Binod Chaudhary has become the first Nepali businessman to make it to the Forbes’ billionaire list. The New York-based magazine has placed the Chaudhary Group (CG) President in the 1,342nd position in ‘The 2013 Billionaires List.’
57-year-old Chaudhary, who skipped college to join family business at the age of 18, and his family are listed as one of the world’s richest and termed the richest in Nepal by the publication which publishes a billionaire’s list every year.
Chaudhary is among 210 people who joined the Forbes Billionaires ranks this year. Chaudhary shares his ranking with 84 other individuals who have also been ranked the 1,342nd richest people in the globe.
The business tycoon is also among three South Asians – including MA Yusuff Ali ($1.5 billion) and Ranjan Pai ($1.3 billion) of India- included in the Forbes List of 20 ‘Notable Newcomers’. As mentioned in the daily Republica, in a Twitter update, Chaudhary said it was a ‘rare honour and recognition for a non-Indian South Asian’.
Chaudhary takes pride in his success in the noodles business, particularly with ‘WaiWai’. The brand has now spread wings to 35 countries with an annual production of a billion packets. ‘Wai Wai’ is now India’s second largest selling noodles brand, after Maggi with 16 percent market share.
Currently, he has business interests in India, UAE, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Mozambique and the US, mainly in hospitality, real estate, financial services, FMCG and cement business. Through Zinc Holding, Chaudhary has investments and ventures in 30 hotels and resorts worldwide.
In his recently published autobiography ‘Binod Chaudhary-Atmakatha,’ Chaudhary has written that he started looking beyond Nepal seriously in the mid-90s when he lost an election for the post of president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) for the second time. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.
With this entry, Nepal is expected to make its place on the international business radar apart from being known for the Himalayas, Lumbini, Gurkhas and Sherpas.