Dalston Pung

Transforming Business Education for Bhutan’s Prosperity

Dalston Pung


Gedu College of Business Studies

At just 36 years old, Dalston Elijah Pung has achieved remarkable success as the youngest President of the prestigious Royal University of Bhutan’s Gedu College of Business Studies. In an exclusive interview, Mr. Dalston’s shares his inspiring professional journey, visionary leadership approach, and insights into fostering entrepreneurship and innovation across the Asian business landscape. From humble beginnings serving in the Singapore Armed Forces to co-founding disruptive startups and consulting for His Majesty’s Secretariat Office in Bhutan, Mr. Dalston’s diverse experiences have shaped his adaptable, collaborative, and long-term thinking leadership style.
As an advocate for innovation and sustainability, Mr. Dalston’s recognizes the unique challenges and opportunities in promoting entrepreneurship within emerging Asian economies like Bhutan. While traditional mindsets and risk-averse cultures pose obstacles, he believes Bhutan’s emphasis on Gross National Happiness provides fertile ground for fostering socially responsible and culturally aligned business endeavours. By prioritising value creation, lifelong learning, and ethical practices, Mr. Dalston’s aims to inspire the next generation of business leaders to embrace failure as a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey and develop resilience in the face of setbacks.
If you’re intrigued by Mr. Dalston’s visionary approach to Asian Business Leadership and his insights into navigating the complexities of the region’s entrepreneurial landscape, you won’t want to miss the full interview – a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders seeking to make a lasting impact. 

Please share your professional journey from your early career stages to becoming the President of Gedu College of Business Studies.

Despite humble beginnings, Mr. Dalston’s determination shone through. His career commenced with service in the Singapore Armed Forces, where he concurrently pursued an accountancy degree. Subsequently, he transitioned into consulting and entrepreneurship, co-founding Singapore’s first alcohol delivery startup and a home-based chef platform.
Recognizing the increasing demand for convenient alcohol purchasing options, Mr. Dalston was motivated to co-found Nox Express, aiming to modernise the traditional retail model.Navigating regulatory complexities, forging industry partnerships, and reshaping consumer perceptions were among the formidable challenges he faced. However, by prioritising convenience, quality, and responsibility, Nox Express successfully carved a niche in the market, driving positive change in the industry.
His entrepreneurial ventures paved the way for leadership roles at an electric vehicle startup and investment firm before his appointment as the President of the Royal University of Bhutan’s Gedu College of Business Studies. 

How does your experience as a consultant in His Majesty's Secretariat Office, Bhutan, inform your approach to leadership and education at Gedu College of Business Studies?

Mr. Dalston’s role as a consultant in His Majesty’s Secretariat Office instilled a profound understanding of Gedu College’s pivotal role in Bhutan’s economic development. This experience honed his skills in clear communication, strategic thinking, and effective decision-making – fundamental qualities of strong leadership.
At Gedu College, he fosters an environment that encourages critical thinking, innovation, and ethical leadership among students, emphasising collaboration, adaptability, and integrity in preparing future business leaders. 

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders from emerging Asian economies?

Mr. Dalston’s advice includes:
1. Embracing failure as a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey and learning from mistakes.
2. Cultivating solid networks and collaborating to leverage knowledge and resources.
3. Prioritising value creation for customers and society by solving real problems.
4. Taking a holistic, long-term view of success, considering social, environmental, and ethical implications.
5. Continuously seeking opportunities for personal and professional development through lifelong learning.
6. Developing resilience, mental toughness, and a positive mindset to overcome setbacks.
With his visionary leadership, Mr. Dalston Pung is poised to make a lasting impact on Bhutan’s economic landscape and inspire the next generation of business leaders to embrace innovation, sustainability, and ethical practices. 

What inspired you to invest in Epic Meta, Mid-cloud Studio, and D101V.com, and what do you look for when considering investment opportunities?

Driven by a passion for innovation and a belief in technology’s transformative power, Mr. Dalston invested in Epic Meta, Mid-cloud Studio, and D101V.com – ventures poised to disrupt their respective industries. When considering investment opportunities, he prioritises strong leadership teams, market potential, scalability, underlying technology, and alignment with his values and interests, leveraging his experience and network to support their success.

What is your approach to Asian Business Leadership, and how does it influence your decisionmaking processes?

Mr. Dalston’s approach to Asian Business Leadership is deeply rooted in adaptability, collaboration, and long-term thinking. Influenced by his multicultural upbringing, he recognizes the importance of understanding local nuances, respecting traditions, and building solid relationships. His decision-making processes draw upon traditional Asian values such as humility, patience, and empathy, enabling him to navigate complex business environments with sensitivity and cultural intelligence, fostering stakeholder trust and cooperation.

What unique challenges and opportunities do you see in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation within the Asian business landscape, particularly in Bhutan?

While traditional mindsets and risk-averse cultures pose challenges, Bhutan’s emphasis on Gross National Happiness provides fertile ground for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly in sustainable development. Aligning business endeavours with Bhutan’s values of sustainability, social responsibility, and cultural preservation offers opportunities for niche markets and innovative business models. Moreover, partnerships between academia, government, and the private sector are crucial in nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in Bhutan.