A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the South Asian mountain nation of Nepal on Saturday, April 25th. The quake caused almost 25,000 casualties including over 7,500 deaths. The earthquake also triggered massive avalanches in the mountains including one on Mount Everest that killed 19 people. In addition to this tragic human trauma, Nepal will be adversely affected by the economic aftershocks of this disaster for years to come.
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Carpet sales have been the center of Nepal’s exports for years (up to 1/3 of total exports), but recently sales have been on a steep decline. Many carpet firms in Nepal have gone under due to the extreme decline. There was once over 3,000 in operation but now only around 600 remain. While there are still hundreds of carpet companies in Nepal, they say that they will need help from the government in order to stay on top of this global market.
If you think the financial crisis is throwing a wrench into your business plan, try running a distillery in Nepal. This article by Forbes tells the story of the Himalayan Distillery Group Ltd., or HDL, and their struggle to run a profitable business in the face of corruption, power outages, and kidnappings.