Mahendra Bahadur Amatya

The first step is always the hardest one. But it’s the zeal, passion and the audacity to persevere that elevates a desire from dream to reality. Born on 2007/10/9 B.S., Late Mr. Mahendra Bahdur Amatya has always been a prime example who clearly gave a picturesque depiction of these words. Some people call him “The Medicine King”, some call him “The guardian of Nepalese Pharma Industry” but those who knew him more personally will always see him as a highly inspiring, tacit mentor and a fatherly figure with a nature which always imparted a bloom of energy and actions with deep contemplation and confidence.

An individual’s thought process is a reaction to what they have been exposed in their life. Mr. Amatya has always been a reader. His thirst for knowledge & passion for development in the Pharma sector made him a visionary for the whole fraternity. He had always been a keen enthusiast regarding world history, geography, economics and law. He was a diligent and a hardworking scholar ever since from his childhood days. In the SLC examination of 1967, he was ranked board sixth all over Nepal. His academic excellence continued up to his post graduate degree of MA (Economics) from Tribhuwan University (TU) where he was one of the toppers of his class. One of the many reasons for his academic and professional success is his phenomenal ability to breakdown seemingly impossible tasks into smaller segments followed by full fledge and determined actions. During his post graduate studies, he divided the limited preparation time into days, hours and minutes and assigned study routine, followed it tirelessly to achieve success. His interests in multiple subjects and his unquenchable thirst for never ending knowledge is what has made him a true visionary leader of the whole Nepalese pharmaceutical sector.

Nepalese pharmaceutical sector had never always been in the same pedestal as it is now. 30 years back when Nepal Pharmaceuticals Lab. Pvt. Ltd was started, market of Nepal was completely driven by the Indian and Multinational Pharma products. Neither prescribers nor the consumers believed the quality and efficacy of the products from the indigenous houses. To build the actual foundations of NPL and whole of the Nepalese pharma sector, it took years of hardships and tumultuous journey spearheaded by Mr. Amatya and his team which eventually became a sort of revolution in upbringing the whole Nepalese pharma sector.

Looking back in his life this man with the plethora of knowledge on the Pharmaceutical sector was acquainted with the field of medicine when he got involved with Madhyamanchal Distributor, a wholesale firm he established with his elder brother Mr. Shailendra Bd. Amatya and brother in law Mr. Mahesh Kr. Gorkhali leaving his job of lecturer of economics at Tribhuvan University. As the firm grew, so did the interest with the medicine business sector. This was the turning point where Mr. Amatya moved from a medicine importer to a medicine manufacturer and eventually NPL, as we know it today, was born. On 9th June 1985, NPL was registered to the Department of Industry and completing numerous legal procedures, the first operation began on 12th January 1987.  Though manufacturers like Royal Drugs were in operation, but the faith on them by the medical fraternity was less, which eventually placed a stereotypical approach on every Nepalese medicine manufacturers. Ever since, maintaining quality has always been the first priority for every product that comes out of the NPL manufacturing plant, hence it made its mission statement as “Quality in the service of millions”.

With continuing rigorous efforts in maintaining quality of the international levels, NPL was able to successfully formulate, manufacture and market medications for the first time by any Nepalese pharma manufacturer from the chronic segments like cardiovascular, antidiabetic and psychotropic. This removed the shadow of doubt regarding the capability of Nepalese medications to maintain international quality and increased faith on the practitioners of the country. This eventually paved way for numerous domestic houses to arrive on the Nepalese pharma scene and gradually expanding the scope of domestic products. Mr. Amatya always envisioned self-sustainability of Nepal on medicine sector when establishing NPL and after 30 long years of his venture, his dream is gradually converging to reality.

A growing pharma sector needed efficient and productive manpower. Mr. Amatya always believed in the technological advancement and continuous development of the man power to increase the domestic share in the Pharma fraternity of Nepal. Based on this, Mr. Amatya led the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kathmandu University for the conduction of researches on bioequivalence and bioavailability. This allowed the conduction of bioequivalence studies not possible before in Nepal. This pioneered study of clinical pharmacokinetic studies in the vicinity of a Nepalese educational institution. He also started the provision of scholarship for the further educating his company members.

As per the motive of the company, for Mr. Amatya, quality has always been a prime concern. He was always fueled by the ambition to at least maintain or better surpass the quality parameters of the multinational houses. This desire pushed him to establish one of the most sophisticated and proficient in house quality control laboratories in Nepal. NPL is also the first country in Nepal to have separate quality assurance department and to introduce to the concept of incorporating quality in the products rather than merely monitoring it.  His nationalist feeling and love for the country was always engraved in the words he spoke and the actions he performed. One of the best thing about Mr. Amatya was that he advocated for national pharma independence, acted for national pharma independence and preached for national pharma independence, and there would not be any second opinion when mentioning that he was mentor and a consultant to many domestic houses he paved way for. With this drive for the self-reliance and development of the Pharma sector, he started Nepal Research Foundation to strengthen the nation in the research base production and assured quality with the sophistication in the technology. He has also envisioned NRF to be flourished in the sector of Biotechnology and Bioequivalence.  

Mr. Amatya was also a devout family man with deep veneration for his elders and love for his juniors. He loved his family very much. The relationship and trust that he had seen within his family members, he was able to reflect the same in his brain child -his next family, NPL. He established an institution based on trust, intimacy and respect. He honored every employee’s efforts, their services to the organization and placed their judgement on high regards. He initiated “Dirgha Sewa Samman Padak”, an award to recognize employees for 15 years of their productive and relentless services to the organization.

Mr. Amatya always believed the strength of an organization and its leader means strong departments and strong members of the organization. One of his greatest virtues that Mr. Amatya never presented himself as the MD of the company but rather he always love to term himself as the guardian of the company. He was a leader, who always placed himself with his employees, shoulder to shoulder, seeking each of their problems and looking for ways to overcome them. He always said to his employees, “For Mahendra to be strong, you need to be strong. My strength is the reflection of your strength.” That’s why he always believed on development of each individual member of NPL. It was the love and respect which every employee felt for him which always motivated them to go an extra mile.

Late Mr. Amatya was a man of many virtues. His life, as we know it, is an awesome journey of being the best in whatever life has to offer. From his school days to being a political activist, to a contractor and finally to a highly successful entrepreneur, his life is a glorious journey and a beautiful example of his regular statement “Life is a constant process to learn, unlearn and relearn”.

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