It is not every day that one comes across an industrialist who was the face of a party that swears by Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Binod Chaudhary, Nepal's first billionaire named by Forbesthis month, would not commit when asked whether he believes in the party ideology, but says it does tell a lot about how Communist parties have changed.
Mr Chaudhary represented the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) from 2007 until last year as a member of a parliament from a Kathmandu constituency.
"The decision to join the constituent assembly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I could not pass on," says the 57-year-old, referring to the time Nepal was developing its constitution and economic policy framework after the collapse of the monarchy. "In a party where the majority had left-wing views, it was my duty to represent the interests of the wider business community in Nepal."
The Himalayan country has been in news for its Maoist insurgency, royal palace massacre of 2001, and a stuttering democracy. Nepal, which does not have a parliament currently, is set to hold its elections later this year.
Mr Chaudhary credits his present empire to the unstable economic conditions during the insurgency years of the 1990s.
"We decided to open new frontiers and internationalise our business," says the Chaudhary Group scion. "If we were one of those companies that looked inwards, we definitely would not have been this big."
Some members of the family left Nepal in the 1990s and set up Cinnovation Group in Singapore. It is now headquartered in Dubai with interests in hospitality, property, the food industry, and the cement and energy sectors.
In 1995, the Chaudhary Group bought Nabil Bank from Emirates Bank International. Financial services is a core business of the group and the bank now has a market cap of about 38 billion Nepalese rupees (Dh1.61bn).
The beginnings were humble, although the family always enjoyed royal patronage.
Mr Chaudhary's grandfather, Bhuramal Chaudhary, was a member of one of the six families from India invited by the erstwhile Rana or king of Nepal to boost the business community almost 120 years ago. The textile merchant from the western Indian state of Rajasthan brought his business to Kathmandu. He was succeeded by his son Lunkaran Das, who turned the textile business into Arun Emporium, Nepal's first department store.
In 1973, Mr Das's eldest son, Binod, who studied in a local public school, convinced his father to start a discotheque in Kathmandu.
The city was still swinging with the hippies in the roaring Seventies. The 17-year-old roped in a friend who owned a hotel and started Copper Plate in its unused basement.
It ran for two years before closing down.
"I had arguments with my father [over it] every evening," Mr Chaudhary recalls.
The senior Chaudhary's heart attack soon after made the son more careful about money.
When he inherited the business at 18 years of age, including an under-construction Pashupati biscuit factory in Kathmandu, he says he knew what needed to change.
He expanded the business into several sectors. The group, which now employs about 7,700 people, had 400 then. It had a turnover of US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) last year, up from $700 million in 2011, according to Mr Chaudhary.
He set up a flour mill known as Mahalaxmi Mills in 1978, and created the group's flagship instant noodle brand Wai Wai in 1982. It is now in 30 countries, although the largest market remains Nepal and India, sells 1 billion packets a year, and has 1 per cent of the global instant noodles market.
Controversies have tagged along as business expanded.
A few years ago the group was accused of not paying $100,000 in value added taxes.
"We are the largest taxpayers Ö paying 5bn Nepalese rupees a year," Mr Chaudhary says. "And I don't run my accounts; despite good intentions there can be gaps that can be completely unintentional."
While Mr Chaudhary is eyeing the UAE to expand business, including a four-star hotel, Zinc City, in Deira later this year, he remains bullish on the home front.
"Now we have no problems with the Maoists and they have no problem with [foreign direct investment] and limited role of state," he says. And although a majority of his wealth comes from his international operations, the Forbes recognition is exciting for Nepal as it "helps establish a completely new image of Nepal of an international standing."