Growing in renown and popularity, Hotel Shambala has become a top spot. And its owner, too, revels in the atypical approach to success.
For many, achieving professional and business goals is about gaining the ‘ultimate achievement’ in life. But for some, it is more about the zeal to pursue perfection in their work throughout their whole life. “I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there's nothing left for you to work towards,” thinks Tseten Tsatultsang, CEO of Hotel Shambala. “I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it,” he expresses.
Opened in 2014 in Kathmandu’s Bansbari area, Hotel Shambala, a Tibetan themed boutique hotel, has earned a name for itself in offering the best modern amenities with traditional hospitality to its guests.
Born in 1979, Tsatultsang studies at Mount Hermon School in Darjeeling and Lincoln School in Kathmandu. According to him, the ten years he spent away at school taught him to be independent. Tsatultsang then gained a degree from the United States in Marketing and Information System from Portland State University, Oregon.
Returning to Nepal in 2001, he joined his family business in traditional Nepali carpet production. “I looked after the overseas market and quality control of carpets that we used to export to Europe and US.” After working for four years in Nepal, Tsatultsang broadened his professional growth and went to Sydney, Australia in 2007 for a Masters in International Business from Macquaire University.
“Upon completion, I stayed back and worked in the area of sales,” he mentions. “Taking sales as an integral part of any business, I wanted to know the psychology of sales,” he adds. He set up a small product distribution unit in Sydney. “I began supplying products imported from Nepal to different vendors in Australia,” he says.
Married in 2008, Tsualtang and his wife decided to return to Nepal to start something on their own back home. “Although our business venture in Australia was faring well, my family in Nepal had entered the hospitality sector which I thought was very interesting,” recalls Tsatultang. Therefore, he decided to come back and join the new family venture.
According to Tsatultang, he never had an inkling as to what future direction he would take as he grew up. “I was completely clueless about what my future would be like until my high school.” But he soon realized that marketing and IT was his cup of tea during his undergraduate years. Getting into hospitality was something he hadn’t even thought about. But now Tsatultang feels this sector exactly fits his area of interest.
An avid sports enthusiast, Tsatultang loves every type of sports that keeps him moving. He admits that although being a motorcycle lover, he has not been able to give time to riding bikes. Also, he likes spending his leisure time with his family. “I love spending quality time with my family. It is a big part of who I am as a person,” he expresses.
Tsatultang joined the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) in September 2017. 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 the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. EO Nepal, founded in 2003, is one of the chapters among the 160 chapters of the global organisation.
“It’s not been long since I have been a part of EO. But the journey has been amazing so far,” he says, adding, “I have learned so much in the past couple of months that I would not have learned elsewhere.” Thus, he believes that EO has broadened his range of opportunities and helped him increase his network among Nepali entrepreneurs.
With the growing number of hotels in Nepal, Tsatultang says that competition doesn't scare him. He believes that if one focuses on providing good services to customers, competition should not matter. “We are focused on delivering the best service rather than concentrating on what our competitors do," he says.
For him, the major challenge working in Nepal is in terms of aligning his vision with the people working with him. “The working standards are very different here. People just want to earn money rather than chasing excellence in their areas of work. Therefore, aligning my vision with the employees has been very difficult,” he shares.
Tsatultang describes himself as a learner who doesn’t believe in living life with regrets. "There have been a lot of challenges along my way. But every challenge has been a learning curve for me," he says. “I believe that I could have done things differently and not done any mistakes but I would not have learned anything,” he adds.
He also believes that one should learn how to do things differently to achieve perfection. “There is just one life so try to be different and not stick by the rules,” he says. And envisioning something atypical, Tsatultang and his brother established Hotel Shambala. “From the decor to the infinity pool, we started something that was new to Nepal. So we have carved a niche out of it,” he mentions.
He has envisioned a profitable future for this hotel- ultimately to become one of the leading hospitality centres in Nepal. “We have been admired nationally and internationally for the service that we have been providing since our inception,” he says. “We plan to extend and grow our hotel’s reach and look out to start new ventures in the next 10 years,” he adds.