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Home Bot CategoriesGlamCover Girl MAKING THINGS HAPPEN – Latika Golyan

MAKING THINGS HAPPEN – Latika Golyan

by wowmagazine

It was a given that Latika Golyan would someday join her father’s business. “Coming from a family of two daughters, my father always desired a son to take over his business. I convinced him of the fact that women are as good as men in running the family business,” says Latika who started working with her father at a very young age. Born and brought up in Chennai, India, Latika moved to Nepal after marriage and was among the first daughter-in-laws in the Golyan family to work. She ventured out with the knitwear company of the Golyan Group in Biratnagar for two years, and then moved to Kathmandu some 15 years ago.

Latika Golyan holds the title of Director at the Golyan Group of Companies. She currently takes care of the agro division of Golyan Group and Golyan Group’s Hospitalities Company City Hotel Ltd. Latika is currently spearheading two touted projects of the country: The Hyatt Place and Mato.

She graduated from the University of Leeds and did her MBA with SP Jain Institute of Management and Research from Mumbai, India.

Peals of laughter punctuate this interview where the mother of two talks to WOW’s Ankita Jain about her work, life inspiration, gender dynamics and the special bond she shared with her father. Excerpts:

What was your childhood like? 

 My childhood was amazing. I was born to my parents after 13 years and was absolutely pampered. I was born and brought up in Chennai, India. My parents have two daughters.

You have often shared that you were very close to your father; what influence did he have on your life? 

My father has been the person I have been closest to in my life. All that I am today is because of his teachings. When I was very young he was sad about not having a son so I wanted to prove that a daughter is equivalent to a son. He taught me how to dream big. He taught me to never fear anything and that nothing is impossible. He also involved me in his business at a very young age and would discuss his work with me every day. 
His confidence in me was inspiring and it made me believe in my dreams. He taught me to give and be a good human being and was extremely proud of me.

You married young and came to Nepal from Chennai. What were the initial days like? Did you have to make many adjustments to living here? 

Initially being in Nepal was very different from where I came and it took some time to understand the deeply embedded culture of Nepal. But eventually I fell in love with the country and I feel blessed to be a part of it. Prior to getting married, I was working in Barclays, London. After marriage, I moved to Biratnagar which was a significant change in my environs. I lived in Biratnagar for two years and then shifted to Kathmandu. I was the first daughter-in-law from the family to work. I started working as soon as I was married and in the early days I used to wear a sari and go to work. My in-laws were very supportive and seeing my determination they allowed me to also travel to India to study further and take up an important role in the family business. 

When did you start your career and how did that come about? 

I started my career in my father’s company. My father was into warehousing and construction. I started working in his company when I was in class 10 and did small projects with him. Then after doing my Bachelors in UK, I worked as a Project Manager at Barclays in London. For the last 16 years, I have been involved in several different businesses such as manufacturing, retail, construction, hospitality, agriculture, events and FMCG of Golyan Group. It’s been a very fascinating journey filled with continuous learning. 

What is your work mantra?

Set goals. Be focused and give it all you have. When you really want something you got to give it all you have. 
The Golyan Group launched the much talked about MATO venture. Can you share your perspective on it?
Mato means soil. Mato is very close to my heart. Mato endeavours to increase the income of farmers, improve the health of people in Nepal by selling chemical free produce at the same price as normal produce and reduce the country’s trade deficit by replacing imports with home grown produce. During the lockdown, Mato has also started home deliveries and also exported fruits using the repatriation flights that were returning back. 

It is our dream that everything a Nepali eats is chemical free and grown within Nepal. 

When is the Hyatt Place launching? How is it different from the Hyatt Regency? And what is your role in this project? 

Hyatt Place will be launched in 2021 once the pandemic subsides and the travel industry improves. Hyatt Place is young, trendy and modern hotel catering to both business and leisure travellers. It is contemporary with elements of Nepalese architecture.

I have been heading this project and have been involved in all aspects of the project since the inception.

Have you ever felt that being a woman you had to work harder or do more to achieve the same things the men in your family do in business?

When I started working in the construction sector, it took me time to gain confidence of senior employees and other men I had to deal with. Sometimes I would go for meetings alone and I would see the other person very surprised to see a woman alone. But where there is a will there is a way. Eventually people started trusting me and things became much easier. 

