An absolute Son of the Soil Pandey Motors, Patna

A smart business mind tucked behind a quiet exterior, that is ANP or Amar Nath Pandey for you. quot;My aim is simple. I want to reach the top of any business that I take up. I will never settle for the next best position and I want my Bihar to shine and sparkle, irrespective of the obstacles that come my way,quot; he says emphatically. With realty and construction work as his forte he has established eight cinema halls. Besides managing Amar Talkies, he started three in Muzaffarpur, one each in Patna, Sitamarhi and District Pargana among others. In 2003 Amar’s decision for the first multiplex in Bihar did not fructify and he converted the property into a mall in Patna.

quot;My father contributed towards the success and growth of Muzaffarpur, I am doing the same for Patna, while sustaining it in Muzaffarpur. I want my children to achieve the same in Delhi and beyond,quot; asserts Amar with confidence. Amar is an introvert, shares his tall and graceful better half Vinita Vijoy. On a cloudy morning, he opens his Gurgaon home and his heart to us, sharing his family’s experiences dating back to the days of British rule. An altercation led to the death of a Briton at the hands of Amar’s uncle, Vishwanath, who was arrested with Amar’s father, Raghu Nath. The trial went to court, but the charges were not proved. As a sequel, the Britishers, destroyed all their possessions. Though declared a freedom fighter, Raghu Nath took no benefit. In the early days he started a Dunlop agency.

" ‘I want my Bihar to shine and sparkle, irrespective of the obstacles that come my way.’ "

Thereafter, he took to the business of transportation and bought parts of TATA trucks, ferried them across the Ganges from Patna and assembled them in Samastipur. Amar’s mother too extended a helping hand. In the backdrop of the Naxalite movement, the Pandey family continued their struggle. He started Muzaffarpur’s first cinema hall, Amar Talkies, while his father set up Shree Krishna Medical College. He nurtured the dream of starting a deemed university, besides an engineering college.

Later the Muzaffarpur Homoeopathy College and Vaishali Institute of Business and Rural Management Colleges were started, but once taken over by the State Government, collapsed due to lack of connectivity. quot;My father, I remember distinctly, resolved to build again. This time, however, our businesses were diversified,quot; recalls Amar with an appreciative glint in his eyes.

After completing his Intermediate, Amar joined the construction business and balanced his business progression and academics rather well. A man of immaculate self esteem, he refused to touch profits that his father’s business was generating and vowed to etch his own identity. Film production (Amar Jyoti Films and Anuradha Pictures), dubbing in Bhojpuri, Surya Magnetics, Sunny Sound Studio and diamond jewellery business, all came in quick succession. Many careers were launched by his music company in the world of Bhojpuri music, with names like Chaila Behari and Vinay Bihari standing out. For the Hindi film industry, he produced Gautam Govinda, Sanyaasi Mera Naam and Billa No 786, while the Bhojpuri film was titled Hamara Biyah Tero Se Hoye.

" ‘My philosophy is simple, one should be at ease and performing, whether holding the broom or in the board room.’ "

quot;His stint with films was part of a business proposition,quot; his wife chips in. In 2005 Pandey Motors was appointed dealers for the whole of Bihar by General Motors. Mahindra’s Navistar Commercial Vehicle dealership followed in 2009 for North Bihar.

quot;My commitment to General Motors ensured I did not take up businesses where interests and products clashed.quot; At this point we were curious to know whether he ever loses his temper. quot;Of course I do, but that usually happens when my instructions are not followed.quot; Vinita shares, quot;I have rarely seen him lose his cool. During crisis, he reassures his people, asking them not to worry. He draws energy from within.quot; Adds Amar, quot;For me the philosophy is simpleone should be at ease and performing, whether holding the broom or in the board room.quot; A Shiv Bhakt to the core, Amar guards his religious and spiritual space. He today utilises the money earlier used for a massive annual puja, to marry off ten girls every year, discloses his wife. Vinita Vijoy, President of the Mahila Congress Party of Bihar comes from a family of IPS and IAS officers.

Her father served in the ministry of defence, as state minister in the Central Cabinet under the leadership of the then PM, Chandrashekhar. She remembers, for dowry her father gifted a copy of ‘Bhagvad Gita’ and scribbled a note ‘This is not just a source of wisdom but your companion for life.’ Vinita’s academic finesse reflects in the upbringing of their children. An LSR alumnae and influenced by her IPS father’s uprightness and honesty, her marriage to Amar brought forth a unique combination of modern education and earthy sense.

quot;My father-in-law’s rustic wisdom was a real treat. I realised, one can be sans formal education and yet possess the most innate knowledge and wisdom due to sheer experience.quot; The list of educational and professional institutes set up by Amar reflect the continuity of good work which his father began almost four decades back. They are Vidya Bihari School, Muzaffarpur, Uma Pandey Women’s College (Pusa), RN Pandey Law College, Dental College (proposed), Fiitjee Public School, Muzaffarpur.

Born in 1962, Amar is the youngest after seven sisters, loved and pampered by all. He alludes to his mother with a naughty smile, as he recalls the many times he got a beating from her. quot;Though not educated enough she was a mathematics wizard. I learnt the basics from her, albeit the hard way,quot; Amar reminisces.

quot;He is an achiever and this quality has rubbed off on me and my sister,quot; says son Raghav, an MBA aspirant about Amar. quot;I miss the childhood wrestling duels with my father. Now we share a more mature relationship. We often hang out at the KFC digging into chicken with Diet Coke,quot; he grins. Daughter Praajya reveals his hobby of collecting pens, watches and mobile phones.

His wardrobe finds a special mention. quot;Amar’s well laid out wardrobe has a distinct feature- his infatuation for white trousers. They can be jeans, but they have to be white,quot; laughs Vinita. quot;Saves time, even the shopkeeper knows my taste by heart,quot; Amar immediately retorts. Vinita further confides, quot;He is a nature lover and is planning a resortcum- waterpark, again for his first love Muzaffarpur.quot; ANP is a man truly in love with his homeland, Bihar, carrying forward the legacy of his forefathers.