‘Hard work is always rewarded, but one has to be patient as well’: Ashwini Golchha

'Many Nepali women have also left a mark in the field of art, business, politics, social work, and the like.'

NL Today

  • Read Time 3 min.

After graduating from the University of Leicester with a BA in International Relations and History, in 2020, Ashwini Golchha joined the management of RK Golchha Group (Golchha Organization) as its Director. The group, which deals in products such as jute, iron, and PP fabric manufacturing, agriculture, trading, and IT, is one of the oldest and most prominent business enterprises in Nepal. Nepal Live Today recently caught up with Golchha to talk about her foray into business and what she aims to give to it.

How challenging is it to be in the management of one of the oldest and largest companies in Nepal?

Since it’s already an established business, it was difficult to find a place for myself. Now I am exploring all the different areas within the business where I can be the best asset to the company. As I have been exploring different sectors, I started understanding the many different issues that the company has been facing. We experience slow procedural hassles implemented by the government. India’s government has also implemented Anti Dumping Duty on our jute goods which makes it harder to compete with Indian goods. Currently, due to Covid, we are facing multiple challenges in production and sales. That being said, we are trying to adapt to the environment and hoping it will get better. We have a highly experienced management team to tackle all the challenges.

How is the Nepali market in your opinion? Are the products of the group consumed in the Nepali market?

Nepal has a small market size and we have to export most of our jute and PP products to India. We have been trying to increase our sales in Nepal, however the credit cycle is not very strong. On top of that, as a result of the recent liquidity crisis, our sales have lowered even further. Apart from our jute and PP products, which are mainly exported to India, all our other products are sold in Nepal.

Talking about your presence in this field, what inspired you to be involved in the business?

I’ve grown up in a joint family. I am the 4th generation of the Golchha family involved in the business. I’ve always seen my dad and uncles going to the office. I always knew I wanted to come back to Nepal after studying and be a part of their group and learn as much as I can from them. Their work always seemed interesting. I always loved hearing their discussions, planning, and strategizing. My dad has been my role model and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

You pursued higher education abroad. In your observation, what are the differences in the education system in foreign countries and in Nepal?

I found the education system to be very different. Personally, I preferred the UK education system as its application-based. Students in the UK are taught to be independent and do their own research and analysis, before building their opinion.

What are the challenges women business leaders have to face in Nepal?

Nepal has traditionally been a patriarchal society where less is expected from women and men are the primary breadwinners. Having said that, with education and a change in outlook, over the past few decades, women have contributed significantly to the economy.

On a personal level, I have not faced any bias based on my gender and I was always encouraged to chase my dreams and have had the support of my family. In addition, both of my elder sisters have established careers—one has her own tech firm while the other is involved in the family business as well. We have been blessed to have been given an equal platform as our male counterparts.

Many Nepali women have also left a mark in the field of art, business, politics, social work, and the like.

With policies that support girls’ education and establish the infrastructure for their growth, I hope to see more women on the path to achieving their dreams without facing gender discrimination.

What advice would you like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

I would encourage them to do their research, talk with experts and be confident with their own vision. Business creates new employment and also helps in creating new businesses. Hard work is always rewarded, but one has to be patient. There are going to be many challenges but don’t give up.

Lastly, do you have any plans to expand the business?

Yes. definitely. We do have expansion happening within our current companies in addition to exploring and working on new projects.