Forbes billionaire Chaudary narrates leadership insights in Colombo | Sunday Observer

Forbes billionaire Chaudary narrates leadership insights in Colombo

Binod Chaudary and Dr. Harsha de Silva
Binod Chaudary and Dr. Harsha de Silva

Business success is not about size or capital but about how one is agile, courageous, passionate and innovative, Chairman of CG Corp Global, Dr. Binod K. Chaudhary, the only Forbes listed billionaire from Nepal, told guests at the 38th National Conference of Chartered Accountants at the BMICH last week.

Chaudary, who runs a portfolio of over 100 businesses spread over 30 countries, said the need to develop higher levels of business agility has arisen due to the mounting complexity and a relentless and accelerating pace of change in the global economy.

“Today, agility not only concerns the general attitude of the organisations but also the tools they use, such as their online marketing and social engagement tools.

Agility means to continuously assess the mood of your customers and adapt quickly to their changing needs and the ability to anticipate and respond to the ever-changing conditions and to effectively manage complex and interdependent relationships,” Chaudary said.

Chaudary cited several examples of well known businesses such as Nokia, Kodak and Blackberry which underwent failures due to their lack of agility to stand up to the disruptive innovations that took place in the industry.

“In today’s drastically changing business landscape, we have witnessed a number of disruptive innovations such as Uber, Alibaba, Facebook, Whatsapp, WeChat and Netflix who have transformed the industry by offering something cheaper, easier and modernized,” he said. However, Chaudary, whose major businesses of the group are present in the US, Africa, Dubai, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Nepal and China pointed out that profit or growth should never be the primary objective or purpose of a business. “Profit and growth are the result of a good strategy with a high benefit for the customer. The sole purpose of a company is to have satisfied customers and to offer competitive products and services that are rewarded in the market as much as possible.

If your product is good and your customers are satisfied, then you don’t need to worry about profit,” Chaudhary, who built much of his estimated $1 billion fortune overseas through his Singapore-based arm, Cinnovation, advocated.

Deputy Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva said with China and India being major players in this region creating many opportunities, Sri Lanka needs to be agile to profit from the increasing integration in the Indian Ocean.

“For this, we are taking many measures on various fronts like pursuing Free Trade Agreements with India, China, Taiwan and Singapore. Developing ports in Colombo, Hambantota and Trincomalee. Building the Port City and the Colombo International Financial City, and Megapolis,” the Deputy Minister said.

He noted that governments are not just institutions that must face change, but they must create change.

“It is not just being able to find a way out but governments also must become disruptive in the right sense. Why should we be at the receiving end we have to change and those changes will become disruptive changes to those competing with us,” Dr. De Silva who was the Chief Guest at the event questioned.

The annual conference organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) this year revolved around the theme ‘Dynamism: Agility in Leadership’ and concluded on 27th October 2017, after two days of technical sessions, featuring local and international speakers.

The conference which has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most highly attended corporate events, attracted more than 1800 delegates to the venue while a larger number of chartered accountants and non-accounting professionals also registered for the three day event via webcast.

Pics by Sulochana Gamage

Binod Chaudary

Chaudhary hails from a business clan with Indian roots. His grandfather Bhuramal Chaudhary, a textile trader from Rajasthan, migrated to Nepal in the 19th century. He opened a small textile store that used to supply goods to the erstwhile rulers. Chaudhary’s father, Lunkaran Das, converted that into Arun Emporium, Nepal’s first department store.

The eldest of three siblings, Chaudhary joined the business at age 18, giving up his plan to study accounting in India when his father developed a heart ailment. The group had 400 people then versus 10,000 today.

CG Corp Global, with interests in banking, foods, cement, real estate, hotels, power, retail, electronics has expanded into neighboring India with its famous Wai Wai brand of instant noodles and forged a partnership with India’s Taj Hotels Group with which it owns hotels in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand as well as in India.

Chaudhary has controlling shares in Nabil, the largest private sector bank in Nepal and numerous hotel investments, joint ventures with brands such as Taj, Alila, Fern, Radisson and The Farm at San Benito. His other business interests include energy, infrastructure, realty, telecom and education.