An Endeavour to Illuminate Nepal

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Kulman Ghising is not a new name among the country denizens particularly since the last winter season when Nepalese people got relieved for the years’ long drawn power cuts. The people, who had endured more than 15 hours of loadshedding for many years in the past in the major dry months, did not even imagine overnight miracle of uninterruptible power supply. But Ghising that man who made it possible in a really miraculous way. Of course, it was him who contributed largely in the campaign to transform the dark into light.

Born on November 25, 1970 in Bethan of Ramechhap district, Ghising entered the Kathmandu Valley after completing his primary level education in the village.He completed his secondary level education at Amar Adarsha Madhyamik Vidhyalaya in 1986. After completing Intermediate in Science from Amrit Science Campus, Lainchaur, Kathmandu, he went to Regional Institute of Technology in Jamshedpur, India where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1994. With returning back to the homeland, Ghising completed his Masters degree in Power System Engineering at Institute of Engineering in Pulchok, Lalitpur in 2003. He took break from his academic career only after Completing the Executive MBA Degree at Ace Institute of Management, Kathmandu in 2011.

The energy icon Ghising holds more than two decades of experience in energy sector that includes power generation, transmission and distribution and trading business including contract management and dispute settlement in hydropower. Before his elevation to the post of managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on September 15 last year, Ghising had been associated with Rahughat Hydroelectricity Project for over two decades as project chief. Ghising had also served as the managing director of Chilime Hydropower Company Limited under NEA.

Ghising said he is leveraging a stratagy focusing on three areas such as ending load-shedding, improving the financial health of NEA and making the country self-reliant in energy.

Ghising apart from being a capable engineer is also an efficient manager. He has written a thesis entitled ‘Integrate Resource Planning with Demand-side Management’ and tries to implement its basic theme in his daily proffessional life the idea in daily life. He is of the view that not only supply, but also the demand side generates power. In his own words, he hasn’t done anything special – just managed the loads and the demand side of the business.

The main factor behind Ghising’s success is his attempt to improve the management system to control the power leakages. His nationwide electricity leakage and theft prevention campaign had helped drop the power leakage by 4 percent as of April 2017, giving the NEA additional revenue of Rs 1.2 billion. In line with the drive to control the malpractices in the state-owned enterprise, is going on, a number of the officials involved in such practices are spending their jail term.

The path of reform is certainly not easy and Ghising feels the same. He faced various hurdles while materialising his dream of illuminating the country. While he started the venture, a number of NEA officials and board members did not support his tasks. However, Minister for Energy, Janardan Sharma backed him by saying that the NEA top management team led by Ghising will be allowed to work for its full four years team. Consequently, three of the NEA board members including Manoj Kumar Mishra, Laxman Prasad Agrawal and Suraj Lamichhane were even dismissed from their posts for obstructing the reform process initiated by NEA Managing Director Ghising.

Previously, four deputy managing directors of the NEA, Sher Singh Bhat, Kanhaiya Kumar Manandhar, Surendra Rajbhandari and Sunil Kumar Dhungel had even filed a writ jointly in the Supreme Court against the government’s decision for appointing Ghising as managing director of the authority citing the breach of professional norms. However, the apex judicial body’s verdict came out in favour of Ghising.

In just eight months of taking charge of the NEA, Ghising had to face the allegation of being involved in LED bulb scam that he was trying to pocket a hefty sum by purchasing LED bulbs at a higher rate from an Indian company. However, Ghising got success in safe landing. “I am ready to face death sentence of the charge is proven,” Ghising defended.

Whatsoever, Ghising has penetrated the Nepali psyche so positively and deeply. This was revealed even during Nepal Investment Summit held in March, where the attendants of welcomed him with a standing ovation before he had even said a single word. Similarly, the social media full of the comment in favour of Ghising while he was facing allegations by a number of Nepali media for being involved in LED scam, also is the evidence for the people’s empathy towards this energy icon. Nonetheless, he has created ample room to be a role model for many others, rendering the message that Nepal is lacking proper management, not the resources.

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