'The last 70 years have been a roller-coaster ride' Business 360

'The last 70 years have been a roller-coaster ride'

Karna Sakya

Writer, Social Worker, Environmentalist, Entrepreneur and Founder of KGH Group of Hotels

Karna Sakya is a renowned writer, social worker, environmentalist, entrepreneur and the Founder of the KGH Group of Hotels. An environmentalist and conservationist at heart he is also responsible for establishing Nepal’s first national park when he was working as a wildlife officer. Initially, Sakya was working as a government employee and it was in the 1970s that he decided to quit his job and delve into the tourism business.

At present, Sakya has expanded his chain of hotels across various districts of Nepal and is known for his contribution to tourism that was still a fledgling sector when he decided to enter the industry.

A passionate writer, Sakya has authored 14 books some of which have been hugely popular and become the fastest sellers in the country. “The books I have written portray the feelings of thousands of Nepalis and I am glad that my philosophies of life match with many of our country folks,” he shares.

In this edition of Business 360, Sakya speaks about the various aspects of life that have impacted his personal and professional journey.

Life is a journey

Never in my life had I imagined to be anything; for instance, an engineer or a doctor because I was an average student. Never had I imagined that I would be a writer or own a hotel chain with properties across Nepal, or be a successful man.

Time and the changing environment were the factors that drove me through this journey of life. I would say that I am an accidental businessman, writer, conservationist and entrepreneur. During school, I loved playing and studies was always a secondary component. Later in college, I was more into romance. For me life has been an ever-changing fulcrum, in my 30’s I wanted to focus on my career and future. In my 40’s I had this urge to earn money, and when I was in my 50’s I realised that money isn’t everything and I wanted to earn a name for myself and achieve much more in life. When I stepped into my 60’s, I got interested in philosophy, spirituality, and in my 70’s, I understood the meaning and the need of understanding the present. Life is not only about spirituality, we have to understand our present and as life runs in the present time and not in the past or in the future, the essence of the present is the most important to me. Life and death are a phenomenon that we should understand and that is when you recognise yourself and live better in the present.

The last 70 years have been a roller-coaster ride that I wouldn’t change at all. I believe that as a human being, we go through many phases of life and in every phase we will want something else which is different from what we had wanted before. Our wants and desires in life keep on changing with time; our wants and desires never remain constant.

Success is peace of mind

My philosophy in life is ‘You see a rest stop (chautari) on the top of a hill, that’s the goal that you want at the moment, you hike for it, walk for days to reach there, you face hurricanes, obstacles and when you reach there, you enjoy the wind up there, the birds, the nature, you rest and explore the area. When I am established enough, I hike up to another rest stop. It is all about the cycle of learning and unlearning and walking the distance’. Working makes me happy for the fact that the goals I had envisioned for myself are happening due to my constant effort and ambition. I am a practical man. Whatever I did, I have done it beyond my imagination.

I am in a stage of life where I prefer accomplishment rather than achievement. In life, humans have two stages. One is achievement which is the present. We can buy achievement with money but accomplishment is directly related to your heart. When you are happy and content with who you are and what you have done so far in life, that is accomplishment.

Success for me has changed over time. Back then, for me success was earning money, to increase my bank balance. Over time it became people recognising and respecting me. I would say success can be defined when a person is happy spiritually, mentally and physically. For now, I want to be satisfied and happy in all matters, but it is life and the smallest of things bother me. So, for me success is peace of mind and soul bound with internal happiness.

My mother, my greatest inspiration

There are only three people in my life whom I consider my greatest inspiration and they are my mother, mother and mother. Whatever I am today is because of my mother and her blessings. She passed away a long time ago but till today I bow down to my mother. I have never seen God or met him/her but I have met my mother and she is God to me.

“I ask my brain for possible solutions and outcomes but beware of the human brain. It is selfish, it teaches you good things and bad things as well. It can be quite confusing so I ask my heart. The conversation between my heart and brain is the most important.”

Close your eyes and recognise yourself

I believe that I have to go through the situation and understand it in depth to agree and accept any advice. There’s a saying from Buddha, “Don’t accept me immediately and the thing that I have said, you go through it by yourself, face it, understand it and at the end when you realise that I was correct, then only follow my advice.” This saying from Buddha is what touches my heart and I follow it because I believe I do the same.

My life formula is to close my eyes and see the inner world that is inside of me. I find immense joy when closing my eyes because I recognise myself. I think and contemplate about anything while closing my eyes as I can see the inner me and the things that I want. Whenever I have to make decisions and plan, I close my eyes and think of the steps that I’ll be taking to achieve them because the world is so clear when I close my eyes.

I ask my brain for possible solutions and outcomes but beware of the human brain. It is selfish, it teaches you good things and bad things as well. It can be quite confusing so I ask my heart. The conversation between my heart and brain is the most important. When the two puzzles are a perfect match, nothing can stop me from achieving what I had envisioned.

Time is the most precious thing in life, utilise it properly and you’ll get all the benefits in future.

When there is a problem, I do not procrastinate. I know for a fact that when there is a problem, there will be an opportunity. Any problem that arises will have a solution. That’s why there is no word called impossible because the word itself says ‘I M Possible’. Life is a mixture of both happiness and sadness. We cannot run away from problems. There is a language of ‘doers’. If there is a problem, face it and take accountability. This mentality alone can take you places.

Management is the cohesion of reality and your dreams. Similarly, time management is also an important factor when handling difficult situations. One should be a dreamer but in that duration you have to check your pocket and see if your dream matches your financial situation or not. To make your dreams come true, you can’t skip stairs and reach the top at once.

Women are the epitome of strength and power

If you look at the country’s demography, women make up 50% of the population. Now imagine a country with half of its population as females and no women leaders, it would be disastrous. Empowerment of women is so important. Without it the country cannot move forward. Women are creative, loyal, gentle and sensitive but due to our patriarchal society, they are behind men. If they are given equal opportunity, women will be unstoppable. I would say there are two kinds of females – Sita is a symbol of loyalty and Draupadi is a symbol of power. Women are one of the most diplomatic people in the world. If given proper opportunities, they’ll be the epitome of strength and power. Also, I am very happy with the current scenario of women empowerment in Nepal. It is gaining the momentum that was much needed. This gives me the satisfaction that women are being recognised in society as individual powerful beings.


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Business 360 is a magazine that delivers on quality business news content, profiles of entrepreneurs and leaders, features on issues that matter, articles that assess and analyze policy and delivery mechanisms in the world of trade and commerce

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