That young boy from Dhading

A young boy from Dhading, who came to Kathmandu chasing his dream 27 years ago with just Rs 100 in his pocket, would have never thought he would arrive at this stage today. Today, he is the owner of five companies and hold prestigious social positions. He is none other than Khum Bahadur Subedi — […]

Khum1A young boy from Dhading, who came to Kathmandu chasing his dream 27 years ago with just Rs 100 in his pocket, would have never thought he would arrive at this stage today. Today, he is the owner of five companies and hold prestigious social positions. He is none other than Khum Bahadur Subedi — the managing director of Unique Adventure International Pvt Ltd — a trekking and adventure outfitter.

Born on 5 Ashadh 2035 BS in Chainpur, Sunkhani of Dhading district, Subedi endured a very difficult childhood days. He completed high school in his birthplace and came to Kathmandu for higher studies after completing his SLC examination in 2047 BS. “My mother arranged me Rs 100 for me for the journey. I walked all the way to Malekhu and boarded a bus to Kathmandu,” a nostalgic Subedi shared.

But Subedi, who had hoped that his hardships would end in Kathmandu, had to face various struggles until he finally steadied his life by entering the tourism sector. He tried many odd jobs while pursuing higher studies in RR College, Kathmandu, but couldn’t settle in any. But he started working with a trekking agency in 1993, he felt this is the sector where he can excel.

“My first job was with Atlas Trekking. I worked in various capacities in this company. I also took Trekking Guide license while working for this company,” Subedi shared.

The young entrepreneur worked with various companies like Himalayan Ecological Treks and Munal Treks, among others, before starting a trekking company — Unique Adventure International Treks — together with a friend in 1998. Now, he is the sole owner of the company. After couple of years, he graduated in Major English from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.

Today, SUbedi leaders four other companies under the Unique Adventure International family — AAA Holidays, AAA Transport Company, Nepal Climbing and International Heli Charter Company. He also runs an NGO named Hand in Hand Nepal through which he has been supporting the needy people in different rural areas of the country.

During his career in trekking industry, Subedi has led groups to Annapurna, Everest, Langtang and Manaslu regions many times. Similarly, he has visited countries like the US, the United Kingdom, Japan, SIngapore, Thailand, Spain, Germany, China, Belgium and the Netherlands, among others.

He is also serving as the senior vice president of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) — the umbrella association of more than 1,300 trekking and adventure tour operators of the country — since October, 2017.

Talking about tourism sector, Subedi said it is high time the government introduced one-window policy for all tourism services. “Today, we have to visit different agencies to make permits and other works. It would be lot easier if such services were provided under one roof,” he said, requesting the government to do the needful for building infrastructures to facilitate the tourism industry.

“Many entrepreneurs faced problems in arranging flights and accommodation in popular trekking areas in this season. Not only that, we also felt shortage of trained and experienced guides and trekking staff. This problem should be immediately dealt with as tourist numbers will increased further in the coming year,” he added.

He also expressed dissatisfaction over hotels and lodges keeping stock of tickets to destinations like Jomsom and Dolpa. “It is unfortunate that not airlines and travel agencies have tickets in stock. These hotels provide tickets only to guests who stay in their property that too in inflated rates,” he said, urging the government to look into the issue and take needful action against the wrongdoers immediately.

Khum

Subedi also suggested to the government to find an amicable solution to haphazard levying of taxes by local bodies in different tourist destinations of the country.

They young entrepreneur married in 1998. He has a happy family of a wife and a son and a daughter. His father expired 10 years ago, but his mother lives with him. While Subedi remains busy in the travel trade, his better half looks after the family and keep the home in order. His brother, Krishna Bahadur Subedi, who is an experienced trekking guide and is also affiliated with different travel trade association, is assisting Subedi in his business. “Though I have not been able to spare much time to my family, my family is understanding. However, I always make sure that I spend some time with them,” he added.

Despite his busy schedule, Subedi finds some time to create literary works. He has published two books — Padayatra Ka Pailaharu (Footsteps in trekking) and Belgium Ka Kshan Haru (Moments in Belgium). Likewise, he has wrote many newspaper articles on several pertinent issues of the tourism industry. He has acted in some television serials as well.

The visionary entrepreneur said that his childhood dream was to be a doctor. “But as someone who grew in poverty, I knew it was an impossible dream in my childhood days itself. At that time, my only aim in life was to have a better life for me and my family. I feel I have succeeded in achieving that,” a nostalgic Subedi said.

When asked where he would have been today if he had not joined tourism sector, Subedi said: “Probably I would have followed my father’s footsteps to do some menial jobs in India.”

Subedi wishes to continue working in the sector as long as his health allows. “I have arrived at this stage because of tourism. So, I will keep working to make it a respectable profession,” he shared before concluding.

