The conglomerate aims to become one of the top ten companies in terms of net worth by 2027.
In its five years of operation, the Silk Group of companies has been looking for opportunities for business expansion. Turned into a conglomerate in 2016, the company started as a trading business and has established itself as a dominant logistic house in the Nepal-China trade. According to Ramesh Sherpa, Chairman of Silk Group, the company has been rigorously working to facilitate China-Nepal trade through its logistic company, Silk Transport, and has also diversified in major sectors to adapt to corporate governance.
We have worked rigorously to help traders in Nepal-China with door-to-door service. Likewise, reviving the Tatopani trade point, stalled since the 2015 earthquake, was another milestone for our company that specializes in Nepal-China trade connectivity. Silk Group, through its logistic business, has been working hard to be the flyover for traders on the Nepal-China trade route. Since its inception, we have worked with the slogan of providing door-to-door connectivity from China to Nepal and delivering goods within 15 days, "he says.
An Exciting Journey
Under the leadership of Sherpa, the company today undertakes as many as 12 different businesses, majorly trading, hydro, logistics, and transport.
The company provides logistic facilities from China to Nepal, equipped with more than 100 vehicles. With over 200 containers, the company uses trailer vehicles of various capacities and sizes, including 40ft trailers, 20ft flatbed trailers, cranes of 40 tons capacity, 3 ton forklift machines, and 20 tons of mobile crane equipment.
A large number of the fleet provides very smooth and efficient operations in the field of transport and logistics management. Despite beginning its trading in the Rasuwagadi trade point base, the company took the entire initiative for both the Nepali and Chinese sides to revive the Tatopani trade point, and it now accounts for 80 percent of all trade done through Tatopani. However, it also owns roughly 40 percent of Rasuwagadi.
From the beginning, ending the syndicate in the Nepal-China trade was our top priority. Our logistics company is working rigorously to the end to facilitate traders. We want to establish a corporate culture in the trading business through our service, Sherpa shares.
Companies under the flagship of the Silk Group have been importing a variety of products from China to Nepal. It anticipates expanding its business in different parts of China. The major areas include Guangzhou, Yiwu, Fujian, Hebei, Chaozhou, Lanzhou, Kunming, and Shandong. The company has already established warehouses in Yiwu and Guangzhou, China to strengthen the business. The goods that Silk Group deals with are clothing, electronics, medical, machinery, and fertilizers.
Sherpa adds that with logistic business being the backbone of the group, The Silk Market Pvt. Ltd., under the flagship of the Silk Group, has made a drastic involvement in importing fertilizers under the global tender. We have already completed the consignment of 4000MT of urea for Salt Trading Corporations. The company has been awarded a contract of 10,000 MT of urea and 5,000 MT of DAP fertilizer under the global tender of Krishi Samagri Co. Ltd. and is in the process of supply, he adds.
Furthermore, the company has a contract of 50000 MT of urea awarded by Krishi Samagri Company Limited under a joint venture.
Sherpa, who hails from Sindhupalchowk, took over his family's trading business and wanted to expand it into a conglomerate and adapt to corporate culture. In 2016, he continued his business expansion by investing in the hydro sector. However, investing in the hydro project, 16.26 MW Him River Power, was a major failure as he didn't have any prior experience.
"Not only did I lose a massive investment, but also my time and resources. However, the experience learned from the failure has helped me a lot. It gave birth to the Silk Group today," he opines.
Despite failing in the hydro sector, Sherpa returned to investing in the sector by investing in the Lukla-based hydropower project Luza Khola, with a capacity of 24.88 megawatt under Silk Power.
Since its inception in 2017, the project has seen a 25% increase in progress. It will be ready in the next two years. After the initial failure in the hydro sector, I wanted to work on a unique project with all my expertise. Our group owns the major stakes in the project, he says.
The Silk Group evolved from trading goods to and from China. However, the company today is active in logistics, trade, energy, sports franchises, and academic business. Besides, the company also supported the country suffocated by the COVID pandemic with the needed oxygen supply during the second wave.
Active during COVID relief
We supplied around 10–20,000 cylinders through China. Sherpa shares that the needed oxygen plants and medical equipment will be delivered to the hospitals within ten days from China.
Likewise, Silk Group has been working effectively in commercializing sports. Sherpa, under his conglomerate, acquired Chitwan Tigers, a cricket franchise participating in the Everest Premier League (EPL), earlier this year. Chitwan Tigers, in the first year of Sherpa's ownership, also won the title. In the meantime, Sherpa and his business house funded Prince Dahal, the world's top junior badminton player. Sherpa is sponsoring three other badminton players for their training.
Similarly, Sherpa has also diverted into the academic sector by acquiring his childhood school, Chandeswori English Boarding School, located in his hometown. "We are upgrading the school from secondary to a higher secondary institution. " He shares that in the future, we have plans to develop it as the prominent institution of the district and provide the best education service.
Sherpa shares that entering the new sector has always been challenging for him and his team. Trying new things is always risky. Investing in new businesses and projects with a lack of expertise is always challenging.
However, lack of government support, syndicate, and bureaucratic hassles are the challenges troubling us since our inception. Through our logistic company, we are working rigorously to eliminate these issues in Nepal-China connectivity. However, the government's support is essential for all the issues, Sherpa opine.
At present, the company is Nepal-China-centric. However, they plan to expand their services to third countries. In the coming years, the company would like to provide connectivity services to third countries via China. Nepali traders and businessmen have access to Chinese ports under the Transit and Transportation Agreement, which has allocated access to Chinese ports for trade to third countries. Nepal can use four Chinese seaports and three land ports for third-country import and export through the six dedicated transit points between Nepal and China. "We will work on extending the trade through these ports, "Sherpa adds.
Likewise, the company also plans to expand into e-commerce. Besides, Silk Group has acquired properties in Sindhupalchowk for resorts and will soon enter into the hospitality business. Additionally, Sherpa also plans to bring Chinese sports brands to Nepal.