an inspiration for every entrepreneur.
He is really appreciated for his courage and dedication to publish this autobiography. He said his business Mantras has seen high ambition, persistence, market astuteness, discipline, cost pruning and so on.
It is astonishing to find out Nepal’s policy and hurdles of law regarding investment and business promotion. How advanced the British have been in trade and business must be a lesson for Nepal. The East India Company was started on 31st December 1600 by a royal charter of Queen Elizabeth 1st. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control.
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. After 1840 UK abandoned mercantilism and practised “free trade,” with no tariffs or quotas or restrictions. Between 1870 and 1900, economic output per head of population in Britain and Ireland rose by 500 per cent. Britain has currently120 billionaires.
Writing in an average language with a good flow of sequences, this book is a valuable asset to every person who wants to succeed in business. As it is said, Knowledge sharing is Knowledge gaining. He has been successful in life from a long way back. The question frequently comes in my mind while reading this autobiography is when can Nepal be prosperous as one of her son’s has accomplished and be crowned as a billionaire on the international stage, unthinkable a few years ago for any Nepalese.
(London based writer Acharya is an expert on subject of Financial Management)
This review was written in February 2017, on the occasion of launching this book in London.
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