He also serves as a Chairman of Kumari Bank Ltd, one of the renowned commercial bank of Nepal. Mr. and Mrs. Gurung with the help of one staff started a single shutter grocery shop of 120 sq. feet in 1984 having initial investment of Rs. 35,000 with daily sales of Npr. 2000. 00. Born in Khotang, Nepal in 1958, Son of a farmer with six siblings, Born after five sisters, he was raised as a pampered son in the family and provided with facilities that a son usually gets in the Nepali society. Two younger brothers were born after him.
During his early schooling, Gurung was touched by the story about Madam Curie inventing bean size radium after melting 17 tons of stone. Megnath Lamsal, his teacher at high school, left a deep impression on him. The teacher’s lessons motivated him to do well in life and reach greatness one day. “I was very fond of Lamsal Sir and liked his classes much. I developed a strong belief in myself and was committed to work hard for success,” he recalls. Born in Dube, a village in Khotang district, Gurung had schooling up to SLC at different schools nearby.
Unlike other young boys of his time, he was very energetic and hardworking. He enjoyed his schooldays even though he had to walk two hours daily to go to the school. Despite being a good student, Gurung failed in the SLC exams. It came as a shock for all the teachers, students and his own family who considered him as a bright student. He didn’t take it as a setback though and tried his best to overcome the failure by studying harder. Reflecting back on his SLC failure, Gurung says that it actually made him the person he is today.
He elaborates, “Because I failed my SLC exams, I did not pursue science stream later. Had I cleared SLC in my first attempt with flying colors, I would have other ideas about my future course of life and ultimately miss this fantastic business opportunity that I have today. Mr. Min Bahadur Gurung had a successful banking career after completing of his university education (Master in Economics). He had the vision and courage to leave this job to lead Bhat-Bhateni in a full-time capacity following the expansion to a two floor (3,000 sq. ft. supermarket in 1992 having investment of Npr. 2500000. 00 with daily sales of Npr. 50000. 00 and 11 dedicated staffs. This ordinary ‘single shutter’ store has since transformed to become a leading supermarket chains in Nepal. His drive to offer quality products at reasonable price to customer has made an impressive growth history over 27 years. Today more than 30,000 people visit the stores daily with over 1500 combined store staff with the daily sales of Npr. 1. 5 Crore (USD 187500. 00), consistent merchandising and assured customer service is guaranteed.
Bhat-Bhateni has been a successful family business since the establishment in 1984 and has been the largest tax payer in the retail sector for the last five consecutive years in Nepal There are currently five stores built in owned property conveniently located in central Kathmandu and Lalitpur. Construction work of a new outlet in Pokhara City has now completed and due to open by July 2012. Mr. Min Bahadur Gurung has truly visionary long-term goals and aim to establish farmer co-operatives in Nepal which is estimated to give employment to 50,000 people and is likely to position Bhat-Bhateni as the largest corporate tax payer in the country.
An ambitious expansion plan will see many new stores in Kathmandu and across the country over the next few years. Bhat-Bhateni story has only just started. It is Mr. Gurung’s dream and ambition to make the Bhat-Bhateni Group a truly professional multinational corporation. Much of Bhat-Bhateni’s success can be subscribed to the founders Mr. Min Bahadur Gurung and family, vision for continuous improvements and growth in order to support local development with current employment of over 1500 staffs, including several from families of political martyrs and indigenous people.
With money comes responsibility, so Min Bahadur Gurung has built emergency building in Tribhuwan University Institute of Medicine, Teaching Hospital Maharajgunj on the name of his parents on Nrs 100 million. Similarly he has also established scholarship to students from remote areas of Nepal to study MBBS at Patan Hospital. With so much of dedication, honesty and passion for work, Gurung faced lot of challenges, pain and hurdles in his life. The position and place he is in now is the result of his constant struggle and hard work. Faced with lots of challenges, Gurung is ultimately living his dream.sa