(All pictures from Mr Subedi’s Facebook page)

With Zimba, the Sherpa

Zimba is the third generation from his family in the adventure tourism sector Zimba Zangbu Sherpa is not a new name to those involved in Nepali travel trade especially the adventure tourism sector. Born in 2015 BS in Khumjung village of Solukhumbu district, Sherpa is the former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), owner of […]

Zimba is the third generation from his family in the adventure tourism sector

11406939_10206982361508030_793055895278082723_nZimba Zangbu Sherpa is not a new name to those involved in Nepali travel trade especially the adventure tourism sector. Born in 2015 BS in Khumjung village of Solukhumbu district, Sherpa is the former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), owner of Khumbi-Ila Trekking & Mountaineering and La Villa Sherpani – a deluxe resort in Lukla, and President of Khumbi-Ila Samrakshyan Samuha – a non-profit organization.

Born to a family of mountaineering sirdars, adventure tourism was the obvious career choice for Zimba. “My grandfather Dawa Tenzing Sherpa was the first sirdar form the Sherpa community. He assisted legendary mountaineers like George Malory and Andrew Irvine as they explored peaks like Mout Everest in the 1920s,” Zimba shares. “My father Ang Temba Sherpa continued what my grandfather did.”

Zimba is the third generation from the Sherpa family in the adventure tourism sector. While his grandfather and father only worked as sirdars, Zimba established his own company to handle groups in the Himalayas.

The young Zimba studied in Khumjung School built by Sir Edmund Hillary. As his parents were not educated, he used to look after their accounts. “My grandfather and father used to bring groups to our village. I used to look into their accounts. Later, I also joined trekking parties led by my father. This is how I entered tourism sector,” Zimba adds.

10662181_10154758327315431_4612344296492905593_oZimba was only 15 when he embarked on his first trekking trip. It was a trek to Gokyo and he joined the team from Khumjung. After few years, Zimba came to Kathmandu along with his family. “We had to walk all the way to Banepa via Jiri, Charikot and Dhulikhel. The journey took many weeks. My father had a Newari friend in Ason. We live at his place for some days,” he adds.

After completing his high school, Zimba enrolled at Amrit Science College for his Intermediate in Science. “But I was transferred to Biratnagar Science College because of reasons best known to them. After completing one semester there, I was again transferred to Amrit Science College. But as the college didn’t have seat, my year was wasted,” Zimba laments. He also enrolled for a pharmacy course at Teaching Hospital but couldn’t continue it. He completed Intermediate in Arts at around 2031 BS on the insistence of his friend. He also enrolled for BA. “But I didn’t sit for exams. But I received honorary diploma in mountaineering by ENSA after many years,” he adds.

Zimba’s father used to work for Mountain Travels promoted by Col Jimmy Roberts. “Most of the popular trekking routes in Nepal are explored by Mountain Travels. Many difficult routes explored by the company are no longer in use as trekkers prefer teahouse treks these days,” Zimba adds.

In the initial years, Zimba helped his father in Mountain Travels. Then he worked under Dinesh Gurung with Himalayan Rovers. After working there for some years, he moved to Trans Himalayan Treks promoted by Takahasi Miyahara. “My father and Miyahara climbed Jugal Himal together. Miyahara was a family friend. It is one of the reasons that prompted me to join Trans Himalayan Treks,” he shares. After working with Miyahara for seven years, Zimba felt he should start his own venture now. Thus he established Khumbi-Ila Trekking and Mountaineering in 1984. Since then, there has been looking back.

Zimba met a French national named Robert Reiffel in the 1980s. “It proved to be a turning point in my career in Nepali adventure tourism industry. He helped to promote my company in France and also authored a book on me – Avec Zimba, Le Sherpa which means ‘With Zimba, the Sherpa’ in English,” he informs.

Three editions of the book has already been published – one each in France, India and Nepal.

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Zimba shows a book on him written by French writer Robert Reiffel.

Talking about his business, Zimba said it was very difficult in the initial years. “I had to struggle a lot in the first six years. I used to look after everything: welcoming guests at the airport, taking them to hotels, arranging stuffs, leading them to treks,” he said and added: “I started looking after the management after business volume started picking up.”

Zimba also opened a branch of French company Atalante Trekking & Mountaineering in Nepal in 1994. “But I parted ways with the company in 2015,” he added.

Not just a successful adventure tourism entrepreneur, Zimba is a mountaineer and mountaineering instructor too. “I have climbed all trekking peaks of NMA. I have attempted Everest three times leading French and Korean groups. But I could reach up to the height of 7,400 meters only,” he added. Zimba has also climbed Ganesh IV, as part of Nepal-Japan joint expedition, and Amadablam. “Climbing Amadablam was a very memorable experience for me. “I was standing on the summit of Amadablam on the fourth day since I left Kathmandu. I arrived Lukla on the same day I reached the Amadablam summit,” he shared.

Zimba’s major clientele comes from France. “French people love Nepal. Lot of French people visit different destinations around the globe. But for those looking for mountaineering and adventure tourism, Nepal has no alternative. French people like our hospitable nature and smiling face. No matter how difficult is our situation, we always welcome guests with a big smile. This is our unique selling point,” he adds. He also argues that Nepal is the adventure capital of the Himalayan range. “We taught Tibet, and Ladakh and Sikkim of India to promote tourism. The incumbent chief of Tibet Mountaineering School learnt mountaineering from me. But they are now marching ahead of us,” he laments.

