Leave party politics and do business, Canberra academic tells Nepali Australian business owners

By Ram Khatry, Sydney
5 January 2017

Don’t waste your valuable time on petty party politics and too many sponsorships appeared to be the advice a straight-talking academic from Canberra had for “small business owners” and “entrepreneurs” participating in the First National Entrepreneur Conference organised by NRNA Australia.

Presenting a paper titled “10 Costly Business Mistakes” made by Nepali Australian business owners, Associate Professor Dr Kishor Vaidya observed that many business owners within the community spent unproductive time on unnecessary political activities rather than profit-making business engagements.

“Are you in business or politics… Seriously?,” the University of Canberra academic questioned during Sunday’s event.

Shesh Ghale
NRNA Australia officials hand over $61,000 to global president Shesh Ghale I Photo: Rishi Acharya

Nepali businesses sponsor too many events based on emotions and try “to be all things to all people”, without any consideration of returns or profitability, he indicated.

Kishor Vaidya
Associate Professor Kishor Vaidya

Out of ten “costly mistakes” Nepali entrepreneurs make, the most common is how they name their businesses, his paper pointed out. Giving an example of “Muglan“, a popular Nepali restaurant on Sydney’s Liverpool Street, Dr Vaidya pointed out that the names of Nepali-owned businesses were often very country or culture specific that may not be captured by search engines. “Use Google planner to find out the level of competition and profitability of your key words,” he advised.

According to Dr Vaidya, copying of others (duplication), trying to get rich quick, tendency to look bigger (for example, by renting big spaces or hiring too many staffs or expensive advertisements without any return on investment estimation), lack of investment in skills development and lack of financial knowledge were other areas Nepali businesses needed to improve in. Duplication begets unfair competition between businesses, he warned.

Dr Kiran Thapa, a young entrepreneur from Sydney, on the other hand, spoke about the need to strike a balance between career and family life so that others in the  family do not suffer because of what business choice you have made in life. “Know your sweet spots,” he said, urging participants to hold “family relationship” in high esteem.

Dr Kiran Thapa presents his paper during the national conference I Photo: Dilip Bharati

Presenting his paper titled “How to choose a business idea that makes MONEY”, Dr Thapa shared his business ideas about “the lazy way of earning money”. Speaking to southasia.com.au post-programme, he explained his theory, “Higher priced items are likely to create more confusion in people’s mind than low-priced items and as a result, you can sell these products at higher profit margin. For the same amount of convincing required to make sale, businesses can earn more money from high-priced items than low-priced items.”

The event was organised by NRNA Australia to provide a common platform to Nepali business owners from across Australia. Coordinated by its treasurer Dila Kharel, it was the first nationwide gathering of Nepali business leaders in the country.

NRNA Australia Treasurer Dila Kharel

Although there have been some criticism, specially around the quality of some “papers” presented on the occasion, the programme on the whole has been considered successful. “Needless to say, this being the first attempt, there will be areas to improve upon but we never learn if we do not make that first step,” Mr Kharel took to Facebook to remind that mistakes were bound to happen at the first attempt.

NRN’s global president Shesh Ghale, CEO of MIT Group headquartered at the historic Argyle Building in Melbourne, flew all the way from the Ground Zero of 2015 Nepal Earthquake to participate in the event. He has been camping in Gorkha district’s Laprak village where he leads a mammoth construction project aimed at building 500 plus homes for victims of the 7.8 magnitude temblor.

During the conference, NRNA Australia office-bearers handed over a cheque of $61,000 to Mr Ghale which will go towards various reconstruction activities the global body is undertaking in earthquake-devastated nation.

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