The world over, sports have become a top activity for many businesspersons and professionals in their daily lives in order to keep the winning streak in today’s highly competitive world. They play sports not only to quench their thirst of a particular sporting action, but also to stay physically and mentally fit. Many individuals from Nepal’s corporate fraternity are currently associated also with various sporting entities. Tamish Giri of New Business Age reached out to some of the businesspersons and professionals to discover their sports interests and connection to the game of their choice.
Umesh Lal Shrestha, managing director of Quest Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, has played many types sports in his lifetime. He started swimming at an early age and joined hockey years later. He eventually switched to golf as a corporate professional and also enjoys playing bridge, a trick-taking card game, lately. Despite his interest in many sports, it was only hockey and bridge that he played professionally. He has represented Nepal playing hockey and bridge in some international tournaments.
Shrestha suffered a back injury that kept him away from playing, but his love for the sport compelled him to forego his playing career and become an administrator. He is currently the president of the Nepal Hockey Association and has been in the position for over a decade now.
However, Shrestha, born with good sporting ability, could not keep himself away for long and has rejoined swimming lately. Describing his swimming history, he says, “I first started swimming in the Ganges when I was six years old and am very much fond of it. My father used to swim in the Ganges, and I would jump into the river to follow him”.
Shrestha defines swimming as his passion which keeps him fit. Apart from fitness, it makes him feel relaxed. Further, it rejuvenates him and gives him the strength to work for long hours.
According to him, sports activities are essential to staying fit, and a healthy person can perform tasks with efficiency and effectiveness.
His company Quest Pharmaceuticals organizes a number of sports activities for its staff and participates in various corporate tournaments. “We are the defending champions of the inter-pharmaceuticals cricsal (indoor cricket) tournament for two years now,” he informs.
Shrestha views sports activities as essential for developing teamwork. “Sports bind employees and bring out a team spirit in them, which is a must for the growth of an organisation,” he expresses.
Suman Pokharel, CEO of IME Group greatly enjoys playing football.
Explaining his attachment to the game, Pokharel says he first started playing it as a child in his school days. “I am passionate about football and enjoyed playing and watching it from my childhood,” he adds.
Pokharel says he often plays ‘futsal’ (five-a-side indoor football) these days with his colleagues and watches live football matches regularly on television.
Besides, Pokharel also played badminton previously but stopped after suffering a tennis-elbow injury. He now goes to the gym for his cardio exercises.
Describing football as his passion, Pokharel informs the game has helped him stay physically and mentally healthy. Further, football has also helped alleviate his work related stress. “Playing football has helped me achieve a better work-life balance,” he opines. For Pokharel, football had played an essential role in his growth and also helped him become a disciplined individual.
According to Pokharel, sports helps business and corporate professionals remain fit, bond with employees and build networks. Pokharel plays futsal with his staff every week and also participates in corporate tournaments.
“I play futsal twice a week with my company staff, and it has allowed me to bond with my employees and motivate them. Besides, it has also helped me extend my network,” says the CEO.
Kishore Maharjan, chairman of Progressive Finance Company Limited and owner of the cricket club Lalitpur Patriots, enjoys various sports and watches them regularly during his spare time.
He relishes squash and has been playing it for over three decades. Maharjan is the President of the Nepal Squash Racket Association.
Describing his connection to the game, he says that back in the 1980s, he had limited time to play outdoor sports, and thus Squash became his activity of choice. He was drawn to Squash because it was an indoor sport and could be played throughout the day. Further, the requirement of only a single partner made the game accessible, and he has been enjoying Squash for over 35 years now.
According to Maharjan, his family has a history of blood pressure and diabetes-related disorders of several members, which he regards as a significant threat to his health. Further, he adds a banker such as himself faces tremendous mental stress, which is an additional hazard to his well-being. To avoid a health scare, Maharjan plays Squash as a means to keep himself fit. He describes squash as an intense sport requiring both physical and mental strength and observes it as a way to maintain his body weight and to release his stress and hypertension. Keeping him both physically and mentally active, Squash has contributed towards his well-being.
Rabindra Man Shrestha, president of Akkhannda Business Venture, is a routine golfer. He first started playing golf in 1994 at the Royal Nepal Golf Course and has been enjoying both the nine and 18-hole formats of the game ever since. He has also participated in several corporate golf tournaments to test his golfing ability.
“I took up this game as I thought it was a sport meant for successful people,” informed Shrestha.
He says playing golf has made a sizeable difference in his well-being; it keeps him physically fit and mentally focused. “The game improves both physical and mental abilities and has helped me perform well in my job,” Shrestha expresses.
Besides golf, he also practices yoga and meditation during his free time every day According to Shrestha, there are numerous reasons for an individual from the business sphere to get involved with golf. However, he observes well-being and business networking as the primary reasons to join the sport.
He has not coordinated any sports activities in his company Akkhannda Business Venture, but previously as the CEO and MD of working in several corporate institutions, he had conducted many intra-organisational sporting events for employees. “We had participated in many corporate sports tournaments back then, namely six-a-side football, cricket as well as badminton tournaments,” he adds.