Text by Paris Tamang
Cold Drink Equipment Manager at Coca-Cola Nepal, Sumit Das is a self-made man, who changed his own luck with consistent hard work and patience. Today, he stands proudly with a bundle of his life lessons and tales of his endeavors. Born and brought up in Biratnagar, Das continued his higher education in commerce after completing his SLC.
During this period, his father passed away, and the untimely demise of his father left Das into grief and shock. “I was distracted from my studies and didn’t do well that year,” recalls Das. Das who remained disturbed for a long time, one day, realized that he now had the challenge to support his family. “I had wasted a year studying science, and my final papers for commerce hadn’t gone well. I thought my career was over,” says Das, “Thus, with a planning to study technical subjects, I came to Kathmandu, and joined different coaching centers. Eventually, I received a scholarship in Thapathali Engineering College to study architecture.”
While he had already worked and studied for 6 months, fate turned its back on him again when he suffered from jaundice. As his condition was worsening and getting critical, his near ones warned, “If you stay here, you will die for sure”. So, he left Kathmandu and moved back to Biratnagar. Meanwhile, he had already taken compart exam for his +2, and the result was out.
The recovery period gave him ample time to rest and think but stood unsure on his further plan. Das consulted with this brother, Rabindra Das, and agreeing his suggestion, Das joined BBA in a college in Biratnagar. “My brother has always been like a father to me.”
After completing 7th semester, Das changed his college and joined Don Bosco College in Kathmandu, and as an academic requirement, he started his internship at Coca-Cola, while his friends did their internship in banks.
“I was lucky because the company accepted my application,” shares Das, who worked at Sales Department an intern. He adds, “My job-requiring dealing with distributors, retailers, and out-of-company stakeholders enriched my knowledge with first-hand practical experiences.” After completing his BBA, he thought to follow his brother’s footsteps and go abroad. “At that time, I believed that there weren’t many opportunities in Nepal, and thought to go abroad, not to study, but to work,” admits Das.
However, his brother working in Singapore suggested him not to do that, as he had no experiences that would qualify him to work in the foreign business market. Instead, Das was suggested to work for a couple of years first. Thus, obedient Das followed his brother’s suggestions and started hunting for jobs. While hunting for jobs, Das started giving home tuitions in the morning and evening hours. “I used to stay at Hadigaon and give tuitions in Jawalakhel. Since I hadn’t owned a vehicle, I had to commute in public transports which were difficult to board during wee hours,” recalls Das. Reaching to various destinations for tuitions and job interviews on foot was making his every day schedule very tight and hectic. Since he did not have a vehicle on his own, he was compelled not to accept his first job offer. He had applied for a post of marketing officer in a business daily newspaper, and later, called to face an interview. “The company was ready to hire me but required me to have a personal vehicle to get the job. The terms and condition infuriated me,” admits Das, “My parents had already put in so much effort for my education, and the idea to ask them to buy a vehicle for me didn’t sound good, thus, I rejected the job offer.” Later, Das succeeded in an interview for a company dealing with organic tea. As an Assisting Manager for marketing in his first job, Das successfully fulfilled his responsibilities to widen the products’ market within 3 months, and soon promote to become the Marketing Manager. Das shares, “At the company, I was able to learn so much, but it still didn’t feel enough. I still had the urge to do something bigger. Thus, I applied for the position of Area Sales Manager at Coca-Cola, but was appointed as Senior Sales Executive with a probation period of 6 months.” Das’s work outputs compelled the company to accept him as a permanent staff. Das consistently started to deliver good results, and the company honored him as ‘Employee of the Month’ later. Das’s successful efforts to grow sales by 18 percent even during the post-period of the earthquake and during the blockade of last year, gave him the recognition of ‘Star Performer-Area Sales Manager’. Slowly with time and consistent hard work, Das gained international exposure, and in January 2016, he was promoted to Deputy Sales Manager. Last September, Das moved to Cold Drink Equipment, and since then, he has been heading the department as Cold Drink Equipment Manager.