Being a woman you are also a mother and a home maker. I have to be very disciplined, scheduled and organised to manage all my responsibilities smoothly. I meticulously schedule my whole week in advance where everything from work meetings to planning the kitchen menu is all scheduled. 

Is there anyone whose entrepreneurship style inspires you?

There are so many people I admire and try to learn from. My uncle-in-law Pawan Golyan has been the Chairman of Golyan Group and my mentor. I have always looked up to him and learned a lot from him. He taught me incredible values which are essential to be successful. Some of the things I learnt from him are: work is worship, the importance of attention to detail and focusing on one thing at a time. 

Women are looked at as weaker beings than men and still not considered equal. We are in 2020 and this is massively concerning. That truly bothers me. I want every woman to be fiercely independent and believe in herself and her dreams. 

What is the one thing you would never tolerate at work, in relationships and in life?

Dishonesty and cheating

What is a social construct for women that bothers you?

Women are looked at as weaker beings than men and still not considered equal. We are in 2020 and this is massively concerning. That truly bothers me. I want every woman to be fiercely independent and believe in herself and her dreams. 

Who are the women who inspire you?

The world has so many incredible women. I am inspired by every woman who is trying to do her part of the job and often in a non conducive environment. 

Some of my role models are my mother for the mother that she is and for her selfless love, Indra Nooyi, Mother Teresa, Melinda Gates, Nano Nagle (the lady with the lamp) and Rani Gayatri Devi to name a few. 

What does your vision board for 2021 look like?

It has a lot of items on it. It has travel, happy time with my kids, being a healthy and fit family, Mato opening 100 stores across Nepal, Hyatt Place opening and exploring other ways to impact the society. 

How do you enjoy your personal time?

I love spending time with my kids, travelling to different cities, continuously learning and growing myself in business and in my personal life, pursuing my spiritual journey, meeting friends, dancing, singing, cycling and yoga.  

What are the things that you are truly passionate about besides work?

I am truly passionate about living a purposeful life and keeping the mind and body healthy and fit. 

How have you evolved after motherhood?

Motherhood has completely changed me. It is the most beautiful role I have ever played. I feel the minute a woman becomes a mother something inside her changes. Being a mother is extremely fulfilling but it is also a huge responsibility. You want to cultivate the correct values and make your children good human beings. I know my kids are watching me 24/7 and I am their role model. So it makes me work on myself and try to be the best version of myself. 

What has been your greatest life lesson?

Losing my father to cancer. It made me realise how important it is to have the end in mind. He called me a few days before he passed away and told me that he had seen the reports and that he knew he wouldn’t survive. He had no regrets and told me how he had led an absolutely full life and performed all his duties. I realised the importance of living a full life of no regrets. His death was a turning point in my life.

A few days before he passed away, he watched the movie Neerja, a Bollywood film where the actress is an air hostess who gives her life to save the people in the aircraft. My father called and said that it made him think if there is anyone he knew who would do that… and the only person he could think of was me. This incident had a very meaningful impact on my life. I now strive to contribute to other people’s lives and strive to make it better. There is no greater happiness than improving the life of those around
you.

ON THE SPOT

Qualities you appreciate in men: Respect for women, integrity, intelligence, chivalry, dedication, courage and hard work. 
Best relationship advice: Loving yourself and extending that love to others is the secret behind successful relationships
An absolute no no: Dishonesty 
Your biggest fear: I believe what you fear comes true. Some of the things I feared the most came true so now I fear nothing.  
Your favourite read: The One Thing by Gary Keller 
Your style quotient: Always wear what sparks joy in you 
What’s always in your bag: Wallet and phone 
Your favourite skincare brand: Forest Essentials 
A makeup product you can’t do without: Eye pencil 
How much do you like shopping: 10/10…I love shopping. Last couple of years, I have been trying to practice minimalism though. 
First salary: I did a summer internship with the Hinduja Group in London when I was 18. 
Best holiday destination: Bariloche in Argentina
Fitness routine: Three days a week weight training and once a week cardio. 
Favourite food: South Indian 
Life is: Amazing. Experience it to the fullest. 

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