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Obituary | Ganesh Bhakta Saakha: Architect of one of Nepal’s leading business houses

Obituary | Ganesh Bhakta Saakha: Architect of one of Nepal’s leading business houses

Birth: 17 December 1929, Bhaktapur
Death: 17 April 2021, Thapathali

Trade and commerce have never been easy for Nepal, a landlocked country. Nepal these days imports and exports commodities from different parts of the world. But during the 1950s, it was solely dependent on India.

When Ram Bhakta Saakha, a reputable businessman from Nepal, decided to travel to Bombay to sign a new business deal, accompanying him was his 18-year-old son Ganesh Bhakta, who had already been assisting him in business.

In Bombay, the junior Saakha was surprised when his father told him to stay in the city and study. The arrangement had not been discussed earlier but Ganesh Bhakta  couldn’t say no to his father. He lived in India for five years and returned home after completing his diploma in commerce.

Ganesh Bhakta came home with a lot of energy and the desire to do expand his family business. He first assisted his father, but gradually worked on expanding the business. In 1974, he established his first factory, Unisha Polychem, in Bhaktapur. It was followed by Nepal Paints and Saakha Steels, both of which these days belong to the Saakha Group.

In 1997, Saakha was nominated member of a government research team on the implementation of the VAT system in Nepal. But the same issue of VAT would compel his company to pay almost Rs. 7.3 million in fines to the government in 2012. After the commencement of the VAT system, all sales tax was merged with VAT. But the group accountants had not been complying with new norms.

From his early days, Saakha was interested in politics. He contested the election for the post of ward chairperson in the 1957 municipal elections. Despite not winning, he became an active member of the Bhaktapur District Committee of the Nepali Congress and also served as district treasurer.

Saakha played a key role in establishing the Bhaktapur branch of FNCCI. He continued to be involved in his family business in his old age, before passing away at 91, without any major health complications.

He is survived by four sons—Kiran Prakash, Tej Prakash, Biswo Prakash, and Jyoti Prakash; and three daughters—Usha Kiran, Kalpana Kiran, and Komal Kiran.