This is the best time to be an entrepreneur in Nepal’


KATHMANDU, March 6: Min Bahadur Gurung is to Bhatbhateni what Sam Walton is to Walmart: a visionary founder of supermarkets.

Gurung is the owner of the Bhatbhateni chain of supermarkets with a story of entrepreneurship that is inspiring for all.

An ever optimistic and humble entrepreneur, he hails from a remote village in Khotang.

He started his venture with US $1,135 by opening a small grocery store.

Today, Gurung is a multimillionaire with plans to expand his retail super market chain Bhatbhateni across the country.

Gurung sees a lot of opportunities in Nepal and encourages young professionals to start something new.

He says that old investors like him are ready to back young groups of capable professionals to start a business.

Urging the young people to start business ventures, he said the Nepali market has plenty of opportunity and rooms for innovation.

His ideal social service in Nepal is to give fair employment to as many Nepalis as possible.

He employs about 900 people now, and is planning to employ more people directly in retail and agriculture businesses.

He says that hydropower and agriculture are fields he would like to personally invest in.

He gives the following advice to aspiring entrepreneurs:

1. History has proved that a lot of big companies in the world are the ones who started right after a big/civil war.

2. Be patient. Gurung waited nine years before he turned his small grocery store into a department store.

3.Imbibe honesty. Gurung emphasizes that entrepreneurship is all about relationships.

Therefore, honesty is a must, especially when it comes to money. Have an honest relationship with your financial institutions, your creditors, debtors, coworkers and employees.

4. Share. The more you share your experience and learn from others, the better for your business to thrive.

Four points that have made Gurung a successful businessman are:

1.Start small. Mistakes committed when a business is small are not big; they can easily be corrected and lessons are learned without wasting much money and time.

2. Trust: Making a quick buck at the hapless customers’ expense may be tempting, but the market rewards those who are consistently trustworthy. People, after all, buy and sell with those they trust.

3. Curiosity: Be alert, you know a business is going downhill when owners start exhibiting a know-all attitude and are closed to differing viewpoints.

4. Focus: Gurung is clear about his focus: To sell Nepali and foreign goods at the lowest possible price. He avoids distractions. All he knows is how to sell and has succeeded by doing only what he does best.

(This is an extract from “A Nepali Entrepreneur’s Handbook” published by Entrepreneurs for Nepal. For details, visit

Published on 2011-03-06 10:15:36


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