His love affair with Sri Lanka started at a time when Sri Lanka was going through the most difficult period in its history in 2001 and that hasn’t waned – with investments flowing into the country from his group. For Dr. Binod Chaudhary, Nepal’s most prominent businessman and Nepal’s first billionaire to be listed in [...]

Business Times

Top Nepalese businessman urges government to do more for private sector, investors


His love affair with Sri Lanka started at a time when Sri Lanka was going through the most difficult period in its history in 2001 and that hasn’t waned – with investments flowing into the country from his group.

Presentation: From left: Mr Feizal Samath, Mr. Sarath Wijesinghe (partly hidden), Mr. Chaturanga Perera and Dr. Binod Chaudhary. Pix by Indika Handuwala.

For Dr. Binod Chaudhary, Nepal’s most prominent businessman and Nepal’s first billionaire to be listed in Forbes, Sri Lanka has provided great investment opportunities. But he pointed out: “There is a greater need for the government to provide support to the private sector to grow, particularly at this point after the recent crisis.”

Dr. Chaudhary, chairman of CG Corp Global, a multi-dimensional conglomerate with a complementary business portfolio that comprises over 80 businesses on five continents and in 30 countries — including the US, Rwanda, Serbia, the UAE, Singapore, India and China, was speaking as the guest of honour at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) held last Sunday at the Kingsbury Colombo.

The eminent Nepalese businessman who has earned him the epithet “Noodle King thanks to the group’s Wai Wai noodles which has a 2 per cent share of the world’s noodle market, had flown down to Sri Lanka especially for the STBC event.

In his speech, which was well received by members of the STBC and many other eminent personalities including Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando and Ministers Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickramaratne, he recalled how his visit coincided at a time when many aircraft were attacked at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and two thirds of the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo was closed.

There was security barricades placed all over the city but that did not matter to him at all. But what captivated him in essence were the inner beauty of Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka, he said.

Referring to the pace of development in Sri Lanka since then, he said it was amazing to note that many foreign brands and investors were vying to get a foot hold in Sri Lanka. Dr. Chaudhary said that he also had formed partnerships with many top hotels in Sri Lanka including the Taj Samudra and Jetwing.

What is important is when the world’s attention is focused on Sri Lanka, it becomes unstoppable. The arrival of two million tourists in Sri Lanka is commendable. Referring to the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, he said it was most unfortunate but such incidents have also happened elsewhere in other parts of the world. Dr. Chaudhary, who has been travelling to Sri Lanka during the past 30 years, said he was amazed how the skyline of Colombo had changed over the years.

He stressed that the government should support more local and international investors to attract investment into the country. The fundamentals of Sri Lanka are so strong that it cannot afford to miss the opportunity of achieving prosperity. Citing an example, he said the US Government pumped more money into their blue chip companies during the financial crisis for their survival. The Malaysian and Thailand governments did the same thing to protect their private companies during financial crisis, hinting that the Sri Lankan government should do the same during times of crises.

Dr. Chaudhary, who is a Member of Parliament, has controlling shares in the largest bank in Nepal and numerous hotel investments, joint ventures and brands worldwide — like Taj Hotel and Resorts and Zinc Hotels. In 1995, Dr. Chaudhary established the Chaudhary Foundation for philanthropic activities that focused on improving the lives and strengthening the communities of Nepal. Through the foundation, he is dedicated to creating socially responsible businesses and the sustainable development of Nepal.

From left: Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne, Minister Harsha de Silva, Mr. Tilak de Zoysa and Dr. Binod Chaudhary.

Consultant Editor Business of the Sunday Times and STBC Patron Feizal Samath said the club was launched in 1994 by the Sunday Times newspaper as a forum for business professionals and professionals in other spheres of life.

It organised discussions and events mostly bordering on personal development, etiquette and management in the early days and then, the club, in 2001, reached greater heights launching discussions at a higher-level covering social, national, environmental, business and economic topics of public interest.

“Our association was also among the first few which introduced panel discussions at which there was an in-depth look at crucial issues followed by a very interactive question-and-answer session.” These panel discussions focused on wide and varied subjects including professionalism in management and business, labour and business, future of education, tourism (which is a very current topic), entrepreneurship, conflict and peace (there were many during the post and pre-war era), foreign investment, the economy and budgets, business and the environment and numerous other topics. We also drifted from the unconventional path, organising a discussion on the origins of the Baila while cruising on the Beira Lake, and also a discussion on maestro Amaradeva,” he said.

These discussions were led by eminent speakers, some of whom were present at the celebratory event and led to extensive debate and discussion.

All these discussions were reported in the Business Times, the business section of the independent and respected Sunday Times newspaper, which ensured that these thought-processes entered the public domain.

From left: Mr. Tilak de Zoysa, Dr. Binod Chaudhary, Mr. Thilan Wijesinghe and Mr. Merrill J. Fernando.

The discussions, debates and emerging thoughts saw the club playing a meaningful role in the social, national and economic discourse of the country, particularly during the conflict and after the end of the conflict.

The club has had many homes, all five-star hotels which include the Hilton, Galadari, Taj Samudra, Cinnamon Lake and Cinnamon Grand, Movenpick and Kingsbury, over the years, he said. Dr. Chaudrary’s group is also investing in a cement plant in Mannar which hopes to supply cement to the local market.

Share This Post


Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.