In an exclusive conversation with NewsX for our special segment NewsX A-list, Executive Director of CG Corp Global, Varun Chaudhary catches up with us to share his journey and shares insights and personal experiences working in the FMCG sector.
Chaudhary’s CG Corp Global with the legacy of over 150 years happens to be Nepal’s first and only Billion Dollar Corporation listed by Forbes. Achieving excellence in the FMCG sector, Chaudhary shares a very personal anecdote with us about his family-run transnational conglomerate which set up the first noodle plant in Nepal and the story behind the renowned noodle brand Wai Wai, which is run by CG Corp across India and globally.
“My father used to frequently travel to countries like Japan, Singapore, Thailand and while travelling back to Kathmandu he used to see and observed that a lot of cartons are coming on the luggage belt. So it all started building up my dad’s curiosity to know how noodles all the way from Thailand are coming to Nepal in such huge quantities.”
“That is where the business instinct kicked in and eventually my father founded the company and decided to do a technical collaboration with the Thai counterpart. It was the first noodle plant in Nepal and that’s how the whole story started from a baggage belt to where it is today,” Chaudhary continues.
Talking about the successful business model and how his company ended up dominating the noodles market, Chaudhary says, “The Group handles 10-12 different business verticles ranging from financial services, banking hospitality, real estate, telecom industry and education to name a few. But I predominantly look after Food Parks and FMCG and since Wai Wai is such a household brand but surprisingly its success story lies behind the word of mouth which spread like wildfire from students who came from Nepal to study in Indian boarding schools. Seeing the future market and demand our company in the early nineties started manufacturing it here as well and those seven sisters in North East including Sikkim and West Bengal.”
Chaudhary talks about new strategies especially in tougher times like this and mentions how the company did not lay off even one single employee. “For the FMCG sector during the pandemic safety aspects is paramount. First and foremost we maintained our workforce and made sure that they were motivated and that is what matters because it is the people who built brands.”
“Since the pandemic, there was a time when we didn’t know where it would take us but the government started allowing packaged food and essential goods to operate at some levels. We were operating at 30% capacity and slowly we saw that the demand for food is increasing and we started concentrating on our efforts in making sure that distribution and manufacturing take place.”
Sharing his future vision Chaudhary feels it’s going to be a very interesting time ahead for the FMCG sector as a whole. “Everyone in the industry is happy and now there is a surge in the business and so a lot of people are adding capacities as well as seeing how the new normal is going to be.”
Chaudhary says he seeks his biggest inspiration is his father, who is the Chairman of the Group both professionally and personally. “He is the ultimate for me since starting my journey at the age of six by sending us to a boarding school in Dehradun till now even when we are married with kids, I and my brothers share the same bond with him and the way he continues to guide and hold us whenever we require.”
On an ending note, Chaudhary shared his management mantra with us and stresses on building healthy relationships. “Time management and try not to take any shortcuts is what one attribute to the success and in terms of employees and staff and other people who work with me, I am proactive and but do not try to micromanage and rather give everyone their space.”