Prasid Group of Companies: a booming conglomerate
Prasid Group of Companies was founded in 2007. It consists of three business entities: Prasid International, Prasid Pashmina and Prasid Water Solutions. Each of them operate in totally different sectors.
Prasid International is the distributor of Eureka Forbes, India (Eureka Forbes Ltd is an Indian multinational consumer goods company). They import and market water purifiers, vacuum cleaners, etc. Prasid Pashmina manufactures high-end cashmere/pashmina products which are exported to Europe, the United States and some Asian countries. Similarly, Prasid Water Solution provides drinking water from a natural source. Its factory is based at Godawari, Lalitpur.
“Our vision is to establish a conglomerate with interests in various industries by implementing a corporate culture based on innovation, passion, quality and empowerment,” said Ajay Singh Karki, Chairman and Founder of Prasid Group of Companies.
The group is currently planning to add more sustainable consumer products and to start exporting starting with its Forbes spring water.
Previously, Karki worked for multinational companies in India such as Eureka Forbes Ltd of Tata Group, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd, and HCL Group. He returned to Nepal in 1994 to work with his uncle who had a carpet export business. He separated from his uncle in 1997 to work for the NGO Nepal Goodweave Foundation.
The foundation rescued child laborers working in the carpet industry and rehabilitated them by providing education and shelter. Karki also started her pashmina business around this time.
And in 2004 he was appointed Country Director of Eureka Forbes Ltd, formerly known as Euroguard. He only went full time with his company in 2007.
Karki believes that the “Make in Nepal” initiative of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries could help Nepalese industries enormously if only the quality of products sold in the Nepalese market were properly regulated.
“Water jars are sold at Rs 45-50 in the market while the transportation cost itself is Rs 20, but no one questions the water quality,” he says. “Poor quality products go with the wrong labels.”
According to Karki, Nepalese rugs once held a high-end status, but then rug manufacturers began to compromise on the quality of their products.
“This malpractice is the reason why the export of Nepalese carpets has taken a serious hit. The same thing happens with pashmina and other products, whether they are of export quality or for local sale.
Karki believes in serving consumers with the right quality of products.
“That’s how the Nepalese market can thrive,” he says.
As a landlocked country, Karki adds, Nepal should focus on manufacturing its own products and depend less on imports.
“Nepalese industries are already going through difficult times. First there was the 2015 earthquake, which was followed by the border blockade in the south, and then the Covid-19 pandemic.
Karki laments that the government is not doing enough to help industries start self-production at a time when the import of many goods has been banned, citing the depletion of foreign exchange reserves. He adds that China’s undeclared border blockade has made the situation worse.
“The Chinese border is not open like India’s, so only a limited amount of goods can be transported there,” he said. “The government should intensify its efforts to encourage domestic production and export.”