Sakshi Manot: Growing the legacy of family business

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Today’s generation seeks to become an entrepreneur, but abandons the idea of joining the family business. Sakshi Manot stands against all odds as the third generation heiress to her family business and has been carrying forward the legacy set by her family.

Young and energetic Sakshi Manot would have never thought of joining her family business if her grandfather had not asked her to join the family business and motivated her to become a ‘boss’ in their own business rather than working for others.  She could not think of anything else but join the family business immediately. She is the owner of ‘Galleria’, a Guy Laroche franchise at the Labim mall and is currently pursuing her undergrad degree at the King’s College.

img_5708Galleria is a franchise of Guy Laroche, Ted Lapidus and Pierre Cardin, and has a total of three outlets in Kathmandu in Labim Mall, City Center and New Road. They have been selling men’s garments, shoes and accessories. Initially started as Sarowar by Mr. Birendra Hirawat, dated 35 years back, Galleria is a perfect blend of ownership with leadership.

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“I have always dreamed of becoming a business woman, but I’d never thought that I would involve in the family business,” remembers Sakshi. “My grandfather, Mr. Birendra Hirawat is my role model. He has his own unique identity among people and I wanted to be like him. I want to be known as a girl who can work hard and achieve all her dreams,” she shares. Since one year, she is actively involved in the business.

Born and raised in a business family and being a business student, she wanted to contribute her family business by putting her learning into practice and she recalls it as one of the best decisions of her life.

In the beginning days, selling the products was the biggest challenge for her. “Previously, my family members used to look after the shop. As of now, I have independently handled the business, but sometimes it’s very hard to convince the customers about the products and it’s pricing,” she shares.  “Customers often find our products expensive and it is hard to assure them about the brand and quality of product we sell,” she adds.  Coming this far, she has understood the market and customers very well and offers the best product that matches the needs of customers. Their customers are mainly foreigners, but she is also aware of the buying capacity of the local customers. Hence, she is working to attract Nepalese as well as expat customers.

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With the gradual success of the business, the new outlets were opened and run in various parts of the town. However, there was not much difference in the process they followed, to stand apart from other similar businesses. So, she came up with the idea of developing her own website that would help her business thrive and compete in the market via online marketing. She desires to learn and grow with each passing day and contribute to the business in such a way that it would heighten the success of the business as well as make her family proud of their decision to include her into the business.

She says, “Being a business student, I always try to connect my studies and work. If you cannot establish a connection, it’s just useless.” She aims to be a successful businesswoman.

Having overcomed the stereotype of sons taking up family businesses, she feels extremely privileged, proud and happy to be in the family that has been supporting her throughout. “They have always motivated me to be competitive to stand at par with the males,” she shares expressing gratitude towards her family. She strongly believes in women empowerment and reckons the capacity to work to be the same between male and female.

“Business has connected me to my family and the bonding is much stronger now. At the end of each day, when we sit together, we have a common topic to talk about. We talk about sales, profitability, overcoming challenges and attaining greater heights,” she says, adding “If you have interests in your family business, feel happy about it, and can connect well, it’s a great idea to join the family business. It gives you the real satisfaction.”

Also, she is an example to all the ladies out there who aspire to stand tall and make a difference.

Photographs: Ajay Pandey

By Anusha Kadel

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