Well versed in contemporary business skills, a new generation is ready to take the Ambe Group forward.
--BY AASHIYANA ADHIKARI
“Success is not a matter of mastering subtle or sophisticated theories, but rather embracing common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence,” says Shiwaj Neupane, Director at Ambe Group of Companies.
Neupane believes that nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, since nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated ordinaries. For Neupane, persistence and determination are omnipotent.
Born in 1990, Neupane completed his lower secondary schooling from Rato Bangla School and finished his secondary education from The Doon School in Dehradun, India. He then went to the United Statesto pursue his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He returned to Nepal in 2014 but did not join his family business until 2015. “After coming back to the country, I did not work for six months and absolutely did nothing,” he mentions. Instead of working in the US, he chose to join the industrial conglomerate established by his father Shovakar Neupane thinking he could learn and grow more from his family business.
An avid football enthusiast, Neupane wanted to become a football player while growing up. “I always wanted to be a professional footballer while growing up. I even tried my luck to get into a football club but did not get through it,” he recalls. “Maybe my dream of becoming a footballer was not strong enough and life had some other plans for me,” he adds.
Neupane who has an immense passion for books, loves reading biographies. To fulfill his ardour for sports, he takes out time from his busy schedule to play football and also indulges in boxing.
“After coming back home, I faced a lot of challenges in terms of fitting into the work environment here,” he mentions.Since the group’s founder and his business partner came from a trading background, the organisation was still run along traditional lines.“When I first joined the business, I thought that I knew everything and that the older staff were not utilising their time efficiently. But gradually with every meeting, I realised how intelligent their conversations were and how tough it was to make even a small decision in such a huge industrial conglomerate,” he says.
He says the way a company works in the United States is completely different compared to Nepal and he faced a huge cultural shock initially. “I had thought I would implement new systems in our group. But upon returning, I saw a completely different scenario with a lot of corrupt staff trying to benefit from the group’s business,” he shares.
Recalling his initial six months at work, Neupane says he did nothing at all.“I did nothing but stare at my computer screen all day,” he says, adding, “I regret that now. If I had only tried to learn something or even just read a book it would had been very productive for me.”
Neupane says it is very hard to make a mark in business if you are from the second generation in a business family. “Even if I do something on my own, my achievements will be overshadowed by the amount of work my father has put in to set up this business,” he says. He is of the opinion that as the Ambe Group is growing very rapidly, it would be very hard for him to grow the business faster than the pace that it is in at the moment.
Neupane is a member of the Entepreneurs Organisation (EO), a global peer-to-peer network of more than 12,000 influential business owners with 160 chapters in 50 countries. In just a few months with the group, Neupane has been learning a lot from the activities of the organisation. “I have only been to a few EO events. However, the programmes have been a great learning experience for me.EO also provides a great platform to meet new people and build connections abroad,” he observes.
Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. Founded in 2003, EO Nepal is among the 160 chapters of the global organization. At present, it has 61 members.
Five to ten years down the line, Neupane sees himself creating a brand of his own and setting up a business in the international market. “I want to create a brand that functions globally. If I work here dedicatedly for four to five years, I can do it very easily,” he says.