--By Om Prakash Khanal
Pradeep Kumar Kedia, Director of Kedia Organization strongly believes that for every problem, there is a solution. “No problem is without a solution. But figuring out the solution requires enough skill and expertise,” says Kedia, who is also the Senior Vice President of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BICCI).
Kedia says that he is always willing to face problems and come up with a solution - whether the problem is personal, family, social, economic or political. He also believes that the existing political instability and economic slump in the country is the outcome of unwillingness to solve problems.
Kedia, who is involved in trading and manufacturing of consumer goods, says that he was born in an affluent family. Still he firmly believes that the meaning of life lies in facing challenges. “Anyone who desires to be successful should be willing to face challenges. Avoiding challenges is not the trait of an entrepreneur,” says he.
Motivated by his uncle Late Shanker Lal Kedia, he joined the family business when he was in grade 10. “I entered the family business at an early age. I never had the habit of choosing work; I always accomplished every task that came in my way,” recalls Kedia. According to him, he has played an important role in every sector of Kedia Organization. He says that it’s in his nature to choose challenging tasks, and that has given him the ability to deal with every kind of difficulties.
Kedia says that there are more challenges in the industrial sector than in the trading sector. “Entrepreneurs are motivated by profit and there is more profit in manufacturing than in trading. However, manufacturing also has its downsides,” says he. According to him, the Nepali manufacturing sector is hit hard by labour issues, energy crisis and lack of appropriate government policies.
Presently, Kedia is focusing on the manufacturing of construction materials. He says that trading, rapid industrialization and infrastructure development are needed for a country to be prosperous. “Industries and businesses haven’t been able to grow at an expected pace owing to the lack of long-term government policies and investment insecurity,” says Kedia.
In the business fraternity, Kedia has the reputation of being an entrepreneur with a clear conscience who is always certain about his undertakings. “I always speak my mind and expect other to do the same. Though this habit has landed me in inconvenient situations at times, I maintain that a person should always say what is in his mind,” says Kedia.
Kedia says that Birgunj can be seen as the country’s industrial and business hub owing to ample business activities and huge investments. Still, there are impediments for growth in the same proportion. “Birgunj-based businessmen and entrepreneurs have to face a lot of problems and they need assistance in this. The business fraternity of Birgunj is in great need of capable leadership,” says he.
Kedia is considered one of the eligible and most popular candidates for the next leadership of BICCI. Being the present Senior Vice President, he is the most likely President for the next term. He has also shared his plans for capacity and leadership development with the current office-bearers and members of BICCI. “If I become the next President of BICCI, it will be both an opportunity and a challenge for me. I plan to move ahead along with the entire business community of Birgunj,” says Kedia. He has held various positions in BICCI for the past five years. He dreams of making significant contribution to the country’s economy through trading and manufacturing.
According to Kedia, the new generation of entrepreneurs and businessmen is highly educated and technically capable, but they lack experience and practical knowledge. “Education is essential, but upcoming entrepreneurs should also learn the application of knowledge in practice. Both education and experience are essential to be successful in any business,” says Kedia. He believes that Informed and well-planned business endeavors rarely fail.
The success of a business organization is directly related to the efficiency and skills of its employees, says Kedia. “I always hire employees who are hardworking and motivated. I never hire on the basis of recommendations and personal contacts,” says he. According to him, employers can also learn a lot from their employees.
Born in Birgunj in 1962 to Sita Ram Kedia and Gomati Devi Kedia, his childhood was spent in a joint family. Kedia believes in team work rather than in individual approaches. Though his childhood was spent in a well-off family, he remembers not having enough opportunities in areas like education and entertainment.
As a child, Kedia was a very sporty child and liked to participate in sporting activities. “Though my family was an affluent one, there were not much opportunities and modern amenities to avail. The present generation can enjoy modernity in every sector,” says he.
Eldest among four brothers, Kedia regrets not being able to finish his Masters degree. “I had plans of going abroad for my Masters but I was pressed with business responsibilities and couldn’t find enough time to continue my education,” shares Kedia. Kedia did his schooling and higher education in Birgunj. He switched a lot of schools in secondary level. He went to Thakur Ram Multiple Campus and Hari Khetan Multiple Campus for his higher studies.
Apart from business, Kedia is actively associated with various social organizations. Most of his time is spent managing his own business and in BICCI. “I find it very hard to manage time. I have a very busy schedule and I can hardly allocate any time for my family,” says he. Kedia is married to Puja Kedia, and the couple has a son Yashashwi. Kedia feels that there are not enough recreational centres and entertainment options in Birgunj to spend time with his family. “People’s desires change with time. I loved to fly kites as a young boy. Now, my leisure time is spent in reading newspapers and watching news. I like to be well informed on business and other important areas,” says he.
Whenever he is free, Kedia loves to enjoy classical songs and music. Lately, Kedia is interested in spirituality. “Spirituality has the power to make you refreshed and give you pleasure,” Kedia shares his experience. “I see myself as a person who cannot use his skills for his own benefit. I wasn’t concerned with making money even after years of being in business,” says he. Kedia believes that a person’s success is measured by the depth of his knowledge rather than his wealth.