Carefully nurturing his three enterprises, Rajbhandary aims to make economic and social impacts through business.
--BY AASHIYANA ADHIKARI
“Perseverance is the key to be able to start something from scratch and then turn it into reality,” says Pragun Rajbhandary, the owner of the three growing companies - Shangrila Spirits, Cheers Enterprise and Eco Infinity. He stresses the fact that hard work and honesty are the main characteristics to be successful. He started his entrepreneurial journey when he was just 20 years old and since then there has been no looking back.
Born in 1983, Rajbhandary believes that one never stops learning and education always had been an important part of his life. He completed his high school from St Xavier's, Godawari, and did his undergraduate degree from Kathmandu College of Management (KCM). Rajbhandary then went to Leeds University Business School, United Kingdom to pursue his graduate degree in International Business. While studying at KCM during his final year, Rajbhandary partnered with his best friends to start his first business venture in electronics and later went on to head Siddhiganesh Enterprise, a company trading in alcoholic beverages.“I always wanted to do something of my own. So, I started early and opened my company with my friends but after a while, I put my hands into trading in alcoholic beverages,” he mentions, adding, “After working for a few years in Nepal, I went to the UK to pursue my Master’s degree.”
Having had multiple aims while growing up, Rajbhandary now has three main goals in life. One is to change the retail sector in Nepal through online delivery. Another is to make people more environmentally conscious. And last but not the least, to enjoy life to the fullest. According to him, he enjoys what he does and is marching towards his goal.
Rajbhandary’s companies have been contributing to different aspects ranging from business innovation to environmental conservation in Nepal. Cheers Enterprise, which operates the popular e-commerce portal www.cheers.com.np, for instance, aims to deliver standardized liquor products to the customers’ doorsteps at affordable prices. The company helps its clients to save their precious time in terms of purchasing products, so that they can be more productive.
As for Eco Infinity, its aim is to do all it can to save the environment. Currently, the distributor for Niu electric scooters, this company has been the first in the country to get its scooters registered with number plates, which in turn has helped its riders get insurance, in addition to bank financing.
According to Rajbhandary, he doesn’t believe in living life with regrets. “My philosophy in life is to live without any regrets since everything happens for a reason and if I don’t get something at the moment, I am determined to get it at some other point of my life,” he says, “Hence, I have no regrets.” Rajbhandary says that one of the biggest challenges right now is the lack of a skilled workforce. “Educated and trained people are either going abroad looking for opportunities or people are educating themselves abroad and not coming back. This is not a problem that only I have to face. Companies all around Nepal are facing the problem of brain drain.”
An avid reader, Rajbhandary describes himself as an adventurous person who loves going on bike trails and trekking. His hobbies also include cycling, swimming and practicing yoga. Also, he says that he is a major foodie and loves to try new cuisines. “Travelling is something that I enjoy thoroughly all the time and trying new cuisines while travelling is my motto.”
Rajbhandary has been an active part of EO for the last ten years. EO is a global peer-to-peer network of over 12,000 influential business owners with 160 chapters in 50 countries. According to Rajbhandary, EO has helped him expand his networks and the members of the organisation have become like a family to him. Founded in 1987, EO is a catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, contributing to greater success in business and beyond. EO Nepal, which was established in 2003, is one of the 160 chapters of the global organisation. Currently, it has 61 members. He initially joined EO with the simple thought that it would help him expand his network and meet likeminded individuals but with time, his perception of EO changed. “After I joined EO, I learned the actual meaning of work-life balance and how our most valuable asset is the wisdom gained through our appetite for knowledge,” he says, adding, “EO is the biggest platform where one can learn self-motivation, peer-peer learning and developing work strategies among many other things. I have been able to shape my business, social network and personal development through this platform.”
Rajbhandary thinks the future is always full of uncertainty, but he thrives for more growth and providing opportunities to people. “In the next five years, I would like to be able to create systems that would bring a productive impact and economic growth to Nepal. I believe that creating employment opportunities and running the responsibilities of a large population of families through my company is the development I will continue to work towards every day.”