Best Wishes from Karna Shakya

One of Nepal's pioneer hoteliers Karna Shakya has written a book titled All The Best for those who want to become entrepreneurs.

Karna Shakya’s All The Best talks about the local context of being an entrepreneur. The book gives an account of how he setup his chain of hotels, and lessons he learnt in the process. The book, a brutally honest description of his journey, will help young startups get a heads up on what they can expect while doing business today.

There are many examples of successful enterprises in Nepal, yet young people are going abroad in search of work. How do you see the situation?
The government is failing to attract potential job creators. What entrepreneurs need is trust from the government. Our schools teach us to go find jobs abroad instead of working here. The problem starts from our schooling itself. Every educational institution advertises about its success by providing the number of students who have found work abroad. They don’t teach kids to discover the opportunities in the country and what can be done.

Does this mean that the government needs to focus more on the entrepreneurial sector?
Yes, the government has to support startups. It has to provide infrastructures for entrepreneurs. I am not saying there isn’t support from the government, but the benefits of what is being done isn’t reaching those who actually need it. Middle men are taking advantage of this situation. The space between the information provider and the receiver needs to be filled.

What advice would you give to would be entrepreneurs?
Money is not the only thing that matters in business. Vision, innovation and dream play an equally important role. Most of us are worried about how we don’t have money to invest in a business. But sometimes suffering due to a scarcity helps us to start questioning about how we can fulfill those needs. When you have limited money, it will make you more resourceful. Take an example of all the migrant workers. They go to a foreign land without even understanding their culture or language. This shows that our people have the skill to take risks. They’re just not investing it in the right place.

Finally, what are the challenges you see that entrepreneurs of today will have to overcome?
Today I don’t see any major hurdles, there are opportunities to get loans in many different ways. Also, many different sectors are emerging today that were unheard of about 20 years ago. Technology has made it a lot easier for people to work in the entrepreneurial sector. Even our country’s biodiversity makes it easy to produce any sort of agricultural products, such as ostrich eggs or rainbow trout. Our geography is so unique that any sort of agricultural product found all over the world can be grown here.

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