Resham Khadka lives in rural Nepal with his wife and three children. Like many young people in this area, when he turned 18 he went to the Gulf countries as a migrant laborer working in different countries and sending money home for his family. The money helped them survive, but there was not enough to save. He was discouraged because, in spite of his hard work in the Gulf, there was no change in his family’s economic situation. It helped them cope with poverty, but didn’t help them come out of poverty. Also, it was very hard for his wife to raise small children and live alone.
Every two years Resham would come home. Every time he looked for job opportunities which would help him survive and live in the village. He tried many things, but none of them paid enough. Only one option remained – take a loan and return to Gulf again.
However, one time when he was in Nepal, he heard about CHOICE and its entrepreneurship development program. He attended choice meetings and also received business development training. One of the trainings was from CHOICE Co-Founder, James B. Mayfield, who was there working on a new program.
“James Mayfield is my inspiration. Even in his eighties, he is working to change the world. Seeing him optimistic and hardworking, I started feeling that I could work to change my family situation in my own country. So I decided to live and work in Nepal with the help of CHOICE.”
“My life took a turn when I met CHOICE.,” said Resham.
Resham’s family owns a little land which they used for growing millet. Growing millet is labor intensive, and it yields very little profit. So Resham started planting vegetable in the field. The revenue for vegetables was five times higher than millet so he applied his skill and business techniques to his farming. He then realized that people preferred Resham’s vegetables to imported ones. He was encouraged by this. In the beginning, all his products were sold in the nearby market but he wanted to expand. ‘In business training, we were taught to Start Small and Think Big. After this success, I learned that it was the right time to expand my business.’ Resham says.
Resham leased a neighboring field and extended his farm. Now he has seven greenhouses for vegetables, a banana yard, a fish pond, and a poultry farm. Resham bought a tractor for plowing and a motorcycle for selling his products in the market. The family keeps busy in the field and suppliers often come directly to his field to buy vegetables. The demand for his product is gradually increasing.
Some members of CHOICE Nepal visited his field and saw some of the tomatoes dying in Resham’s farm. They asked him why he was not using a chemical pesticide. He responded by saying, “‘my customers don’t want me to use a chemical pesticide. Some plants may die; I can fill the space with other plants but if I lose the goodwill from the customers I will never be able to survive.”
CHOICE Nepal awarded Resham as the best ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’. He also has won prizes from various government organizations.
Reham started the business with US$ 500 as a microloan received from the CHOICE Perpetual microcredit in his village. As his business was expanded, one of the banks invested US$ 4,000 in his business. When they asked him, “will you able to pay back this bank loan?” Resham said, “I can pay the loan in lump sum anytime if want. But I have a plan to grow the business. So I am just paying the regular installments right now.”