REACHING the top is difficult in Nepal, as any mountaineer will tell you. But scaling the heights of business is scarcely easier: the landlocked former kingdom, which in recent decades has swung between kleptocratic monarchy and chaotic democracy, can be as tough for entrepreneurs as the upper Himalayas are to trekkers. Only the hardiest—and those perhaps willing to take a few cunning short cuts along the way—will succeed. Binod Chaudhary, whose interests range from noodles to cement by way of hotels and banking, has trodden the trail and come out as Nepal’s sole billionaire, according to Forbes.
Most tycoons seek to downplay the role of political connections in their ascent. Not Mr Chaudhary. In an autobiography recently updated for an English translation, he offers candid advice: “In Nepal, you do not need great ideas to become a great person. All you need to do is to hobnob with the right people.” His account of which palms were greased or whose son-in-law co-opted leaves little to the imagination.
The Chaudhary Group (CG) he now runs traces its roots back to the 1880s, when…Continue reading