Co-founder & CEO, Antarprerana
Niraj Khanal is the Co-founder and CEO of Antarprerana which supports entrepreneurs in Nepal through investments and mentorships. He aims to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Nepal by empowering entrepreneurs, enhancing the investment climate, and advancing collaborations. Antarprerana was founded in 2015 along with Dr Om Rajbhandary.
Khanal is a development studies graduate who has always believed in working closely with the community in order to flourish personally and professionally. “Antarprerana is all about mentoring, helping and pitching ideas. We have expanded all over Nepal and are known as the incubator of incubators. We train incubators to enhance the structure of entrepreneurship in Nepal,” he states.
In this issue of Business 360, he shares the five things that have impacted his work and life.
I want to build a great company instead of a big company
Starting my own company would be the best decision that I have made. The company has given me the chance to explore and experience the things that I am really passionate about. Antarprerana has provided me with the platform to create, lead and work in an environment that I truly believe in.
I was a science student during high school and I am glad that I jumped to humanities as it gave me the opportunity to travel to around 60 districts in Nepal. Work and travel have helped me to shape my perspective, and decision-making, and I would definitely call that switch the turning point in my life.
Being a good human is very important for me. Treating people with humanity, respecting others’ time and effort have contributed towards working better towards my goals and my life. I want to build a great company instead of a big company.
My family, my inspiration
My family has been my greatest source of inspiration. I consider myself blessed because I have such a supportive family. They have taught me to live my dream and not run after money or status. My parents, sisters and my wife always believe that if you do good work, you’ll receive good deeds and money will follow naturally.
There are also mentors and friends who have shaped me to be the person I am today. My employees are the gems of the company. We are mostly youth driven and their consistent effort to bring new ideas and changes have driven me to perform my best.
Do not be afraid to experiment
Fail fast, fail steep, fail cheap, fail often, which means do not be afraid to experiment. As humans, we always want to do big things, achieve big goals but in the process, we tend to forget about the small steps. Big steps can cause a big accident and the recovery might take a long time but taking small steps can help one to dust it off easily and stand up again stronger. This is one of the best advice I have received till date and I live by it.
Life is a series of ups and downs. When I face a difficult situation, I pause. Do not take instant action because we are likely to make more mistakes when situations are not in our favour. We have to live our life with noise, especially when you are running a business, you tend to get a lot of backlashes, negative comments and so much more but those are the challenges you overcome with time, with patience and by keeping a clear mind.
Success is about finding the balance
I believe that success is how you define yourself. It is a composition of everything, like the money you earn, the satisfaction from work, family, friends. It is the balance of your happiness and contentment. Happiness is a difficult thing to achieve so until and unless you are happy from within it will be difficult to be successful.