Rudra Neupane: the mastermind behind the success story of Run Shoes


Rudra Neupane, 44, comes from a farming family in Sindhupalchok. Her village was in a remote part of the district, where there was no school until the 1980s.

Neupane went to school quite late in his life and came to Kathmandu in 1994 for higher education. In 1997, he was called back to his village to vote in the local elections, but he remained there for five years.

“I had gone home to vote but I stayed there after I was offered a teaching position at the high school I attended as a child,” says Neupane. “Later, I quit teaching and started working in the district development committee as a social mobilization officer.”

He married in 2001 to his wife, who was also a teacher. Neupane says his wife didn’t like the teaching field and wanted him to find another job. His job as a social mobilizer, although a government job, was temporary, so he wanted to find a good, steady job.

“But finding a job was difficult back then,” says Neupane. “The difficulty in finding decent work made me realize that I should start my own business and create jobs for others instead.”

The couple decided to start a business, but they had no promising business ideas. They analyzed the market and consulted friends and relatives. Neupane’s maternal uncles were already in the business, but that was not what he wanted.

“I was more inclined towards farming-related activities because of my farming background.”

The agriculture-based business never came to fruition. The couple instead started Run Shoes Industries, a shoe company, in 2012. Neupane says the idea for the business came to him while working with shoe wholesalers to support his family in Kathmandu.

“If these shoe wholesalers hadn’t supported me technically and financially, I wouldn’t have been able to start this business,” he says. “So all thanks and gratitude goes to them.”

Neupane launched Run Shoes with an investment of Rs 20 million and within a few years expanded the company’s footwear market across Nepal. The company is now worth Rs 500 million, according to Neupane’s own estimates.

The company has two shoe factories in Bode, Bhaktapur, and Mulpani, Kathmandu, and employs 250 people.

At first, Run Shoes imported insoles for its shoes from China, Singapore and South Korea, but today the company produces the insoles and other parts itself.

“The only thing we import are the raw materials to make soles,” Neupane explains.

Building on the success of the footwear business, Neupane is also diversifying into other areas of activity. He also started a garment factory and is involved in a few hydroelectric projects. Besides, he is also working towards achieving his longtime dream of starting an agribusiness.

“The business will not be for profit. He will be there just to help farmers and provide them with good tools and technologies.


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