Biratnagar is popularly known as a place from where many political revolutions got ignited. Even in our school days, we used to think of bringing revolution in the ICT sector from Biratnagar. We had the concept of making Biratnagar the Silicon Valley of Nepal. Thought many developments have occured in Kathmandu, not much has been done in Biratnagar. Our mission is to bring revolution in the ICT sector of Nepal……
Anup Neupane, Research and Development head of Zeftware Solutions initiated the conversation with Glocal Khabar with the above lines.
Mohan Tabdar (CEO), Anup Neupane, and Sandip Bhagat (CTO) all hail from Biratnagar, the easternmost part of Nepal.
Having worked in other companies, both in Biratnagar and Kathmandu for years, the three friends thought of opening an IT company of their own. Along with starting a company, they also wanted to decentralize the software development industry in Nepal. Thus, on July 6, 2016, they started ‘Zeftware Solutions’ in their own hometown, Biratnagar, a virgin market for software development.
The company was started with an initial investment of 4 lakh rupees (1 lakh each by 4 co-founders).
While starting the company, they had set a dream to prepare schools become ready for the future.
They had started the company to exclusively work on the edu-tech sector.
Our mission is to empower all stakeholders of the school by simplifying and organizing the school administration processes by implementing futuristic technologies. – Anup Neupane
“Time has already moved much forward. But, School management system is not adopted in a proper way in Nepal. We also need to have a smart school management system if we are to improve the quality of education. Thus, we came up with the project of school management system, and developed ZEFED software,” shared Anup to Glocal Khabar.
The platform covers all the aspects of educational business, including administrative, academic and accounting activities. This system looks after Courses & Batches, Student Admission, Student Information, Student/Parent Login, Examination, SMS alert, Student Attendance, News & Notices, HR, Transport, and Library among others that school administration needs.
Within this short duration, the system is used by as many as 30 schools and colleges in eastern Nepal.
Started with four co-founders, as many as 15 developers are currently working at Zeftware Solutions.
“There is short of computer programmers here,” Anup shares about the most striking challenge the company has been facing.
“Even if we announce for a vacancy, it’s pretty tough to get programmers in Biratnagar. We are involving those having little programming skills in software development activities,” he says adding, “Market is not a problem for us, but getting quality human resources.”
Difference between working from Kathmandu and Biratnagar
“As after-sales-support is a very important aspect considered while buying software, our clients, who are mostly from eastern region of Nepal, get assured easily,” shares Anup. “Prior to this, companies from Kathmandu used to come to here, install software, and return back. Getting support when a problem occurred used to be really challenging. Because of this, schools and colleges in eastern region are very supportive of us,” he adds.
“But, if we were in Kathmandu, we could get even better computer programmers. Various networking events are organized in Kathmandu on a regular basis where we get chances to meet and learn from experts. In Biratnagar, there are no such opportunities available,” shares Anup about the drawbacks of being in Biratnagar.
“But, in contrast, had we been based in Kathmandu, we had to compete to various other School Management Software. So, it would have been hard in market for us,” he further shares.
Zeftware Solutions declared one of the winners of Best ICT Startup award 2017 organized by ‘Living With ICT’ magazine. It has left an impression on people that we are trying to do something good in this sector. Zeftware Solutions has been started to be recognized as the leading software development house in Biratnagar. We have set an example that a professional software development company can operate in Mofussil too. – Anup Neupane
Growing beyond Biratnagar
Our first target is eastern region itself: Biratnagar, Sunsari, Jhapa, Morang and other surrounding districts.
After two years, we are planning to extend our market from eastern region to Kathmandu, or western region of the country.
In the next 10 years, we have planned to establish Zeftware as a Public limited company and open IPO for public shares.
“On the journey, we would also be coming with various amazing products,” says Anup.
To the aspiring entrepreneurs:
The idea itself is nothing unless it is executed. You have to start working on the idea if you feel it works. If you have confidence in your idea, start working on it immediately. It’s challenging to begin, but you will surely love the result.
Startups for a better Nepal!
Presentation: Basanta Kumar Dhakal