--BY AASHIYANA ADHIKARI
“I don't have regrets. Regrets are pointless. You've already done it, haven't you? You've lived your life. No point wishing you could change it,” says Abhinav Rana, Chairman of Turbo Motors Trading, the exclusive franchise for Ducati, Benilli and Husqvarna motorbikes in Nepal.
According to Rana, the famous Italian brand Ducati has been fascinating people around the world for a long time. “There is definitely something special when one sees a Ducati on the road, on the track or on screen,” mentions Rana. “Therefore my partner and I thought of bringing Ducati to Nepal in 2010,” he says. Alongside Ducati, Turbo Motors has been dealing with other European brands such as Benelli from Italy and the Austrian Husqvarna.
Rana completed his high school education from India. The days in school were one of the best experiences that he ever had, he says, and it has shaped him to become the person he is today. Afterwards, he went to the United Kingdom to pursue his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, but dropped out after he felt there was something lacking there.
Born in 1985, Rana never thought of getting into this business. Instead he pursued an undergraduate degree majoring in economics and mathematics at Rogers University, United States. “Although I wanted to complete my degree in the US, I saw many opportunities in Nepal,” he mentions. “So, I dropped out of the college to start my own venture here.”Currently, he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at Purbanchal University. After completing it, he plans to pursue a graduate MBA degree in 2019.
A fitness enthusiast, Rana is very much into sports and says that he never misses workout sessions at the gym and is also into kickboxing and yoga. “From a very young age, I was very much interested in sports. So even now I try to remain active through gym and kickboxing,” he expresses.
In terms of the country’s super sports bike segment, Rana says that the threat of a strong competitor is very real, most probably from Japanese manufacturers of premium motorcycles. “However, we have a very strong team and a good head start. We are confident we will be able to roll with the punches regardless of the impending competition or unstable business environments,” he says. According to him, the fact that Nepal is a landlocked country is a major challenge in itself. “Like every other trading business in Nepal, having products related to due dates is a very big challenge to us,” he shares.
Rana joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) last September and says that he is really looking forward to the networking opportunities with people from different parts of the world. “I know a lot of people who have been EO members for a long time. I think EO membership gives people a feeling of greater exposure and confidence in setting up business ventures even outside the country,” says Rana.
Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 12,000 influential business owners with 160 chapters in 50 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is regarded as a kind of catalyst enabling leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. EO Nepal, one of the chapters, was founded in 2003 and has a current chapter strength of 51 members.
Rana lives in Bishalnagar at the family home with his parents and elder brother. He believes that his interest in motorbikes and cars developed as his father also was an avid automobile enthusiast. “Before I started the company, my father was into the dealership of Mercedes Benz in Nepal which also played an important part in my attraction towards automobiles.” He considers his parents to be his greatest strength. According to him, he would not be where he is now without their constant support.
Since 2010, Turbo Motors has been accelerating at a very good pace. In the beginning, it only used to deal with Ducati but now it sells Benelli and Husqvarna as well. “Since Ducati is a high end bike, we only sell around 10-25 bikes per year which is not quite high in terms of sales volume. But since we have recently introduced Benelli and Husqvarna, our sales volume has increased a lot,” mentions Rana.
According to him, the company’s customers are usually avid motorbike enthusiasts with a great passion for riding two-wheelers. “Customers who purchase a Ducati are usually young businessmen with a strong passion of motor biking, whereas customers buying the other two brands could be anyone since we have a lower price range for the bikes,” he mentions. He says that being a motorbike enthusiast himself has helped him a lot to identify with the needs and choices of his customers.
Five years down the line, Rana sees his company getting bigger and possibly getting a dealership from other global premium brands as well.“There are many other interesting international motorbike brands looking to enter the Nepali market. So we are trying to get those brands here,” says Rana, adding, “Although we cannot get dealerships from every brand, but at least we could give it a try.”