--By Sujan Tiwari
“Success comes to those who dream with open eyes,” says Ganesh Prasad Lath, Director of Ganesh Trading Centre and former President Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BICCI). With business involvements in manufacturing and import-export, Lath is a well known name in the business fraternity of Birgunj.
Lath’s business firm Ganesh Trading Centre has a history of two decades in import-export business. The company started by dealing in industrial threads and textiles, and today, it trades in rice machines, flour plant, electric motor, water pumps, welding electrodes, material handling equipments, and quality testing machines among other equipments. Sister concerns of the firm manufactures confectionary, food products, textiles and fabrics among other products.
Lath was born to Late Bihari Lal Lath and Vidya Devi Lath in Birgunj in 1965. He says he enjoyed a happy childhood. “I used to get big happiness from small achievements. I remember being the happiest when receiving new clothes and foods during Holi and Dipawali,” recalls Lath. According to Lath, his grandmother was strictly religious lady. “I used to go to temples regularly not because of my god loving nature, but because of my god and guardian fearing nature,” shares Lath.
In his school, Lath was always among the top ten students. He graduated in Commerce at the age of 24. Even now when he is on the verge of 50, he is pursuing M Sc in Value Education and Spirituality. "I have an insatiable urge for learning,” says he.
During his holidays and vacations, Lath used to help his father in his textile shop. “I helped my father in his business by rolling and unrolling clothes and collecting money. I feel that my business instinct was injected during those days,” says he.
At the age of 25, Lath’s learning nature drove him to bee-keeping. “I had 10 bee hives in my house. By observing the bees, I learned about leadership, team spirit and entrepreneurship. That became the turning point for me,” remembers Lath. Lath started his business career by starting a retail medicine shop. After some years, he left the medicine shop and set up a rice mill. Gradually, Lath along with his family members and friends jumped into other production units.
When Lath was a kid, fortune tellers predicted that he will be a medical doctor one day. His parents encouraged him to be an engineer, but Lath was more interested in sports. “Honestly speaking, I was an aimless youth. However, I was fond of martial arts and had joined Shito Ryu Karate Do. Those days, I only aimed to receive a Black Belt in Karate and I finally got it too,” says Lath. He also worked as a sports teacher for five years and earned his pocket expenses. At that time, he dreamt of opening a sports academy, but life had other plans for him. According to him, sport is good for you but it can’t be the source of bread and butter. Later in life, he says he understood the importance of money and that changed his motives.
Recently, Lath has developed a special type of soya nugget from his food processing industry and he is planning to launch it very soon. According to him, he has expansions plans of his confectionery and textile industry which may take place within a year. His trading firm also has introduced a few new equipments.
Lath says he has a simple management philosophy. While hiring for his companies, he looks for genuine, trustworthy and compatible people. Lath is a strong believer in teamwork and says that each member should get his space within the team. “While making new business decisions, I always make sure that it is not against the law of the land. I am also careful about maintaining harmony with the local community,” says Lath.
Lath says that it’s a tough job to find a balance between your professional, personal and social life. “As far as balancing is concerned, I never intermix the burdens of profession, family or society. I prioritize my time according to situation,” says he. To make more time for himself, lath says he hires experts to work for his business and gives them the required authority. “To maximize my time, I always keep a to-do list. I believe in agenda wise discussion and time bound meetings. I take support of electronic gadgets to extract some additional time for me,” says Lath.
Lath is married to Sabita Devi Lath, and the couple has a son and a daughter. Lath’s hobbies include reading books, writing articles and poems and making new friends. He says spiritualism is his new interest. “I love travelling and being connected through social networks. I devote two hours every morning to maintain my mental and physical health,” says Lath.
Words of Advice
Lath’s advice for new entrepreneurs and businessmen is to dream with open eyes. He believes that dreaming is the first step towards achieving anything. “Only dreaming isn’t enough, but dreaming is of course the first step. Dreams that are followed by careful planning and implementation always come true,” says he. In is experience, hard work almost always guarantees success.
According to Lath, success is a synonym for job satisfaction. “I have learnt from my elders that your health, education, living standard, reputation and social contribution define your success. I am satisfied with my job and I am happy with the rewards that I get from it,” says he.
In the future, Lath plans to devote more time to spiritual activities. He is also working on new business projects that will see the day of light soon. Lath says that he doesn’t want to retire from his work till death. “I keep only lessons with me, not regrets,” says Lath.
(With support from Om Prakash Khanal)