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 operates in entirely different sectors.
Prasid International is the distributor for 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 premium cashmere/pashmina products that are exported to Europe, the US, and some Asian countries. Likewise, Prasid Water Solution provides natural spring drinking water. Its plant is based in Godawari, Lalitpur.
“Our vision is to establish a conglomerate with interests in diverse industries by implementing a corporate culture through innovation, passion, quality, and empowerment,” says Ajay Singh Karki, chairman and founder, Prasid Group of Companies.
The group is currently planning to add more consumer durable products and get into export starting with its Forbes Spring Water.
Previously, Karki used to work for multinational corporations in India, such as Tata Group’s Eureka Forbes Ltd, 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 parted ways with 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 them education and shelter. Karki also started his pashmina business around this time.
And in 2004, he was appointed as the country head for Eureka Forbes Ltd, earlier known as Euroguard. He went full-time with his business only in 2007.
Karki believes the ‘Make in Nepal’ initiative by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries could immensely help Nepali the industries if only the quality of the products sold in the Nepali market is adequately regulated.
“Water jars are being sold at Rs 45-50 in the market when the transportation cost itself is Rs 20, but nobody is questioning the quality of the water,” he says. “Low-quality products are going with the wrong labels.”
According to Karki, Nepali carpets used to hold premium status at one time, but then carpet makers started compromising on the quality of their products.
“This malpractice is the reason why the export of Nepali carpets took a serious hit. The same thing is happening with pashmina and other products, no matter if they are of export quality or for selling locally.”
Karki believes in serving consumers with the right quality of products.
“That’s how the Nepali market can flourish,” he says.
As a landlocked country, Karki adds, Nepal should focus on manufacturing its own products and depend less on imports.
“Nepali industries are already going through rough times. First, there was the 2015 earthquake, which was followed by the border blockade in the south, and then Covid-19 pandemic.”
Karki laments the fact that the government is not doing enough to help industries start self-production at a time when the import of numerous goods has been banned, citing depleting foreign reserves. He adds the undeclared border blockade from China has made the situation worse.
“China’s border is not open like India’s, so only a limited amount of goods can be transported through it,” he says. “The government should step up to encourage domestic production and export.”