Once propelled to migrate to the Middle East in search of better economic opportunities, today, Tanka Nath Ghimire is the proud owner of Rani Mahal Resort Pvt. Ltd located in his hometown in Awal, Tansen, Palpa. His journey filled with hardships, realizations, and learnings, is one that is bound to be an inspiration to youths who are aspiring to start their own entrepreneurial journey in Nepal.

When Ghimire migrated to Qatar in 2000, he was one of the first few from his hometown to leave Awal. However, during his visits back home from Qatar, he noticed that an increasing number of young people were leaving the village in search of work. Witnessing this rise in youth emigration, he started contemplating about the long-term consequences this could leave on the land and resources in his village, some of which he had already begun to see. This realization planted in him a feeling of urgency to expand youth employment opportunities in his community and protect his village land from degradation. Subsequently, Ghimire decided to leave his job in Qatar and returned home in 2009.

In his nine years working as a laborer and electrical technician in Qatar, Ghimire went through an arduous journey that taught him an important lesson on hard work and perseverance. He says that his experience as a migrant worker made him realize that if people are willing to put the same amount of effort working in their own countries as they do in a foreign nation, they can make a greater impact locally and contribute to their nation’s development. He believes that while it can be challenging for youths to find the resources and support to stay and work in their own communities, it is not impossible. Thus, with an ardent motivation to work in his hometown, after returning from Qatar, Ghimire established a traditional fish pond surrounded by an organic farm in his land in Awal. From the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey, Ghimire moved forward with a vision to expand his traditional fish pond into a fishing resort. 

In 2014, Ghimire was named one of Palpa’s top 3 rural entrepreneurs as part of Daayitwa’s Rural Enterprise Acceleration Program (REAP). During the program, Ghimire received mentorship, networking and leadership training, along with a seed funding of 2000 USD. The training and financial support Ghimire received from REAP, helped him upgrade the infrastructure of his fishing pond and transform it into a fishing resort – a vision he had for his enterprise. However, this was only the beginning of his successful entrepreneurial journey. After REAP, with improved marketing outreach, Ghimire now works with the local government in Palpa, along with banks, hotels, and hotel associations. His fishing resort is now registered as a private limited company, and with added restaurant and lodging services, Ghimire caters to over 40 tourists and visitors daily who come to enjoy fishing and the surrounding organic farm in his resort. 

Ghimire credits his successful entrepreneurial journey to Nepal Leadership Academy’s “Leading Enterprise Innovation” course, which he received during the REAP program. He finds himself referring back to his REAP training notes whenever a problem arises in his enterprise. Ghimire states, “To this day, the strategies and confidence I acquired from the training during REAP have been helping me to approach innovative ideas in my enterprise and have directed me in my personal life as well”.

His enterprise has also inspired many youths in his village to start their own enterprises. He exclaims with much delight that today, many of the youth are deciding to stay in the village as employment opportunities have improved. The lands that were once at the brink of degradation have come alive as more youth have gotten engaged in farming and agriculture. This has also allowed the village to sustain locally grown produce.

When asked what would be a learning that he would like to share with other aspiring youth entrepreneurs, Ghimire emphasizes, “One fundamental learning I would like to share is that it is imperative to be aware of the motivation and vision of your enterprise before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey”. He believes that developing this approach prepares one to face and overcome any obstacles that may arise along the way of achieving one’s vision in their life. Ghimire adds, “Daayitwa has helped me understand the importance of having a clear vision and gave me confidence in my own ability to tackle obstacles, expand my enterprise, and advance in my leadership journey”.

Much like the rest of the world, Ghimire’s enterprise experienced hardships when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The lockdown impeded people from visiting his resort which brought some financial difficulties to his enterprise. However, presently he has been working to bring his enterprise back into action through the efforts of his team and the support of his partners. He attributes his ability to overcome this challenge to the entrepreneurial capacity that Daayitwa helped him develop during REAP. He looks forward to moving ahead with the learnings from REAP to constantly improve and innovate his enterprise and contribute to an enterprising ecosystem in his community.