Rupesh Pandey, born and raised in a humble household, through hard work and perseverance reached the pinnacle of Nepalese business. Chairman of RP Group, he handles 11 organizations. With internationally renowned brand such as Da Milano, Celio, Louis Philippe under his belt, he has set up an intricate system of businesses deeply rooted in good customer service and good quality products. So how did he manages such an empire and what message does he have for people who want to do business? LIVING sat down with him to know his story.
Travelling to different country has opened up his perspective and made him stumble across various brands. While touring Europe, he came across a brand named Celio, a French clothing retailer. Being a business man and an admirer of good quality products, he sought to do business with the company and after meeting with the CEO he was successful in creating an agreement to import those products to Nepal. “Nepalese are travelling to international destination more than ever. They have had a taste of international brands and I thought to myself why not bring these brands to Nepal since they have a good market,” he explains. He also mentions that importing these brands does not mean Nepal should be a dumping site where excessive products are brought in and sold under the pretext of real and original goods but in reality are fake and abhorrent. “The government needs to control this and the current government is doing a great job.”
What led to him being a business man and was he always interested in doing business? To that he answers, “I was born in a simple family. My father, Brij Mohan Pandey, was a teacher and my mother, Leelawati Devi Pandey was a housewife. They always taught me to be true to myself.” Planning to enter the teaching business just like his father, he sought new challenges for himself. “I met a businessman from Surat. He had a tremendous impact on me when I wanted to do business. He advised me to follow my path and open up a business. I am very grateful to him for showing me the right way,” says Rupesh.
He faced many challenges while doing business but the one that shaped him the most was when he had a meeting with the CEO of Jos. A Bank, a leading premium clothing retailer in the United States. Speaking more on this experience he adds, “I had a meeting with the CEO for a potential business deal. Due to unforeseen events I was late for 2-3 mins and I was denied a meeting with him. At that moment I realized the value of time and how valuable time is while doing business. I had to wait another 3 days to meet him.”
His experience and his knowledge about the market has changed with time. “In 2010 or earlier, customers bought products based on the price, but now as mentioned earlier, people are conscious about the brand, which has led to changes in the market.”, explains Rupesh. According to his experience people nowadays lean more towards the brand and the quality of the product rather than the price.
Urging the Nepalese people to change their mindset about work and wanting them to understand that no work is small is what he wishes to see. “Work is work, be it sweeping, washing dishes, waitering, doctor, engineer. We should not classify a person’s worth by what they do.” The desire to change how people think is difficult but he wishes people will learn someday.
After Rupesh Pandey started his journey, he has gained more perseverance to achieve. The vision he has for RP Group is far from over. “I plan to enter the tourism industry in the next five years with hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara and in the next 1 year, I am planning to introduce Nepal to two international chain restaurants. We will have a close to 10 outlets of these restaurants in Kathmandu.”
Talking to the younger generation he wants them not to copy what others are doing and follow your own path. “Do whatever you choose, be it business, doctor, IT, anything. It does not matter. The only thing that matters is that you should have a clear picture of what you want to do and where you want to be in life,” he advises. He also advises them to do their research and read the situation about the market which will help them succeed in business and life. A fresh new era of entrepreneur, Rupesh Pandey and his RP group will lead Nepal to newer and brighter future.