Zimba has completed basic and adventure mountaineering training from NMA. He has also trained in France two times. “I have also received mountaineering training in France two times. Likewise, I hold an honorary diploma in mountaineering from École Nationale de Ski et Alpinisme (ENSA), France.

Zimba addresses a function organized by Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratishthan in Kaski district.

Zimba addresses a function organized by Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratishthan in Kaski district.

Information about his social affiliations, Zimba said he was in the executive committee of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) two times in the 1980s. He was first elected in the board of NMA in the 1990s when late Dawa Norbu Sherpa was the president. Similarly, he was an office-bearer in the executive committee led by Tashi Jangbu Sherpa. He has served as vice-president of the association for two terms, and president for one term. Currently, he is the coordinator of International Mountaineers’ Memorial Park of NMA.

Zimba is living with his wife, three sons, two daughters in-law and two grandsons at his home near Chabahil, Kathmandu. As his office is on the premises of his home, he can be seen playing with his grand children. “My elder son is helping in my business, while the middle one is an orthopedic surgeon. Similarly, my youngest son holds a Masters in Political Science from India,” he adds.

Zimba owes his success to Fench national Robert Reiffel. “He introduced me to France and the French people. The book that he authored helped me a lot in my business,” he adds. Comparing today’s trekking with that of 1980s, Zimba said trekking was lot better in the past. “We had to everything – food and tent etc all the way from Kathmandu. After a tiring day, we used to set up camps, play madal and sing around campfire. We prepared our food ourselves. That was a new experience altogether,” Zimba adds.

Lamented that our trekking activities is still centered in Annapurna, Everest and Langtang, Zimba underscored the need to explore routes in other parts of the country and promote them effectively in the international market. “Far-east, mid-western and far-western regions have immense tourism potentials. But trekkers are not going there as these places lack infrastructures. We still don’t get good porters in mid and far western region. People there are also yet be friendly with tourism,” he said, adding: “The government should build necessary infrastructures first.”

Apart from his daily work schedule, his is sparing some time for social works as well. He has opened Khumbi-Ila Samrkashan Pratisthan to give back to the society. The organization is providing scholarships to needy students as well as building schools in quake-hit districts.

With the election for the new executive committee of NMA round the bend, Zimba is observing the situation closely. “I have led NMA in one of the difficult times. My friends and colleagues in the mountaineering industry know what I am capable of. If they think I am the right man to lead the association, I am ready to take the responsibility,” he said.

Born to lead

By Kishor Basnyat Chandra Prasad Rijal is not a new name for those involved in tourism industry. Born on Ashadh 3 in Khalte-3 of Dhading district, he has been with the Nepali tourism for more than two decades. He is the managing director of See Nepal Travel and Adventure and a promoter of Mum’s Home. […]

By Kishor Basnyat

Chandra Prasad Rijal is not a new name for those involved in tourism industry. Born on Ashadh 3 in Khalte-3 of Dhading district, he has been with the Nepali tourism for more than two decades. He is the managing director of See Nepal Travel and Adventure and a promoter of Mum’s Home. This dynamic private sector leader is the President of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) — the umbrella organization of nearly 1250 trekking agencies in the country. (more…)

Made for tourism

Rajan Simkhada is a young and energetic entrepreneur with Nepali tourism industry. Born in 1976 in Darkha of Dhading district, Simkhada leads a number of companies including hotels, resorts and trekking agencies, among others.

Though only in his 30s, Rajan Simkhada has already created a niche in tourism industry

Rajan Simkhada is a young and energetic entrepreneur with Nepali tourism industry. Born in 1976 in Darkha of Dhading district, Simkhada leads a number of companies including hotels, resorts and trekking agencies, among others.

But Simkhada, who wanted to be a chartered accountant when he completed graduation in first division, said he never imagined he would make a career in tourism industry. “It just happened,” he shares. “I used to see trekkers heading toward Ganesh Himal through my village and wonder who are they, where are they from and where are they heading to. I entered tourism sector searching answers to these questions.”

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The Mountain Man

Padam Ghale is a seasoned mountaineer, accomplished mountaineering instructor and a successful adventure tourism entrepreneur Padam Ghale is a man who has thoroughly enjoyed his life while creating a niche in Nepali mountaineering sector. Born in 2008 BS in Barpak of Gorkha district, Ghale is a qualified International Mountain Guide, an accomplished mountain instructor, and […]

Padam Ghale is a seasoned mountaineer, accomplished mountaineering instructor and a successful adventure tourism entrepreneur

Padam Ghale

Padam Ghale

Padam Ghale is a man who has thoroughly enjoyed his life while creating a niche in Nepali mountaineering sector. Born in 2008 BS in Barpak of Gorkha district, Ghale is a qualified International Mountain Guide, an accomplished mountain instructor, and a successful tourism entrepreneur.
But Ghale, who has no formal education, didn’t imagine in his childhood days that he would come this far.
“Life was difficult in my village. Villagers could earn square meal only after toiling in others homes and farmlands. It took us a four-day walk to reach district headquarters – Gorkha Bazaar,” Ghale said, adding, “The situation forced many families in the village, including ours, to migrate to lowlands.”

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