Culture & Arts
A peek into the Nepali economy during the pandemicBusiness and economy writer and entrepreneur Sujeev Shakya gives the Post an exclusive interview on his upcoming book ‘The Pandemic Years’.
Anyone who reads on Nepali economy must be familiar with Sujeev Shakya and his writings. The founder and CEO of the Nepal-based international management consulting and advisory firm, Beed Management, has been writing economic columns for over two decades. He has also published several books on the topic including Unleashing Nepal, Unleashing The Vajra, Arthat Arthatantra (It’s the Economy) and Arthat Pariwartan (It’s the Change).
Shakya, who is the senior advisor for Bhutan and Nepal for Bower Group Asia and chairs the Nepal Economic Forum, is releasing a new book today. Titled, ‘The Pandemic Years’, the book is a compilation of Shakya’s bi-weekly column, ‘The other view’ published from March 2020 to date on the Kathmandu Post.
Here, he talks about how he started writing, why he is compiling his columns as a book and where he gets the inspiration to write.
How did you come up with the idea of compiling your columns into a book?
The main reason why I compiled ‘The other view’ columns into a book is that I have been asked by many of my regular readers to do so. I know my work is also cited. So, turning my columns into a book makes it easier for researchers to cite my work too.
I have realised that I write my columns covering six major topics—business and economy, culture and society, geopolitics, governance and politics, leadership, and musings and reflections. I have arranged my writings according to these topics in the book. Now that I have all these sorted in my book, anytime I want to revisit my thoughts on a particular topic, I can just flip through the book and find it easily.
Lastly, if we look back on this period from the future, it’s a unique sort of event that impacted everybody. So, I thought this book would be convenient for people in the future wanting to look into how the pandemic impacted the Nepali economy.
You are releasing ‘The Pandemic Years’ primarily as an ebook. Why is that?
I believe that there is a global interest in reading about Nepal—especially from Nepalis living abroad. But there aren’t many Nepali writers writing consistently about the country. Up until two or three decades ago, only ‘Jacks’ and ‘Janes’ would write about our nation. So, I feel works like these would have an audience. This is why I am releasing ‘The pandemic years’ as an e-book so that it is easily accessible all over the world and you can get a printed copy delivered at home..
The book is available as print-on-demand (POD) and Kindle on Amazon. For readers in Nepal, the book is available on Thuprai.
How did you start writing?
Writing has always been my passion. When I was younger, I mostly wrote short stories and poems in both Nepali and English. I also used to write journals. (They were not called journals back then. We would call them diaries.) Then, I began writing reflective pieces.
As I started working, I realized that there was very little one could read about the Nepali economy. The only thing you would get on the topic would be reports from development organizaitons that too lacked details. I was doing feasibility studies for work, so I had to write about the economic landscape of different parts of Nepal regularly.
So, I started sending in my writing as columns to papers and they got published—it was actually the Post that published my first columns.
How do you get inspired to write for your columns?
I read and travel a lot. So, I see things from many perspectives. This is why my column is titled ‘The other view’. For my work, I have to read and stay updated with happenings all over the world—especially in the world of business and finance. A topic I am very interested in right now is ‘China coming out of Covid-19’. It is fascinating to read how it impacted their country and how quickly they are taking action to bounce back.
Also, whenever I am travelling, I converse a lot with people. I ask them about the market there, the economy and lots of different things. I am generally pretty curious about different topics too. So, I look up information on them. All of this gives me a lot to think about.