Indra Bhakta Shrestha Dies, Leaving a Void

12 March 2015

Indra Bhakta Shrestha, former President of Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and former Vice President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) passed away on January 17, 2015 at the age of 91. Shrestha, suffering from pneumonia, was undergoing treatment at Norvic International Hospital where he breathed his last. Shrestha was felicitated with Lifetime Achievement Award in 2nd Newbiz Business Conclave and Awards 2014 in September last year.

Shrestha represented the generation of entrepreneurs who laid the foundations of business and industry in Nepal. He was also one of the pioneers of Nepal’s chamber movement. Born in 1981 BS, Shrestha received only informal education, but started participating in the family business at the age of 10. In due course, he was able to diversify his ancestral business and mark his name in the country’s business arena.

Shrestha started his business with a wholesale store of clothes imported from Japan and Korea. His son Ravi Bhakta Shrestha, an established industrialist of the country today, gave continuity to this business. With the help of his son, Shrestha was able to give an upturn to his family business. In 2029 BS, the family business became a business group and was named Nepal Enterprises (NE). Later, Shrestha expanded into manufacturing sector along with the existing trading business.

In 2039 BS, Indra Bhakta started garment factory Nepal Synthetic Industry Pvt Ltd in Hetauda. Likewise, he also established Everest Iron and Steel Industry (now closed), a soap industry, another steel industry and various investment companies in Biratnagar. The group has also entered the hydropower sector, and has partnered with Unilever Nepal and other seven companies. N Trading company, one of the companies under his group, is one of the major shareholders of Himalayan Bank. Currently, his son Ravi Bhakta is the CEO and his grandson Rabindra Bhakta is the Director of the group.

In 2007 BS, Shrestha led a group of entrepreneurs to meet the then King Tribhuvan. He felt the need of organised development of the business in the country and thus formed Vanik Mandal, an association of businesses, with the help of his contemporary businessmen like Hari Krishna Shrestha, Janak Das Shrestha, Raj Bahadur Chipalu, and Bekhaman Shrestha. Indra Bhakta ordered a copy of the statute of London Chamber of commerce and in 2008 BS registered ‘Nepal Chamber of Commerce’ (NCC) He served as the president of NCC for two terms from 2027 B.S to 2033 BS. He was again elected the president for a third term from 2039 BS to 2045 BS.

Shrestha also contributed to the establishment of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). He was never tired of being an activist and a guardian of Nepali chamber movement. He was felicitated with a number of awards for his invaluable contribution to the Nepali industrial sector.