First Nepali billionaire tips his hat to S'pore

First Nepali billionaire tips his hat to S'pore

SINGAPORE - He calls Japan his unofficial B-school, but Nepali tycoon Binod Chaudhary's success story may be incomplete without a mention of Singapore.

The city state features in a big way in Mr Chaudhary's steady rise in the business world, where he is now part of the billionaires' club with the likes of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

In March, Mr Chaudhary, with assets worth US$1 billion (S$1.29 billion), became the first non-Indian South Asian to be included by Forbes Asia in this elite club, a recognition that has come with admiration and accolades, adding personal satisfaction to his prosperity.

"Singapore is the role model for any country to follow, when it comes to supporting and enabling the right kind of environment to do business efficiently," Mr Chaudhary said in an interview with The Sunday Times last week while on a business-related visit.

"The country knows how to respect talent and entrepreneurship." Mr Chaudhary's Cinnovation Group has its headquarters in Singapore.

From here, it runs over 48 companies with more than 4,300 staff across the globe. The group owns Alila Hotels & Resorts here and Zinc Invision Hospitality in Thailand.

The parent company Chaudhary Group (CG), Nepal's biggest conglomerate, has been around for more than 140 years, with interests in food and beverage, education, real estate, financial services, cement, and hotels and resorts. CG's prolific resume is a result of the hard work of its president whose life story has been oft-repeated in the Asian press in the last four months.

Mr Chaudhary, 58, comes from a line of traders - his grandfather, Mr Bhuramal Chaudhary, was a textile trader who migrated from India to Nepal. His father, Mr Lunkaran Das Chaudhary, expanded into other businesses and set up Nepal's first-ever department store.

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