Unleashing Agri Businesses in Nepal
Mr. Anand Bagaria completed his bachelor’s in industrial engineering from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore. He also completed an Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP) at MIT from Entrepreneur’s Organization. He has been involved in various organizations throughout his career. His company, Nimbus, was recently recognized as the leading agribusiness in Nepal. Besides being actively involved in an agribusiness sector, he has diversified his business interests into poly-woven & Non woven fabric production, chemical processing, grain trading, solvent extraction, edible oil refinery and animal health and nutrition.
Why does one opt to become an entrepreneur?
For Mr. Anand Bagaria, it was the idea of having to work a nine to five job. In his words, “ In college, I realized my own attitude and aptitude would not allow me to do a job.” As a science student in high school, he was already more interested in accounts and business than his own subjects. While studying engineering in Bangalore, India, he started a business exporting handicraft from Nepal to Aruba in the Caribbean. Although it was not successful, he learned a great deal about the complication of doing business.
In his second attempt, he decided on starting a consultancy firm but soon realized that it would not be a feasible business because of his lack of experience. It was then that his family started a ballpoint pen manufacturing company in Hetauda, where he was appointed as CEO. He had no prior experience to help him actually manage the company. He learned about accounting and other aspects of business, but not before he faced another failure. It was then that he decided that he wanted to do business which involved value addition and processing. He wanted to become an entrepreneur, and he pursued agro-entrepreneurship.
The birth of Nimbus
After trying his hand at several businesses, he got the opportunity to import enzymes for poultry farming to Nepal. It was not as successful as he had planned, however, it paved his way to realize the complications that agriculture and farming in Nepal were facing. This was his breakthrough as an entrepreneur. He registered the need for organization in a very demanding business. Taking into account the demands of doing business in agriculture, he ventured forth to introduce proper management, coordination, and technological and scientific knowledge and started Nimbus.
What started out as a company with no experience and knowledge in agriculture is now a leading innovator in agribusiness and animal nutrition, poly woven fabric production, chemicals, trading and distribution, and production of edible oil. Nimbus also has a well equipped and fully functioning laboratory where extensive research and development activities are carried out.
The right people
Mr. Bagaria is a firm believer that a good mentor can be invaluable while starting and growing a business. He found his mentor in his partner Dr. Dinesh Gautam, who now functions as the Executive Director of Nimbus Nepal. He also believes that employing the right people who share values and work ethics makes or breaks a business. When it comes to hiring the right people, it is all about expertise. The science behind every food is different. You need the right people with the right information.
According to him, farmers should be more informed about new production processes so that they can incorporate their own knowledge into new systems, after all, they are the experts. They should be more involved and given the freedom to produce what they feel is best suitable for the land. This will help boost their knowledge and confidence.
Nimbus is built around the principle of filling the gap between farmers, markets, and the buyers. 18 years of active action has helped Nimbus create a strong distribution network in 69 districts, their business has navigated into various sectors.
What next for the agricultural sector in Nepal?
Agriculture accounts for 1/3 of our country’s economy and yet there is a massive expense on importing food products from other countries. There are many complications when it comes to production, management, and marketing of the foods produced in Nepal. Mr. Bagaria sees these complications as opportunities to improve the agribusiness sector.
Aggregation, he says, is the key to increasing production of crops. Production of different crops are scattered across the country, if this problem of segregation was solved, production would increase tenfold. It would considerably eliminate the cost of production; the reduced cost could go into measures for more effective production. Technology can be incorporated for improving the quality and quantity of crop production. Measures could be taken for optimum utilization of produce. The processing of these products is possible in Nepal itself, this would be immensely helpful in cutting off the excess of imported food items which are easily available in Nepal. Proper storage systems should be installed to prevent spoiling food and the need to import off-season fruits and vegetables. There are so many crops to choose from for specialized agriculture practices. Even in the case of animal husbandry, there are so many improvements to be made.
With proper standardization measures and grading of crops, there could be a great improvement in agriculture as a whole. People are complacent to start agribusinesses because of the lack of statistical information; this lack of logistics itself is an opportunity with a great narrowing of the gap in information. If the logistical information was available it would intrigue many people to join agribusiness. A lot of the cost could be cut down if unwanted steps were not included If the right people with the right knowledge were to use their knowledge for improving the quality of different aspects of agribusiness, it would be a huge progress towards economic growth.
Mr. Anand Bagaria is adamant about improving agriculture and is open to collaborations and cultivating partnerships to help with improving agribusiness.