“Trying to do everything at once is the key to failure,” says Pawan Kumar Sarda, Managing Director of Sharda Group, President of Morang Merchant’s Association and CA Member from Morang. According to him, one should not set multiple goals at once. He opines that having a single definite aim and focusing only on it almost always guarantees success.
--By Sujan Tiwari
“Nepali entrepreneurs need to be very cautious while making new investments because the environment is not usually supportive,” shares Sarda. He has plans of investing in hydro power sector in the near future. He also plans to invest in mining to extract the mineral deposits in the country.
Sarda was born in Lahan of Siraha in 2017 BS to Late Dulichand Sarda and Yashoda Sarda. He is the youngest among five children. Most of his childhood was spent in Lahan as he did his entire schooling there. He went to Darjeeling for higher studies and later graduated from Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Darbhanga, Bihar.
Sarda says he was more interested in sports than his studies as a young boy. He used to play cricket, football and volleyball with his friends. He became involved in the family business at a very early age. “I started to look after my father’s business when I was in 8th grade. I used to help my father and brothers in the family business,” says he. According to him, he wasn’t inclined to join the family business at first. He wanted to be a sportsperson, but growing up, he realized that there are very few opportunities in sports and it won’t be a suitable career for him.
Gradually, he started looking after the family’s rice mills, jewellery shops and textile shops in Lahan. After graduating, he went to Biratnagar to look after the rolling mills and also to seek more opportunities. Later, he went to Kolkata for his M BA degree, but he had to leave before completion because if family matters.
Finally, he decided to further his business in Biratnagar. There, he started setting up industries for his family business. Among many industries under Sharda Group, he personally looked after Pioneer Wire and Cable Industry at first. After his brothers separated, he set up Premiere Wires Pvt Ltd and Asian Thai Food Pvt Ltd.
Sarda says he worked hard for many years to increase the market share of both his companies. At present, Premier Cables has the production capacity of 21000 MT per year. It manufactures GI wires, annealed wires, aluminium wires, copper wires, barbed wires, house wiring cable, flexible cables, telecom cables, control cables, auto cables, power cables and coaxial cables among others. The company’s products are also exported to India, Bhutan and other countries.
Similarly, Asian Thai Food has a capacity of producing 800,000 packets of 75 grams noodles per day. RumPum, 2PM, Phataphat, PikVik, Phuche and Mama Snacks are some of the popular brands produced and marketed by the company. Asian Thai Food was the first Nepali company to introduce whole wheat ready-to-eat noodles and is also the only manufacturer of cup noodles in Nepal. The products of the company are exported abroad as well.
Being a CA member, most of his time is spent in politics these days although he doesn’t consider politics to be his profession. “My motive behind being a CA member is to address the issues of the private sector and to help in the timely promulgation of the constitution. It is crucial to create an investment friendly environment,” says he.
Words of Advice
According to Sarda, honesty and hard work are essential for success in every walk of life. “I don’t have any complains with my life. I have always achieved what I dreamt of,” says he. But according to him, realizing your dreams is not easy. “Achieving your aim requires hard work, patience, timely planning and honesty above all,” says Sarda.
“I consider myself successful not because of my wealth, but because of the good social relationships that I have,” says he. Sarda doesn’t associate success with making money. Sarda says he learnt everything about business and management from his family. “In those days, family-run businesses were managed only by the family members and outsiders were not usually hired. Now the times have changed and there is strong need for professionals in every business,” says he.
Sarda is married to Lata Sarda and the couple have a son and a daughter Saurav and Shaili. As a renowned business and social personality, most of his time is spent in socializing with friends and business fraternity and various organizations. He is involved in all the social activities of Biratnagar. “Despite my busy schedule, I manage to make time for my family. Although it’s hard, I try to balance every aspect of my life,” says Sarda. On a normal day, Sarda gets up at 7 AM, goes for morning walk and exercises. He says he likes reading newspapers with a cup of tea. His days are spent in looking after business, in political activities and socializing.
Sarda recalls owning 11 rice mills and exporting rice to South India 40 years ago. “Unfortunately, we have to import rice even for consumption today. Lands are barren owing to lack irrigation facilities. People are quitting agriculture and going abroad for work,” says Sarda regretfully. According to him, Nepal was once known for agriculture and green forests, but that identity is lost now. Sarda strongly believes that the government should support and promote agriculture above all. “New technology should be incorporated in agriculture for better production,” says he.
According to him, another major problem in Nepal is the centralization of everyday services. “People from around the country need to come to Kathmandu for smallest of requirements. This is the major cause of conflict in Nepal,” opines he. To address this, Sarda says that the government should identify a few hubs across the country and develop them so that the population density and pressure in the capital can decrease. He also criticizes the government for being tax oriented. “The government should be service oriented rather than tax oriented. It should not act as a profit-making entity. The government should promote industries, agriculture and business and make health and education services free for everyone,” says Sarda.
Sarda says he has been working since he can remember and wants to continue it. “I want to live an active life. I have no plans of retirement,” says a determined Sarda. He strongly opines that present time is the most important time in life and everyone should work hard to make the most out of it.
“Past has passed and the future is uncertain. What lies in front of you is the present,” he says, adding, “Whatever may be your profession, respect time and be honest and hardworking, nothing can keep you from success.”