January 11: Keeping up with the legacy of welcoming country’s most influential CEOs and entrepreneurs to inspire the enthusiastic entrepreneurial minds of the country, Glocal Pvt Ltd in collaboration with King’s College successfully organised the third edition of ‘CEO Unplugged 2019’ on Wednesday, January 9, at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu.
With the main theme of ‘Today Meets Tomorrow’, 15 reputed entrepreneurs of the country marked their presence as the speakers on this year’s CEO Unplugged, according to a statement issued by the organisers. More than 100 aspirants participated in this event to network, learn, and share their ideas with the prominent entrepreneurs of the country.
President of Vaidhya’s Orgaization of Industries and Trading Industries (VOITH), Suraj Vaidhya, served as a keynote speaker for the event. Expressing the importance of learning in one’s life, Vaidhya said, “You never stop learning. Life is like a cycle, the moment you stop, you fall, that’s the same case with running a business. So, never stop learning, innovating and taking new risks.”
Separated into three different panels that had a unique story to tell to the audience, CEO Unplugged’s first panel conversed on the topic of ‘Future of SMEs of Nepal’.
Sushama Sharma, first vice-president of NWC; Sixit Bhatta, CEO of Tootle; and Sunita Nhemaphuki, co-founder of R&D Innovative Solutions were the panelists.
When asked about whether the recent data on the rate of agriculture contributing to economy being reduced is correct or not, Nhemaphuki stated, “The data might be correct to some extend because in Nepal, the main problem is that our production doesn’t meet our consumption pattern. For example, we produce corns but there is high demand for pop-corn. Hence, this creates lack of market for our agricultural productions and the data decrease. But if we all jointly work to uplift the market status for agriculture, it won’t take any time longer to let the same curve move upward.”
Likewise, Sharma said,” The things have changed from the past. Nowadays, the government has come up with the policies of more subsidies. The interest rate for loans has drastically changed and now, entrepreneurs with good ideas can access the loan with minimal collateral.”
The millennial of the panel had Rohit Tiwari, Founder, Foodmario as the moderator.
The second panel discussion on ‘Business Coalition of SDGs’ had the three panel members including Renaud Meyer (Country Director, UNDP); Anukool Bhatnagar (CEO and MD, Nepal SBI Bank) and Sudhakar Jayaram (CEO, Nepal Mediciti Hospital) and moderated by Asish Thakur (Executive Director, Glocal Pvt Ltd).
UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer held the view that SDGs won’t be achieved without businesses.
“People should not be waiting for the government to change the nation but it is the people who should become the catalyst of change. SDGs are not to be taken as a program but should be taken as day to day activities,” he said.
The final panel discussion was on the topic of ‘Practice of Skill Based Education’.
Diptee Acharya, director of Sanskriti International School; Samir Thapa, executive chairman of Silver Mountain and Saurabh Jyoti, director of Jyoti Group were the panelists.
Saurabh Jyoti, the Director of Jyoti Group shared his intake in the literacy rate of Nepal as, “The data shows the literacy rate of Nepal around 65 percent. But, if we look at the real case scenario of the market, the employability rate among these individuals is way too less. The reason behind this is that, today, the companies don’t hire the employees on the basis of their paper degree. Soft skills are what the industry is searching for. So, being literate doesn’t guarantee the employability if you don’t possess the personality and soft skills.”
Likewise, when asked about the skills that are in demand, the director of Sanskriti International School, Diptee Acharya said, “Today’s youth shouldn’t have the misconception that a good education background can let you have a settled life. The main competencies that are in demand are critical thinking, empathy, communication and ability to cope up with stress. And our educational institutions should be responsible to offer it all.”
Similarly, Samir Thapa, CEO of Silver Mountain mentioned the importance of industrial driven curriculum in Nepal. He said, “What our educational institutions are making mistake is that they are creating the fancy and sellable curriculum. This means, we are way to back to create sellable employees for the market. Our industries seek the people who can perform the designated jobs and for this, industrial driven curriculum is a must.”