The chronicle of Prem Bahadur Shrestha’s life, who founded the Panchakanya Group, is all about resilience and perseverance. Perhaps, if any other person had gone through the same travails as Prem did, then that person would have given up halfway through the race. But as they say, it is the tough times that bring out the true character of a man. Prem never got the opportunity to receive any formal education. Yet, when one interacts with him, it’s as if one is speaking to a man steeped in the ways of formal education.
It was in 2006 B.S. that Prem’s father passed away and the responsibility of looking after the family fell on his shoulders when he was still in his teens. During that period he was given a job offer by a very influential person but refused to accept it realising that he would be able to make it big only if he did something on his own. It was a remarkable decision for a young boy to make, and perhaps with that decision, Prem was already charting the way for the Panchakanya Group.
He did reject the job, but what next? There was no way he could consult with any family member because he was the eldest son and supposedly the guardian of the family. Prem then took a decision—a momentous decision, in hindsight—to start his own business. He did try his hand in various businesses from trading in potatoes to trading in paddy but luck did not favour him and he faced losses – so much so that people started telling him that if he touched gold it would turn into copper. Though times were tough he decided to stick to business—“only fire could fight fire”
It was later that Prem decided to move from Fikkal where he was initially stationed to Sanischare in Jhapa and started doing business there. And this time around, he actually started earning some profit. He then moved into the industrial sector and became successful in it too. It was with the establishment of Panchakanya Rice Mill that things really started taking a turn for the better.
With the success of the rice mill, Prem decided to establish a rolling mill dealing with the manufacture of steel and iron. In 2039 B.S., he became the third person to obtain a licence to set up a rolling plant in Nepal which he did in Bhairahawa because of its strategic location. Since then there has been no looking back for this hard working and devoted business personality who has diversified his business to incorporate various sectors.
In an illustrious life sparkling with achievements, the most cherished of them all for Prem is Panchakanya’s reputation as a “respectable firm”. He is a contented man not because of the wealth that he may have earned through his businesses but due to the fact that they have had no blemishes in their reputation till date.