KATHMANDU: Siblings have a special bond as they grow up dealing with the ups and downs of life together. This bond is taken to another level when they decide to do business together. For some, this conversion is smooth and easy, while for others, not so much.
Alpaza Rajbhandari and Anuza Rajbhandari Shrestha, co-owners of Ekadeshma Boutique, represent siblings in former category. Alpaza who works as designer, says, “The respect, love and trust that exist between siblings help foster the relation as partners. I feel we are bonding even more by being engaged in the same business.” Stating that they have different fields of expertise and interests, she maintains, “My elder sister has taken the role of a managing director while my forte lies in designing. So, we have distinguished our responsibilities to lessen any chance of argument.”
For the two of them, going into business together was a natural progression in their healthy sibling relationship. Alpaza, who is three years younger than Anuza, informs that they are more like friends, which has now transformed them into compatible business
associates. Agreeing with her, Nicky Karki, one of the executive directors of Three Sisters Adventure Trekking at Pokhara, says that profess-ional partnership became easier because the three sisters are also like friends.
Her elder sisters Dicky Karki and Lucky Karki accompany Nicky in trekking business. Nicky says, “We have defined our duties and roles in business according to our interest and knowledge which reduces the probability of conflict at work.” Asserting that business roles should be based on the individual strengths, she says, “The best approach for success is to take an earnest examination of each sibling’s abilities, correlate it with a business position and then trust that the most qualified sibling will handle the job.”
To keep their business and personal life separate, Alpaza and Anuza talk about business matters only when they are at work. “When we are at home, we focus on spending quality time as siblings,” says Alpaza . Nicky, however, states, “Since the three of us are busy in our own roles during office hours, we discuss about day-to-day happenings and future plans while dining together.”
There are both advantages and risk factors in sibling partnership. On one hand, there is a natural feeling of unity, and partners are more
likely to have the same values, fundamental for setting up a business. On the other hand, probabilities of underlying family issues that date back to childhood can arise and ruin business prospects. Failure can have repercussions on the family as a whole, which can be deva-stating, especially if other members have invested.
If sisters are aware and take precaution of probable conflicts and problems, sibling business can turn out the best. “Respect, trust and honesty can protect the personal and professional bond in siblings’ relation,” says Alpaza.