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Media Coverage
18 August, 2021

How Binod Chaudhary Became Nepal's Only Billionaire

Forty years ago, I bought a second-hand Volkswagen van and, with my wife, drove out of Switzerland. We crossed the unstable and at times dangerous lands of Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. Our destination was Nepal.

This relatively small country has always drawn the attention of the world, whether for the majesty of the Himalayas, the fascinating story of Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first men to reach the top of the world, or the legacy of the Gurkhas, those soldiers known as the bravest of the brave.

In the 1970s the Kathmandu Valley was a favourite destination for Western backpackers and an iconic place for the hippie movement. Ravi Shankar’s music, yoga and meditation along with fresh air and free marijuana were part of a magical cocktail.

Walking through Nepal’s capital by night, we could easily have encountered the fashionable, 20-year-old, long-haired man who had just opened Copper Floor, a nightclub frequented by tourists and locals alike. That young man was Binod Chaudhary and he would go on to form Nepal’s largest multinational company, becoming the first and only Nepalese on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List.