Managing Director of Rupakot Resort, Shusil Adhikari was born in Nepal but was soon to move to Belgium at a very young age where he got his Bachelor's degree in Applied Economics at the Free University of Brussels. After his return to Nepal in 2019, he invested himself in Rupakot Resort thus becoming an integral part of what the establishment stands for today. He is a multi-faceted personality defined by his many passions, besides being a profound motivational speaker, advocating his personal life and sharing his journey to inspire others.
What are your hobbies?
I spend a considerable amount of time on physical activities; it could be in the form of leisure walks, hikes around Rupakot, playing football or swimming during the summer. I really enjoy reading books that cover self-help, psychology, history and spirituality topics. Reading can be very meditative for me. Learning languages is something I did a lot in the past, so I can speak up to seven languages. Music is also one of my passions; I play the piano and the guitar from time to time. I feel like I have maintained or tried to maintain a balance between my physical and mental well-being.
What do you like doing in Rupakot?
I have three large German Shepherds back at Rupakot who are basically like my kids. I love spending time with them. I go swimming in the morning during summer. My runs are also something I always look forward to. At Rupakot, I usually sit around Panorama Restaurant with my usual order of coffee and a good read. It is a place where I get the most spectacular views of the mountains and lakes, undeniably something worth mentioning.
What is the story behind Rupakot Resort?
My father was born and raised in Rupakot, but he left for Chitwan at a very young age and then eventually came to Kathmandu where he had the opportunity to work at the Soaltee Hotel. The work culture and environment of Soaltee, which was managed by The Oberoi Group at the time, inspired him to start his own hospitality business later in life. After living abroad for many years and his eventual success in business in foreign lands, he felt it was an ideal time to invest back in Nepali soil, and where else than his beloved Rupakot. Chancing upon the wonderful property that is Rupakot Resort today, we were finally able to lay our foundations. Seeing an idea conceived from such humble beginnings coming into fruition is something remarkable to me. I feel that the resort is a testament to my father’s will.
How would you describe the resort?
The property is magnificent, spanning an area which highlights the panoramic views of the majestic Annapurna range in parallel with the three beautiful lakes Begnas, Rupa and Phewa. I would describe it as the ideal place to relax and re-align oneself with nature. When times get tough and you need a getaway, Rupakot Resort would be your ideal destination; a place where people come to seek inspiration and clairvoyance. The resort is and always will be a sanctuary, a place where you can experience luxury in harmony with nature.
How have people described the experience at Rupakot? Any notable feedback?
It is quite difficult to receive genuine answers from friends and family since we run the hotel. I believe the Rupakot experience has always been defined by its close ties with nature, well noted by our guests. The view is something that is always remarked on as being significant at the resort. The resort is considered a premium property and the qualities which it presents are deemed worthy of the praise. The food and hospitality are something our guests tend to highlight a lot.
Has your role influenced changes in the resort?
Working with my team, we have reformed the management employing proficient staff to strengthen human resources as well as partnering with a good marketing agency to further help build the brand. Since we live at Rupakot itself, I feel my role has been more involved in the nitty gritty of the resort. I think feedback has been a big plus point since we are hands down involved in the business on a daily basis. In addition, we share our vision, mission and goals on a monthly basis with our staff through our monthly meetings. It is something I directly participate in and value a lot.
How has Rupakot changed over time?
We have completely revamped our website and dedicated more on the social media frontier to expand our presence. When it comes to improvement, experimentation is key, so I insist on creating new items in the food and drinks department, catering to the growing market. I regularly push on innovation and have talks with management to implement these new recipes. Recently, we have added a farm manager at Rupakot. My dad and I were heavily in favor of getting a professional farm manager to improve standards at our farm from where we primarily source all our ingredients.
To handle a resort at this scale, what problems did you face and how did you adapt to the Nepali scene?
Yes, managing a property of this scale was a first for me. We did face issues with management initially but we overcame that pretty easily. I would say understanding the Nepali market was a bigger problem than running the hotel itself. Here in Nepal, I faced several issues with punctuality and I was naive to the way things were run here at the beginning of my journey in Nepal. Coming from Belgium where everything is black and white, I had to learn to read between the lines when it came to working in Nepal. Luckily, I had my dad, mom and brother to guide me throughout the process.
How did you develop your passion for motivational speaking?
I feel like I always held a sentiment towards helping people. This feeling was something that strongly motivated me to become a speaker. As advocating about my personal life came very naturally to me, I justified that by using my journey as a tool to inspire people. The hopes of my story and my voice reaching out to the youth especially excited me. I remain adamant on my journey as a speaker to inspire and I am always free to help those who seek help.
What are your thoughts on the tourism industry and prospects of new business for your resort?
I am very optimistic about the tourism industry. We have seen a good inflow of foreign nationals into the country this year and are expecting the same in the years ahead. Since the lockdown, we have made it our utmost focus to revitalize the tourism industry, providing the best from our end to showcase Nepali hospitality. The resort is strict when it comes to following safety guidelines and puts health and safety of our guests on top of the priority list. In terms of new business, we plan to open Rupakot Swing Park which will have a massive Infinity pool paired with luxury swing sets further enhanced by the surrounding views of the mountains and lakes in Pokhara. The project is under construction and aims to target people looking for a fun filled experience.