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“The most important decision of my life was to start my own business. It gives me both financial freedom in addition to giving me control of my own time.”

An interior designer by education, Deepika Shrestha is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Pack My Lunch, a startup, she shares that was established in 2013 with the aim of easing lunch time worries of the corporate sector. According to her, lack of professional services in such sectors propelled PML to evolve to extend Professional Food Services such as cafeteria management and corporate lunch boxes to banks, schools, hospitals and other private and government organisations on contract basis. “We also do event caterings and buffet drop off services. Our food is cooked fresh everyday and consists of a variety of menu options to choose from,” she says.

Besides, she is the Managing Director at CIWEC Pharmacy which is located inside the CIWEC Hospital and Travel Medicine Center. “Unlike other pharmacies we only cater to the patients of CIWEC Hospital which is geared towards the practice of travel medicine. CIWEC Pharmacy is also known for being a source of high-quality vaccinations and medicines that may not be available elsewhere,” explains Shrestha.

“Basically, I work with both the medical team of the hospital and my team of pharmacists to ensure a smooth supply of medicines and other hospital supplies. It may sound trivial but finding a steady supply of high-quality alcohol swabs in Nepal can be difficult. I consistently find myself wrangling with suppliers, who themselves are dealing with irregular supply, to get what I need to supply the hospital,” she says.

Ever since the second wave of Covid 19, Shrestha says that the pharmacy has been super busy. Also, as the lockdown eased, Pack My Lunch came out with several new items which is keeping her occupied at the moment.

This, coupled with being the mother of a two-year-old has left her with a very little “me” time. In an email conversation with B360, Shrestha shared her thoughts about what are the things that influenced her life journey.

The Best Life Decision

The best decision of my life was to marry the man I married. He’s been a very supportive husband. Besides, he is a wonderful father to our son, Moksh. My husband pushes me when I am slacking at work, convinces me to relax if I am overworked, and also makes it possible for me to go on trips alone with my friends.

The most important decision of my life was to start my own business. It gives me both financial freedom in addition to giving me control of my own time. The feeling of being in charge of my own career with no one to blame but myself for the failures and no one to thank but myself for the successes, is highly liberating.

Greatest Source of Inspiration

My mother. I have not come across a stronger person than her. She is able to handle extremely stressful situations with resolve, grit and a smile on her face. I wish I had even half of her Zen.

Promoting Entrepreneurship

Having people try out new ideas to see what progress works or doesn’t; this is how humanity has progressed to where we are today. Just looking back over the last 30 years, if there were no entrepreneurs, cell phones would not be as universal, the internet would still be in its infancy, and we definitely would not have touch phones in the hands of a large portion of the population. No Pathao, no Tootle, no Foodmandu, no eSewa. The list goes on. It’s these types of people and ideas that drive progress, which is why they should be encouraged.

Lessons Taught by the Covid 19 Pandemic

  • You should always have cash reserves for rainy days
  • You should not put all your eggs in one basket. This was a big lesson we learned and learned it well.
  • Last but not the least, nothing is more important than your health and family.

The Best Business Advice

The best business advice I received was from my father. He said: you should never let go of ethics. Things may go slower, but you will get there someday. You will also find your pride and reputation intact when you do get there.

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