YOUNG AND VISIONARY: ARPIT AGRAWAL: DIRECTOR AT VISHAL GROUP
“A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame.”
Vishal Groups is one of the biggest names in the Nepalese business industries with their expansion running far and wide. Now, after gradually stepping away from under his father’s wings, Arpit Agrawal is becoming the face of Vishal Group as the director.
Undertaking a company with a heritage of over 80 years is daunting, and Arpit has his work cut out for him, especially with more experienced men watching his steps. We got a chance to catch up with the young gun and found out more about him and his work.
What are the major visions of Vishal Group and what are your future prospects?
Vishal Group’s vision is to build better lives by positively impacting its community through successful business enterprises conducted with fairness and honesty.
In the future, Vishal Group aims to continue transform and to grow its presence globally. Our major targets will be meeting the changing needs of our people, customers and society through intelligent, integrated development that is true to our values and built on our pillar of trustworthy reputation.
What is your role in Vishal Group and when did you start your involvement in the company?
I’m the Director of the company. I finished my education a year and a half back and have been fully involved since. However, even during school and college days, I used to make frequent visits to the office with my dad and be a part of crucial discussions on business development.
Right now, I am engaged with the distribution vertical of the company, strategically building and driving VG to be the largest FMCG distribution company in Nepal.
How does Vishal Group contribute to the economic development of Nepal?
Since inception, we’ve recognized that we cannot have a strong, growing business unless the communities we serve are healthy and sustainable. Having realized this, we commit ourselves to improving the quality of life in the communities where we do business. Our investment priorities in Nepal focus on the pillars where Vishal Group can make a unique and sustainable difference: active healthy living, alternate waste recycling, education and most importantly, constantly supporting deserving charity events both in urban and rural areas.
What are the important aspects that are necessary, for a successful business? How easy or how difficult is it for entrepreneurs in Nepal to sustain success in the long run?
The key element to a successful business is the value proposition. You need to be able to convince the customer about the experience of your product/idea and how it’s different from your competitors.
A lot of entrepreneurs in Nepal focus on short-term profits and make decisions solely on the bottom line. Their mindset needs to shift from a short-term profit making to a long – term goal orientation. If you’re focusing on the long-term, you’re building your brand value, which is very crucial for any business in Nepal to do well. Once they get this right, sustaining any business should be easy.
What, in your opinion, are the major reasons for business failures in Nepal?
Very often, entrepreneurs in Nepal start a business centered on a product or an idea, which they know and love, figuring that their enthusiasm and creativity are the most important prerequisite. Seldom do they realize that the base to any business is “planning”. A lot of businesses fail because owners don’t put the time and research into a business plan meant to keep them from making crucial mistakes. Of course, other very important factors like inexperienced management, insufficient capital and inability to manage costs also lead to business failures.
Very often, entrepreneurs in Nepal start a business centered on a product or an idea, which they know and love, fi guring that their enthusiasm and creativity are the most important prerequisite.
What are your suggestions for aspiring entrepreneurs considering the current business scenario in Nepal?
I just have one thing to say: Knowledge is Power – if you want to be successful, you’ll have to become an expert in your field. Regardless of the industry where you’re entering, know what you’re doing. Your clients will come to you because you are the expert. Don’t disappoint them. By becoming an expert, you will shine in comparison with your competitors. And that, from a business perspective, is the best light to be in. So take the time to learn everything you can about what you do.
And yes, Love what you do – it’s incredibly difficult to be motivated for very long if you’re not actually interested in what you are doing because the thought of making money can only carry one so far.
It is said that everybody has a particular image in their mind when it comes to their ideal women. How would you describe your ideal woman?
Chances are that a man’s ideal woman isn’t really the ideal – he gets so attached to her as an ideal, that he can’t see her as a person anymore. People relate their ideals to perfection but perfection is relative, so I don’t really believe in ideals – my idea of a perfect woman is someone who I can be myself with. Someone who’s fun and on same the mental level as me (this is very important).
Where is your favorite hang out place and why?
No such place in particular – it’s all about the company you’re hanging with. You could be in an expensive yacht party with the most boring people and be bored to death or you could be roaming around the streets of Thamel with your friends and have a killer time.
Would you call yourself a fashion follower? How important do you think fashion is, for your lifestyle?
I’ve never followed trends. I choose comfort over fashion, so I wear clothes that make me feel good.
Fashion isn’t important to everyone, and it doesn’t have to be, but feeling comfortable with yourself is essential in every aspect! Look around and see what you like, then find your own version of it. I think the most important thing with anything in your life, including the way you dress has to come naturally to you. Being comfortable and accepting the person you are has to come first before you start wondering and worrying what other people think. I believe that’s the key to finding your own ‘fashion identity’.
Love what you do – it’s incredibly difficult to be motivated for very long if you’re not actually interested in what you are doing because the thought of making money can only carry one so far.
Being a business person, how important do you think is it to focus on personal grooming?
You have just a few seconds to make a good first impression and it’s almost impossible ever to change it. So it’s worth giving each new encounter your best shot. Much of what you need to do to make a good impression is common sense but with a little extra thought and preparation, you can polish your intuitive style and make every first impression not just good but great.
The cliché, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” has little or no significance left in the way today’s society thinks. It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed. The first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making them extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows. So yes, as long as you’re not spending too much time on it, a little focus on personal grooming is essential.
You get a lot of personal attention from women? How do you actually handle them?
Needless to say, getting attention from women is a good confidence booster. I don’t really need to handle the attention I get – I just go with the flow.