Skip to main content
Group selfie with Assistant Secretary Donald Lu (and his team) of the U.S. Department of State (Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs) in Chicago, May 2023.JPG
Group selfie with Assistant Secretary Donald Lu (and his team) of the U.S. Department of State (Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs) in Chicago in May 2023.JPG

Startup Stories: A Network Connecting Nepali Students and Professionals around the World

A conversation with Preeti Pandey Adhikary ’21, founder of the Great Nepali Diaspora, a global community that supports and encourages students and professionals with Nepali roots.

Preeti Pandey Adhikary ’21

In this series, Karen Guzman talks to student and alumni entrepreneurs about how they are making an impact with their startups.

Venture:  The Great Nepali Diaspora is a nonprofit network that nurtures connection and collaboration among Nepali students and professionals through mentorship and programming.
Founder: Preeti Pandey Adhikary ’21

What was the moment when you had the idea for this startup?

After I graduated from Yale SOM, I worked for the NORM Mask Project, an initiative to encourage the use of facial masks in the developing world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Mushfiq Mobarak was one of the project’s founders. I was tasked with taking the project to my home country, Nepal, and we eventually reached 100 million people in Asia. I realized that the Nepali diaspora is much more fragmented than that of India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. There’s a lack of communication and transparency that’s leading to duplication of efforts and wasted resources.

What’s the problem you’re trying to solve or the gap that you’re trying to fill?

Immigrant and minority communities have very close social ties but weak professional ties. These communities are also increasingly more educated and have significant disposable income through jobs and/or business ventures. Connecting the diaspora helps people avoid pitfalls in their individual journeys by learning from others. Connection opens access to information, networks, and guidance that can translate into jobs, business deals, partnerships, and much more.

What was the most important resource Yale SOM contributed to your startup?

More than anything, the ethos of leadership “for business and society” has hit home with me. I’ve been able to fuse classroom learning with my stint at Tsai CITY and my previous work experiences to create an organization that’s aiming to be both financially sustainable and deeply impactful in society.

What’s the biggest milestone your startup has hit since graduation?

In the seven months since I started the Great Nepali Diaspora, we’ve gained more 1,500 members, and double that number attend our in-person and virtual events. We have 40 chapters around the world, including many cities in the U.S. and in locations in Rwanda, South Korea, Poland, and many more. We’ve hosted more than 35 events worldwide. Our members have found jobs, closed lucrative deals, and even found investments through our community.