The seeds of Panchakanya Group were sowed when its chairman, Mr. Prem Bahadur Shrestha, started trading in potatoes in Fikkal in the hills of eastern Nepal, when he was still in his teens. Though the initial period was a challenging one with Mr. Prem Bahadur Shrestha having to face major losses, it was his perseverance and belief in himself, that Panchakanya Group today is a prominent business house in Nepal.
It was during the 1970s, that the chairman decided to diversify his business and also to move base to the plains in Jhapa, in the eastern part of Nepal, because he saw more opportunities in the terai than in the hills. His initial venture in the terai was in the trade of timber. There were a number of saw mills in operation back then and Mr. Prem Bahadur Shrestha for the first time in his business life was able to actually generate profits. The Panchakanya Group’s maiden industrial venture was the establishment of a modern rice mill, Panchakanya Rice Mill, in 1971, in Jhapa. This was probably the first steps of the establishment of Panchakanya Group as a business organization. The decision to establish an agro-based company earned the organization tremendous goodwill in the market, and trust and confidence among the financial and credit institutions. Since then, there has been no looking back and the Panchakanya Group has forayed into more than 10 industries.
Since its inception, the Panchakanya Group has been able to establish itself as one of the leading industrial and trading houses of Nepal and its activities include international trade, domestic supply, construction projects, and investment in financial institutions, hydropower project, schools, colleges, hospitals and construction related projects. Today, the organization has earned unmatched reputation in the business sector of Nepal and its brand name and products are considered to be premium forces. The Panchakanya Group has been marching ahead with its slogan, “Always First, Always Ahead’.
The second phase of industrialization of the Panchakanya Group started in 1981 with the establishment of Panchakanya Iron Industries in Kotihawa, in Rupandhi District of Lumbini Zone. The decision to establish the factory in Kotihawa, when it was not a place where many industrialists would venture to, was a strategic move by Mr. Prem Bahadur Shrestha. Realizing that the market in the western hemisphere of Nepal was still untapped and since there was still a lot of development activities to take place in that region, Mr. Prem Bahadur Shrestha saw immense growth opportunities for the organization and over the years his decision has paid off. Today, the Panchakanya Group is a pioneer in the manufacture of infrastructure related products in Nepal and the Group has always seen to it that there is new technology introduced when required. Keeping this thought in mind, eventually, the Panchakanya Steel Industries was established to replace and enhance quality and production. What has set Panchakanya Group apart from the various other companies is its focus in providing its clients with the best products and services no matter what the circumstances are.
One major reason for Panchakanya Group to be able to establish itself as an industrial powerhouse in Nepal is its successful transition of management from one generation to the other which has helped it in incorporating new strategies and practices. After the groundwork had been laid by Mr. Prem Bahadur Shrestha, his sons, Mr. Dhruba Kumar Shrestha, who is the vice chairman of the Group, and Mr. Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, managing director of the Group, have left no stone unturned in taking Panchakanya Group to a height where it is today. It is under their able guidance that Panchakanya Group at present has been making inroads into the hearts and minds of not only the Group’s clients but their employees too. It is their skills in people management and their quest for quality that has made Panchakanya Group the leading business house in Nepal. These two aspects have also earned the Group a reputation that is unrivaled in Nepal.
Mr. Dhruba Kumar Shrestha and Mr. Pradeep Kumar Shrestha have also seen to it that the younger generation within the family are properly groomed and have started giving their sons, Mr. Ujjwal Kumar Shrestha and Mr. Udeep Shrestha, more responsibilities within the Group. This move has paid off because since Mr. Ujjwal Kumar Shrestha was assigned with the responsibilities of sales and marketing, Panchakanya Group has made tremendous leaps in increasing its market share. Mr. Udeep Shrestha, on the other hand, has been scouring the market looking for new business ventures that could be added to the list of businesses that Panchakanya Group is already involved in. Both Mr. Ujjwal Kumar Shrestha and Mr. Udeep Shrestha have added value to the Group with their novel ideas and modern management practices.
The name ‘Panchakanya’ was assigned to the company because of the family’s strong affiliation to the Panchakanya Temple in Karfok in eastern Nepal. The word ‘Panchakanya’ in the Nepalese culture signifies five virgin girls whose presence is considered auspicious while welcoming distinguished personalities and valued guests. In the Hindu religion, it stands for good luck and symbolizes the five Goddesses - Durga, Saraswati, Laxmi, Radha and Annapurna.