Last Thursdays with Mahabir Pun at Entrepreneurs for Nepal


A small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. – Neil Armstrong

Mahabir Pun finished his presentation at Last Thursdays with Neil’s quote. The quote could have been Mahabir Pun’s motto because so much of his own life and achievements started with small acts of experimentation.

Mahabir Pun was this month’s special guest for Entrepreneurs for Nepal’s Last Thursdays program. I had heard of Mahabir Pun a few years back and had always wanted to meet him. My wish came true on the evening of August 30, 2012. Walking into the hall at World Trade Center, I was fortunate enough to find a seat in the front. People who came in after 5:30pm had to stand at the back of the hall as all the seats were taken. After a few words by Vidhan Rana, Mahabir Pun started by saying that he considers himself as a different breed of entrepreneur from the other entrepreneurs who had come to talk at the Last Thursdays program. He went through multiple slides of his village, Nangi and showed pictures of some of the projects he’s involved in. I had done my research on him but was still amazed to learn about the vast number of projects he and his team are immersed in. He’s working with his team to find new trekking routes, hunt down poachers in Chitwan National Park, explore ways to jumpstart hydropower projects, working on telemedicine projects, starting a restaurant in Thamel just to name a few.

I took away a lot of things from Mahabir’s talk that evening. First on an entrepreneur and funding: An entrepreneur is someone who uses or finds unconventional ways to solve problems. He/she relentlessly works hard even if the funding is not available. He emphasized that when you are doing something good, funding will come from somewhere. He suggests that one should not wait for funding to get started and talked about his own experience of not having funds when he first began. Second on going for freedom of opportunity and making Nepal more developed: The goal of an entrepreneur should not be to just make money; he/she should also be motivated to do something bigger like advocating for opportunities for all or doing what they can to make Nepal more prosperous. Nepal does not have an innovation center and Mahabir has is working to create one in the next 3-5 years. He does not believe in building the innovation center on grant money or assistance from the government but rather on taking a soft loan from someone who can provide the team . Third on learning by doing and asking for help when you don’t have a solution: Mahabir is a living testament of someone who is learning by experimenting with different ideas and initiatives and if he does not have an answer, he finds a way to get the answer from someone who does or might have the answer.

It’s not every Thursday that you are amazed to hear how much a single individual has done for the community and the country AND still is driven 20 years later. It’s a testament of his dedication, passion and sheer willpower which has earned Mahabir Pun recognition from the Ashoka Foundation, the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, University of Nebraska, and Global Ideas Bank. We are definitely proud of him.

In the midst of Entrepreneurs for Nepal

Rarely does a Nepalese living abroad hear of amazing groups in Nepal like the Entrepreneurs for Nepal. A group that is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship in Nepal, Entrepreneurs for Nepal organizes a gathering every Last Thursday of the English month and brings well-known speakers to come and speak to the audience.

On Thursday, March 29th I walked into the United World Trade Center at Tripureshwor with nothing short of excitement. I had heard about the Entrepreneurs for Nepal group when I was abroad and looked forward to attending my first Last Thursdays event. I had high hopes for a session filled with knowledge and inspiration and I got just that.

The speaker for this Thursday was Rajendra Khetan from the Khetan Group, Chairman of Laxmi Bank, Everest Insurance, Prime Life Insurance, Gorkha Brewery and holds other respected positions. I was introduced to Rajendra Khetan by my dad who had known him a few years back. After chatting with other attendees, I sat in the front row keen to hear the speaker.

After an introduction of the Entrepreneurs for Nepal group by the hosts, the main speaker of the night took the stage. Rajendra Khetan gave a power-point presentation and touched on how the Khetan Group started, the organizational structure of the Group, the diversification of the Group and markets they are in. His presentation was very informative and inspiring.

I especially liked the Question and Answer session. The audience asked some very thought-provoking questions and the speaker eloquently and frankly answered them. It was intellectually stimulating to be in the room. Some of the questions addressed to the guest speaker were: Looking at the portfolio of your investments, you’re only focused on service businesses, what about manufacturing? Shouldn’t banks offer more financing options for individuals who do not have much collateral to take out a loan for their business? What are the skills that young people could work on to be ready for the marketplace?

After close to a two hours session, there was a networking reception and attendees could mingle with each other and enjoy some food. I was very happy to have attended this event and I urge and encourage other people (especially young people) to attend them. Who knows what one can learn from attending a FREE event that is full of positivity, inspiration and ambition.

So, if you are living abroad, stay updated through the group’s website ( and if you are coming to Nepal soon then you have to attend a Last Thursdays event. If you are already in Nepal and are interested in listening to innovative ideas, inspiring stories and want to be in a positive environment and network, then I can’t suggest a better gathering than the Entrepreneurs for Nepal group.