A Life Built on Learning and Perseverance

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A Life Built on Learning and Perseverance

Joshi established A.N.T Holidays in her search for independence and is now dedicated to growing both the company and Nepal’s tourism sector.
The former US Secretary of State Colin Powellonce said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”. Shradha Joshi, executive director of A.N.T Holidays Pvt. Ltd, who follows this philosophy, believes that determination and continuity are essential for being a successful entrepreneur. She says, “A business does not show results immediately, but one must be dedicated to what they are doing. Believing in oneself and continuity can lead to beautiful results tomorrow”. 
Born in Dharan on July 5, 1980, she was shy in nature during her childhood days but she became more outspoken as she grew older. She believes that this forthright nature has helped her grow her venture, A.N.T Holidays. 
“I have seen my family members run their own business, but I was not sure on choosing my career”, she remembers. “Rather I was interested in being engaged in the social sector which led me towards joining different social organisations”, she adds.
Afterwards, she stepped into the world of business by establishing her own company; but she felt a regular job was more relaxed and secure. Soon after giving birth to her daughter, she had to resign from her position. Meanwhile, she used to help in marketing and business promotion at her husband’s restaurant. 
Due to the struggle of finding a job and realising that she couldn’t be dependent on others, she decided to run a business again on her own. Shradha also felt that through the company, she could create employment opportunities for other people as well. So, she decided to start A.N.T Holidays with a friend. Though the company was already registered in 2012, it has only been a couple of years since they have been working at full tilt. 
She believes doing what one loves is the first step towards success. “I particularly chose this field because I love travelling and exploring new places”, she says. 
According to Shradha, support from family and society is critical for an entrepreneur to become successful. She says she has a very supportive husband and family members who were always open on letting her select her career choice. Moreover, she considers her husband as a major source of inspiration who has always been supporting her in every step of her life. 
She found trying to convince people about the services as challenging during the initial phase of the company. “Convincing people with only our words was difficult, so we started our work within our family and friends circle”, recalls Shradha. “This way we can assure quality service to our customers now”, she adds. Starting out with vehicle rentals, Shradha informs that today they are able to reach every sector. Corporate houses, I/NGOs are now their regular customers. “Soon we are tying up with insurance companies and spreading the word about the importance of insurance,” she informs. 
Versatile and persistent, Shradha believes that two-way communication can solve any problem that occurs in business. “Not only in business, but in every aspect of life, if there’s clear communication, however big the problem may be, it can be solved easily”, she expresses. “Today we are able to clear any inquiries confidently”, she adds.  
Since 2017, she has been a member of the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Nepal (FWEAN), an apex body of Women Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal (WEAN). Established in July 2003, FWEAN is a focal point for interaction, not only with the government but also various national and international organisations and stakeholders. It aims to redefine the perspective of women entrepreneurship – from economic growth and poverty alleviation to the participation of women at all levels in socio-economic sectors. 
According to Shradha, FWEAN has been very beneficial for her professional as well as personal growth. “After joining the organisation, we got the opportunity to participate in several types of trainings for our professions. Further, we are also able to receive information related to services provided by the government to women entrepreneurs”, she says, adding, “For instance, I was not aware of the course where the government provided a loan without any security on a low-interest rate. Through the organisation, I, along with many other members of FWEAN, are aware of this facility”. She believes that awareness about such information can help them produce more quality products by using those facilities. Furthermore, the organisation has helped her to develop her professional network as well. For the past three years she has also been participating in international trade fairs that promote women entrepreneurship. The fairs, where businesswomen from SAARC countries also participate are a platform to converge, display and promote products made by women from the country’s various districts. “I believe that if proper training regarding marketing is given to them, they can grow better”, she stresses. 
According to her, inability in terms of mass production and lack of proper payment system are the major challenges the Nepali women entrepreneurs face at present. “Though we can assure our quality, our production capacity is low, which eventually leads towards a higher selling price of the products. So we are not able to compete properly in the market. Similarly, most of the women are upgrading their business through online channels but lack of a proper payment system in Nepal is also another challenge we face”, she says.  
Shradha loves spending time with her daughter in her free time. An avid traveller herself, she also enjoys reading articles related to travel and novels as well. She has been able to reach this position today through a process of sustained learning. She says that a person should never lose hope and have continuity in what they are doing. By doing what she loved, she believes that she has gained greater exposure to the world. “Every day is a learning process, and all the ups and downs faced on the journey has helped me grow and made me who I am today,” she expresses. 
Considering that tourism is one of the major platforms to generate revenue, she aspires to work towards improving the tourism sector. She aims to promote Nepal worldwide through tourism by upgrading tourism facilities and services. 
Currently, she is a secretary of Lions Club of Babarmahal, Kathmandu and is also associated with Black Pepper Café & Pub at Kupondole Heights, Lalitpur.

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