Chaudhary's preface to Serbian edition of his autobiography
Samizdat B92 has published the autobiography of Nepalese entrepreneur and billionaire Binod Chaudhary.Source: B92
The preface to the Serbian language edition of the book - "Making it Big: The Inspiring Story of Nepal’s First Billionaire in His Own Words" - has been written by Chaudhary himself:
When I was asked why Serbia, and I have been asked that question more than you can imagine (Serbia as a strategic base for our company not only to enter Western Europe but also Eastern Europe and Balkans) - I say, it is because of the people.
We are deeply touched with the qualities of the people of Serbia. I believe they are sincere, very qualified, they are hard working and they are very committed to their jobs. They are joining our global company, our growth, our vision, our dream... And we will treat employees with respect, dignity, and all the support they need.
Serbia was chosen, among other countries in the region, after careful estimation of the market. When we were trying to identify the most appropriate base, not only in terms of geographical location (close to East and West Europe), we were also interested to find the base where government is investment friendly, supportive, where costs are sustainable and attractive, and also well developed infrastructure. We found in Serbia all these factors. I am sure many investors will follow. I have evaluated and realized that this beautiful part of Europe certainly deserves and need some special attention and one of these Balkan country could be a base for us.
It all started on a conference in Antwerp, Belgium where I came across with couple of friends who invited and encouraged me to visit “the Balkans, the beautiful part of world." In a subsequent conference in Montenegro they have recommended me to establish a manufacturing unit in Eastern Europe.
Based in our global expansion plan, we were very clear that we would choose such strategic locations which would work as production and supply base to export our product to key markets. The whole idea was to transform Wai Wai from a South Asian to global iconic noodle brand which was built by the three generations of Nepali people who helped take this brand to every corner of the world.
We always wanted to have strong presence in West and East Europe and as destiny would have it, post that conference in Belgium after deliberation on the country, we zeroed on in Serbia to be our strategic base not only to enter Western Europe countries, but also Eastern European Countries, Ex-Yugoslavia countries and Balkans.
I was very optimistic from beginning and sure about the success which might take time but it was guaranteed here. We have found Serbia being strategically located and best among rest. When I met the president I have promised two things : First, we would employee maximum Serbians in our units as much as possible. Second, we are committed to bring Serbia on global map just not as a production house for Wai Wai or instant noodles but also as a best destination to put up a production units of international standards with cost effectiveness. We have been successful to an extent to fulfill our promise. It is actually about repositioning Serbia as a international player. That's the way we look at it and we are proud to be in that process.
People of this county are really optimistic, honest and hardworking. I can feel the zeal in people to turn around the country and its quite evident as well. In 2016, we started shipment from our India plants to Serbia in order to establish ourselves in the Serbian Market. Initial market response was very not so attractive since 80 percent of the population were not aware of the Instant Noodles however it was encouraging to us. In such a short span Wai Wai became a household item and we are exporting to USA & Canada from here. Serbian Plant is one of the best performing plants of our global production units. This is best and living example of determination of Serbian people. I find entire ecosystem was so positive, government and bureaucracy were ready to go extra mile to support enterprises so we had a great hope that this country has a great future.
There are many similarities between Nepal and Serbia like parts of Serbian Terrain, geographical diversity and secondly people of Serbia are very hardworking, honest and sincere like Nepalese. Both the countries are in transition and going through a huge transformation. Nepal just has just finished a massive political transition, we are finally reached out to a situation after 25 years of struggle to have a structured governance modal in local, state and central level. Nepal will take time to reach where Serbia has reached though Nepal is equally optimistic and full of opportunities despite being a land locked country. Comparing both the countries would not be a fair assessment since positioning, situations and geopolitical scenarios are very different.
Nepal is located in the middle of China and India, which is approximately 40 percent global population means we have close access to biggest market in the world. However Nepal is a landlocked country hence exporting to global market as a global player would always be a challenge.
I think it is important that the name of the country is better understood - it is Serbia, not Siberia. There are still a lot of business people who need to understand the unique position of Serbia and there is a big space in marketing and PR activities Serbia can do to attract more big investors in China and India.
Everybody in Nepal - all the policy makers, the businessman, trading community, everybody was thinking "Oh my God, if Binod Chaudhary is going to Serbia there must be a good reason for it", because they do know that we, as a business people, do our homework before we go anywhere. Serbia is blessed with huge infrastructure including in agriculture and possess plenty of opportunities for investment. After visiting so many times in the past and interacting with lot of businesspersons and people of Serbia, I am encouraged to explore investment opportunities in other sectors like, hospitality, finance, agriculture, etc.
My idea of business is all about common sense and bigger the problem better the opportunity. We are committed to elevate Serbia as global platform and hub for best production units which will connect towards Europe and American continents.
Publishing my book in Serbia is my great pleasure. I have been coming to your country, I love this country, and I feel there are so many similarities in the way of thinking. It is kind of - a meeting of minds.