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February Issue

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CHAIRMAN speaks From

CHAIRMAN speaks From Zero to One Kumar Thapa is a name that emanates instant inspiration among people who are familiar with his story of success. Despite his humble beginnings as a wholesale medical supplier, he rose to establish one of the reputed healthcare institutions in Nepal. He was born in Kavre district and at an age twelve indulged in medical supplies business which was primarily led by his Sanobuwa and by 2040, he started his own. This interview is an attempt to bring to light the varying facets of the role model. Kumar Thapa CHAIRMAN , Alka Hospital 30 Versatile | MARCH-CHAITRA 2018

Chairman Speaks What is the inception story of Alka? I have always had an exposure to this field and my network with the fraternity increased over time. I started my own wholesale shop in 2041. In 2046 I started a Nursing Home in Lalitpur and by 2057 I started a Polyclinic. In between ‘59 -65, I operated Chitwan Hospital and Om Hospital. Inaugurated in 2062, Alka happens to be a cumulative result of experiences I had. But 62/65 year in history is marked by political unrest, how did it affect your new business? There was always a threat hovering on us. You know donations and some unsolicited surprises. So we did what we had to do to get past it. On Alka’s competitiveness: It might not be the topmost hospital we have today, but we have all the basic infrastructure in terms of technology, human resource and quality services that any hospital requires. How do you monitor quality of services at Alka? We are ISO certified institute and our activities are supervised in every six months period by a team of experts. We address our shortcomings promptly (if any) and train the staffs periodically. Why is private healthcare expensive? It is not expensive. Just that there are few people who earn and many who don’t or earn very less. We have to operate as per the time, but the rate of income generation of general public is not in proportion with the rise in the price of commodity. Why do you think privatization is important? A country needs private sectors to up its economy. If we govern and force people into strict working hours, there is less motivation. Let’s say, if working 8 hours per day becomes mandatory, people will only work for the prescribed period. But in a private business you do not have a limit to work, you will do the utmost to reach your goal which eventually will benefit the country’s economy. What is the new scope for business investment in Nepal? We are blessed by nature in so many ways. Researchers have proven that we have mines, I think we need to invest in it. We need to invest in harnessing our natural resources as such. Personal: A childhood memory. My mother expired when I was just a child. I was not mature enough to comprehend the gravity of the event then. Picture this, I was inside the house and since it was an old house with a typical door, I could see her body that was laid in the angan from the linear slit between the doors since they won’t close perfectly. What motivates you? The need for public service and value for life. We live in a society where the way of living has two extremes of social standards with four segments. People who start from zero and make it big, people who are average, people who are above average and, the ones that have everything they want-uppermost. The irony in these differences is intriguing and if you contemplate it can motivate you to make the most out of every opportunity. Do you feel you are successful? No. There is still a lot to do. I wish I could help the people in real need of health care. There are tons who cannot afford a minor surgery or basic medicine. I would become successful if I could address these problems without being deceived. What kind of father are you? Parenting is something I consider my failure. I have not spent much time with my family and I feel my children perceive me as a more serious man than I am, so even if I joke around there is always an ineffable solemnity surrounding us. I think I am a liberal father, but my children might not agree to it. Characters you admire in a person? An agreeable attitude that makes others feel comfortable in your presence. You should be sociable and welcoming. I like people who initiate conversations (I learnt its significance later in life because I was quite reserved and it took me a great deal to learn to be social) and are genuinely polite even if you have never met. Do you care about your appearance? No. But now I am considering it. Are you active on Social media? I seldom use Whatsapp. What do you do at leisure? I travel. In fact I recently explored Shivapuri. I also read comics. (Laughs) The farthest place you’ve been from home is.. America. I went to Boston just to travel around, and to Chicago to participate in an event organised by Lions club. Hidden talent I dance(d). I even took a class in ‘42/43 in a place called Natya Sargam. How often do you watch movies? I am fond of movies. There was a time I used to frequent theatres and watch the same movie over and over. If I had not taken up this career path, I’d have become.. An artist, I guess. Although I was always interested in taking Law or medicine. Do you drink? Yes. Out of necessity, in a sense that it makes it easy to socialise. Your message to the world. Just don’t forget your purpose in whatever you do. Versatile | MARCH-CHAITRA 2018 31

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