Bibek Bijukchhe is the CEO of Pooja International Nepal Pvt. Ltd, the authorized importer of Volkswagen passenger cars in Nepal. Bijukchhe has over one decade of experience in Nepali automobile sector. the HRM talked with Bijukchhe about his career, his first job and the lessons he learned during the first job. Excerpts:
What was your first Job? How did you land it?
After completion of Intermediate in Commerce, I joined Dabur Ayurvet Limited in the capacity of Trainee Assistant in 1997. Secretary for Agriculture Ministry Mukti Narayan Shrestha suggested that I could apply for the vacant position in Dabur Ayurvet Ltd. I joined the company as Trainee Assistant of Area Sales Manager G. K. Dahal. For the first time, I realized the importance of education as the post demanded Bachelor’s Degree but my qualification was only Intermediate. Thus, I spent the next one and a half years as a trainee without standard pay and perks.
How easy or difficult was it for you to find the job then?
It was not much difficult as I went to Dabur Ayurvet through a recommendation. Besides, I was somehow proficient in using Windows 95, a rare skill at that time. All the reporting/ ordering/ communication was done through fax. Most managers then did their planning manually on paper and faxed it. Calculations were done on calculator. In that context, computer skill was in high demand.
What Challenges did you face during the first job?
I was supposed to do error-free reporting on behalf of the Area Sales Manager. Cross checking data was a headache.
I was supposed to travel to Birgunj for invoicing, and dispatch and audit of stock. The warehouse and office at Birgunj did not have air-conditioning. For someone born and brought up in Kathmandu, working in the warehouse in the summer heat without air-conditioning was quite difficult.
Each English calendar month, there was a pressure for sales closing and reporting. Lots of last-minute invoicing was always in queue. Most of the time, last days of the month meant working till midnight. Fortunately, seniors helped me a lot in proper bookkeeping and other tasks.
Did your academic qualification support your job?
I studied Commerce as well as Science. It was easier for me to understand the job portfolio of Medical Representatives for their technical literature as well as regular sales/distribution/MIS reporting that we find in any multinational company’ distribution set-up.
What major thing did you learn during your first job? What were the major professional achievements?
I got an insight into how multinational companies’ reporting system works, how data is crunched to get meaningful insight for future strategic planning.
There were no major achievements but at that time Nepal was regarded as a top performer. I got the offer to work at the head office in Delhi. Since I had my ongoing studies in Nepal, I denied the offer and for future growth switched to another organization with better pay and higher role.
The first job fostered my interest in the field of sales and marketing. I changed my mindset of migrating to a third country. I did not pay much heed to move to a third country though my i-20 form for enrollment in a US university as well as immigration to Canada was in process.
I decided to build my career in Nepal and settle here. Now I feel that I made the right decision. After travelling to many countries, I realized that regardless of profession, a majority of local community members treat immigrants as second-class citizens due to the colour of their skin. My message to the young generation is if one has the urge to create and the drive to change, at least try to do same in your home country where you will be forever a first class citizen.