Home / Hi5  / “It’s easier to approach a woman leader with a personal request or a sensitive question. They care about their team and their wellbeing which includes their performance at work and their work-life balance. I also find women more proactive in becoming mentors, and sometimes it’s already such an open and communicative relationship that the transition to mentorship is easy”

“It’s easier to approach a woman leader with a personal request or a sensitive question. They care about their team and their wellbeing which includes their performance at work and their work-life balance. I also find women more proactive in becoming mentors, and sometimes it’s already such an open and communicative relationship that the transition to mentorship is easy”

Though her parents wanted her to become a doctor, Basanti Pradhan, CEO of Batika Nepal, always aspired to own a business. She relates that to placate her parents she did study microbiology but her calling to be an entrepreneur was stronger. Along with her sister and a friend, Pradhan opened a garment factory when she was just 21. Initially, the business did well with export orders from the United States. However, in 2015 with the economic blockade along the southern border, it became difficult to import raw materials and orders got cancelled which led to huge losses for the company. But Pradhan’s passion for business did not diminish. This time around, she decided to start and entered the floriculture business. Pradhan is currently the Secretary of the Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal, Advisor of the Floriculture Association Nepal and Executive Member of the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council, Nepal.
In this edition of Business 360, Pradhan talks about the five things that have impacted her work and life.

Self-realisation and life changing decision

Nurturing and growing a business, taking care of home and family, striving to be perfect in everything, I used to think taking time out for myself was selfish and unproductive. I was always so busy that I didn’t have the bandwidth to think about my own needs, let alone do anything about them. One day I realised the world does not rest on my shoulders. I set aside ‘Me Time’ for myself. This has opened a whole new world of possibilities, mindfulness and awareness for me. I enjoy life better.
The decision to join the floriculture industry and Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal to bring about change through socioeconomic development of women in general has changed my life course.

Nature, my inspiration

Nature is my greatest source of inspiration. The wonder stirred within us by nature is a combination of amazement and admiration that is inspiring. This inspiration that I have found in nature is so real and unassuming that I spontaneously find deeper meaning in the scenes, sounds and smells I encounter. Nature’s inspiration is as simple as looking at the sunrise, the peaceful rhythms of a rolling stream, the rustle of leaves in the trees, the nostalgic morning smell of New Road or watching nature while drinking a glass of water in the morning. I continually build on these experiences. These not only encourage and excite me but sustain and motivate me. There is a saying by Buddha “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.”
I am also thankful to my parents, family, friends and my peers for guiding me along my path. I learn and grow to be a better human being every day.

Success is not about ‘how much you make but it is about how much difference you make in people’s lives. To be successful one has to be passionate, extremely hard and smart working, focused, creative and persistent. Until and unless you make a difference in your sphere of influence success is not meaningful to bloom your being.

Handling difficult situations

The floriculture industry has been hit very hard by the pandemic. The cut flower industry had just started to grow and a lot of growers were lured to grow these value cash crop. These are highly perishable products and timely consumption is of utmost importance. Most of the growers had to destroy the whole of the flower crops without proper harvest during the lockdowns. The damage caused thus has been huge – recovery, resilience or pivoting may take years to lure growers again to benefit from this business.
Difficult situations arise due to lack of honest conversations, lack of understanding the situation, lack of flexibility and agility, adamant on the end results and also the inability to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ clearly. It is also due to one’s wants, greed and choices. I try to understand the situation clearly without any prejudice or end result, weigh, take advice and am flexible and agile and open to the end results if justifiable.

Women as leaders

Women are great leaders because they are able to balance professional and personal leadership skills. It’s easier to approach a woman leader with a personal request or a sensitive question. They care about their team and their wellbeing which includes their performance at work and their work-life balance. I also find women more proactive in becoming mentors, and sometimes it’s already such an open and communicative relationship that the transition to mentorship is easy.

They are also natural multi-taskers. They have the ability to decisively and quickly respond to simultaneous and different tasks or problems at a time which is a critical component to successful leadership.

Women can also easily harness, change direction, regroup and change course for the better of their companies without much deliberation.

Success and life philosophy

Success is not about ‘how much you make but it is about how much difference you make in people’s lives. To be successful one has to be passionate, extremely hard and smart working, focused, creative and persistent. Until and unless you make a difference in your sphere of influence success is not meaningful to bloom your being.

Embalm yourself with positivity, sincerity and honesty. Be close with nature. Be compassionate. Try to be present always in NOW. This will bring happiness and peace.

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