ANIL KESHARY SHAH
Whether it’s through his witty business intelligence or his signature moustache and traditional daura surwal, CEO of Nabil Bank, Anil Keshary Shah is one of those personalities in Nepal who needs little introduction. The former CEO of Mega Bank started his banking career in 1991 at Nepal Grindlays Bank which is currently known as Standard Chartered Bank and in a career spanning 13 years became the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Consumer Banking there. Shah has keenly prioritised SME/MSMEs, consumer and digital banking rather than focusing on the classical markets. He has a versatile approach to work and career, and is known to excel in PR and communications.
Sunil KC is the CEO of NMB Bank which has been awarded the prestigious The Bankers’ Bank of the Year Award thrice in the last four years under his leadership. Considered a visionary with astute business intelligence, he joined NMB Bank in 2008 and became the CEO in 2017 prior to which he was associated with the Standard Chartered Bank. KC strongly believes that the banks need to focus on suburban, rural markets in SME/MSME and retail segments through digitisation for sustained growth and the government should implement a multipronged strategy to support key sectors such as agriculture, hydropower and tourism which is why NMB Bank’s core focus areas include renewable energy, agriculture, MSME/SMEs and digitisation.
KIRAN KRISHNA SHRESTHA
Team Leader at Nepa~laya, Kiran Krishna Shrestha leads an organisation that manages music, publishes books and produces independent non-fiction films besides doing events like concerts, book tours, film screenings, photo exhibitions, etc. He started Nepa~laya in 2001 and has been the official promoter and manager of Nepathya, the music band since 2002. Before Nepa~laya, Shrestha used to work as an RJ, filmmaker and producer and considers himself a student of management and marketing.
As a part of its Nepa~laya Classics, Nepa~laya publications has also started publishing unpublished or out-of-print literary works from eminent Nepali writers and has already published Brahma Shamsher’s Nepal ko Mahabhukampa, Lekhnath Poudyal’s Kavi Shiromani Rachnavali, Manjul’s Samjhanaka Pailaharu and Matrika Prasad Koirala’s Koshiko Katha. The publication house also launched Sujeev Shakya’s Arthat Pariwartan as its first primary eBook in August 2020.
ABDULLAH TUNCER KECECI
Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, General Manager of Turkish Airlines, Nepal started his corporate journey in 1996 as a Simulation Engineer at the Flight Training Centre of Turkish Airlines, a position he held for two decades. Within these two decades as an electronics and communication engineer, Kececi knew a lot about the aviation sector and wanted to bring a different perspective and approach to his career. Through a leadership management training programme, he saw an opportunity in sales and marketing and joined the department in 2016. Rising through the ranks, he was appointed as the airline General Marketing Manager for Nepal in March 2016, before being appointed the General Manager shortly thereafter. Kececi has worked closely with Nepal’s travel trade sector and tourism stakeholders for the promotion and enhancement of Nepal as a destination, and is considered one of the most effective and forthcoming tourism professionals.
Abhimanyu Poddar is the Managing Director of Surya Nepal, one of the largest private sector enterprises in Nepal and a subsidiary of ITC Limited, India. He is also the Executive Member of Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) and National Council Member of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI). Surya Nepal is synonymous with the tobacco business in Nepal, and under the leadership of Poddar, is expanding its verticals to inlude food manufacturing and tourism industries. Poddar is actively involved in urging the government to make long term and one-window policies to attract big foreign direct investments into the country.
Though many hotels were closed during the lockdowns occurring due to the pandemic, there were very few operating and generating revenue; Marriott Hotel Kathmandu, a newly established hotel led by its General Manager Jean-Louis Ripoche was one. With almost four decades in the hospitality sector and having previously served in various capacities in the UAE, France, the US, Kuwait, Thailand, Morocco, Israel and Maldives, Ripoche had clear insight into making one of the most critical decisions during the pandemic-led lockdown not to shut doors and instead program the hotel to serve its guests with additional safety procedures. Under Ripoche’s leadership, the hotel also launched a safe food delivery programme ‘Marriott on Wheels’ maintaining the strictest level of safety and hygiene protocols.
BIRENDRA BAHADUR BASNET
When Birendra Bahadur Basnet and his father Surendra Bahadur Basnet started Buddha Air in 1996 with no prior experience in the aviation industry, everyone was sceptic about their decsion. Two and a half decades later, Buddha Air is one of the largest and most popular domestic carriers in Nepal and Basnet is among Nepal’s most successful entrepreneurs. Though the airlines suffered losses in the initial five years, the company has been in profit every single year and currently has a fleet of 13 aircrafts operating in 33 flight routes in around 15 destinations of Nepal.
Not forgetting his initial roots of coming from an agricultural background, Basnet is engaged in several agriculture projects in Morang and Sunsari districts and has initiated a company for community development called Nepal Krishi Company, as Buddha Air’s long term and consistent CSR partner.
Raj Gyawali is a social entrepreneur and responsible tourism leader who has over two decades of experience working specifically on responsible tourism practices. He is the Founder and Director of Social Tours, soft adventure specialists based in Kathmandu, offering trips in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. They are also the first tour company in Asia to be sustainability certified.
Gyawali also consults governments and communities on developing inserting sustainability strategies in government plans. Gyawali is known for his work ranging from training guides in sustainable practices, educating customers on the practice of responsible tourism as travellers, developing more sustainable tourism offerings to guiding governments and stakeholders in putting sustainable procedures into action.
Awarded as the World Leader Business Person at BIZZ Awards 2019 for being a successful leader working in an innovative, knowledgeable and systemic manner for uplifting Nepal’s health care domain, Megha Chaudhary earned the legacy of the Chaudhary Group name that came with very high expectations, and she was determined to succeed. She started her career working as an intern at Norvic Hospital and in time with focus and perseverance broke into the boardroom, thereafter becoming the Managing Director of the hospital. Under her leadership, Norvic has established itself as a leading medical speciality centre and received 2019 Peak of Service Award for Business Excellence from World Confederation of Business (WORLDCOB) in 2019.
MAHA PRASAD ADHIKARI
Maha Prasad Adhikari is the Governor of the Nepal Rastra Bank who has served as the CEO of Investment Board Nepal for four years and was also the Deputy Governor in his three-decade long career with the Nepal Rastra Bank. During his tenure as Deputy Governor, he played a critical role in bringing financial stability to banks and financial institutions on the verge of collapse due to the rise in non-performing assets and exposure to risks triggered by shocks in the economy. Adhikari effectively enforced supervisory and regulatory measures like limiting exposure to real-estate, ensuring prompt corrective actions by BFIs, curbing the practice of borrowing from foreign companies at high rates and repatriation of dividends in foreign currency to park the funds in tax haven. He architected increase in paid up capital of BFIs up to four folds and has been recognised by the financial sector as a liberal and open-minded professional. Adhikari brings the key attributes of investment facilitator and regulator to his position, one that has the business community placing high expectations on his expertise especially in the current pandemic economic juncture.