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KATHMANDU: Anu Joshi Shrestha is an Enterprise and Value Chain Development Specialist at ICIMOD, where she works on promoting value chains, creating a resilient entrepreneurship environment, and promoting the circular economy in critical sectors in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, China, and India. She previously worked with GTZ as an advisor on a project focused on local and regional economic development.
She is the Treasurer and a member of the Management Association of Nepal’s Executive Board. Joshi is also a candidate for the upcoming election of the 20th executive committee of MAN and the participant at the CEO Conference being held in Kathmandu on April 8. Fiscal Nepal caught up with Joshi to know details about MAN, election in the organization and the CEO Conference. Excerpts:
Management Association of Nepal (MAN) is set to get its new executive committee next week. How do you evaluate your two years tenure in the organization?
The first priority of the 19th elected committee of MAN was to run the organization professionally by addressing management-related issues in the country. As a treasurer my focus was to strengthen financial health, bring prudence and transparency in the financial system and to minimize the logistics cost to make the organization effective.
I have been successfully in doing so, we have cleared our dues, paid our provisions, reduce deficit and increased profitability. Management issues are not limited to one sector. Be it the private sector or the government sector, management is important across every sector. MAN is a think tank of professional organizations and people and I always believed that MAN should have membership and representation from diverse sector.
Also, I believe that MAN has to be inclusive as well and encourage women professionals in the organization. We have executed all these visions and plans properly. However, our executive committee found it difficult to execute due to Covid-19. The pandemic shattered the country and the lockdown started immediately after we came to the executive committee of MAN.
We got around two-three months to work properly. We revitalized secretariat at MAN by bringing young and dynamic executive director, adopted cost-cutting measures and streamlined our future programs in those initial three months. As movement was restricted due to the lockdown, there was a break in physical human-to-human connection and we were compelled to work virtually. However, we adopted the situation and started working accordingly.
As the tenure of the 19th committee of MAN is ending, how difficult was it meeting the targets set by the committee?
We almost met our targets. We successfully conducted our flagship events on budget and monetary policy despite the pandemic hassles. We also carried out different trainings. Similarly, our responsibility was also to successfully operate EMBA and we did that efficiently.
The new executive director properly understood mission and vision of MAN, which made organization’s execution effective. We worked efficiently but effectiveness of our initiatives might have been a bit low, as we could not work in physical presence.
Despite working efficiently, we could not give our full strength to revitalizing and transform MAN due to the pandemic constraint. Given opportunities, we can work better in the upcoming executive committee.
You are also a candidate for the election of the new executive committee. What are your plans?
MAN is an organization with high potential. In case I am elected to the new executive committee of MAN, I plan to focus primarily on three issues. The first is that we need to focus on outreach of MAN across various sector, beyond banks and financial institutions. We need to diversify MAN. Secondly, we need to increase women members in MAN to create balance. Thirdly, we need to strengthen research wing and make MAN more professional and apolitical.
In your view, what needs to be done to make MAN a diversified institution?
The first thing is that we need to reach out to them, to every sector and encourage them to become our member. Secondly, trainings are core part of different organizations and sector. Thus, MAN should bring new and innovative training packages targeting different sectors.
Third and most importantly, we need to carryout sectoral research. We need to find areas of research to fill the gap between policies and practices. If I am elected to the new executive committee of MAN, I will surely work on to strengthen research wing in the organization.
As you mentioned earlier, representation of women in MAN is low. How do you plan to increase women participation/representation in the organization?
It depends on how we expand the membership drive at MAN. There are women professionals across the country. Women are in the executive level in government on government and private institutions. It is said that women are better managers and can effectively manage fund and people.
Despite this, we have very less women members in MAN. For this, we need conducive environment for women to come in. There has to be focused trainings on how to make women leaders/managers. We should not only ask women to join MAN, but also should be able to engage them to make them understand the glorious positioning of MAN.
What will be your role in making MAN more professional institution?
I believe political stunts and panels is not going to work to get more vote at Management Association of Nepal. MAN is a think tank of professional and intellect people. They will make their own judgement and do background check of candidates and vote to people and institutions who will further enhance its glorious history. I truly believe our members knows best and will come to vote to give a right leadership to Management Association of Nepal.
Meanwhile, MAN is also hosting CEO Conference for the first time in Nepal. What are the targeted outcomes of the event?
We had been planning this event since long. We plan to bring diversity through this event in the country’s management sector. Different management related policies, issues, problems and challenges will be discussed and deliberated in the event. This will strengthen Nepal’s management sector and also help the government shape its future policies.
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