One entrepreneur shows that passion and the power of commitment to pursuing one’s dream never fades.
True entrepreneurship is showing the zeal to step into areas that are different from one’s academic or professional background. Sabal Chandra Shah, managing director of Garud Securities is among those few Nepalis who have shown the courage to do something new on their own and to make a mark. “I believe that in order to grow Nepal, one should support the home grown brands,” he says.
Established in 2005, Garud Securities has become a highly reputed home-grown brand in the security services business. Pioneering various security solutions in Nepal, the company now employs over five thousand security guards. From manned security, Cash and Valuables in Transit (CVIT), event security management to electronic security solutions and security consultancy, Garud Securities has been covering a large area in this business.
Born in 1981 in Nepal, Shah lived in Australia for over 12 years and completed his undergraduate programme in Business Management from Curtin University, Perth. “After completing my Bachelors, I started working in different companies there for three years,” he says. He returned back to Nepal in 2002 and started Garud Securities in 2005.
While growing up, Shah never thought he would be a businessman. He wanted to join the army instead. “The military life always fascinated me from my childhood,” he expresses. Shah feels the work he has been doing is similar to his dream career. “I wanted to deal with people like in the military. Now as I own a company, I feel that it is similar as I engage with over five thousand people,” he mentions.
A father of two boys, Shah lives with his family at his residence in Dhapasi, Kathmandu. He loves to spend time with them and says that being with family motivates him to work harder. “Over all these years of running an organisation, I have realised the importance of spending quality time with my family,” he says.
A fitness enthusiast, Shah loves going to the gym. “I have to divide my time between family, work, colleagues and friends. And, the only time I have for myself is at the gym. So, I really cherish the time,” he says. While in Australia he was active in sports. But after returning to Nepal, the only way Shah is keeping his body running is by working out at the gym.
According to Shah, transitioning from Australia to Nepal was a major challenge for him. “I returned to Nepal at a time when the insurgency was peaking and getting into any work became quite difficult here. I had stayed for a long period in a completely different environment in Australia where the work was very systematic,” he recalls. “It was very frustrating for me in the beginning, but I gradually adjusted,” he adds.
There are many home-grown security service companies in Nepal at present. But they lag far behind Garud when it comes to professionalism and quality of service. Shah believes that keeping the employees happy and strictly following the Labour Act are among the major factors responsible for the growth of Garud Securities. “This is a continuous process and the fundamental source for our growth,” he says.
According to Shah, it is challenging to maintain standards in security to keep the company functioning at optimum levels. He identifies the lack of a workforce as the main problem for businesses in Nepal. “It is difficult to understand why Nepalis go abroad looking for jobs when there are so many organisations here searching for skilled workers,” he says. “There are also a number of problems related to technicalities and the compliance of security services. But I always feel that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel,” he expresses. Shah suggests the government should come up with policy level support and legal frameworks in order to help the growth of home-grown companies.
Garud Securities adheres to an entirely different approach in terms of providing security services. The company provides personalised services for its clients and not just the guards. Shah sees this as important for the company. “Our clients do not take guards from us. They take a service where the guards are the connection between us and them,” says Shah.
Shah joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) four years back and mentions it as being one of the best decisions of his life. The EO is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 12,000 influential business owners with 160 chapters in 50 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. Founded in 2003, EO Nepal is among the 160 chapters of the global organization. At present, it has 61 members.
“I have learned a lot from EO to run the business from completely different perspectives. Effective management of time and focusing on work-life priorities have been among the important lessons for me,” he shares. Also, EO has provided him with the opportunity to meet many likeminded people with similar goals and interests in life.
Years of hard work and dedication has led Garud Securities to become a top Nepali security services brand. He aspires to take the company to the international stage and outsource Nepali guards to international organisations. “Nepalis are known for their courage the world over. This can be a major supporting factor for expanding our business internationally,” Shah adds