Kathmandu, March 29, 2017: Namaste Kathmandu recently held the Mobile Monday Kathmandu, a premium event to discuss the recent developments in mobile technology and its market in Nepal. The main attraction of the programme was a panel discussion with the mobile market leaders of Nepal on the ecology of mobile app development in Nepal.
The panelists comprising of Biswas Dhakal, President, F1Soft International, Anish Shrestha, CEO, Fawesome Apps, Ashish Shrestha, Co-Founder, HoneyGuide Apps, and Sixit Bhatta, Co-Founder/CEO, Tootle had a lively discussion about the market of mobile apps in Nepal, its possibilities, challenges, and opportunities. Ruchin Singh, Co-Founder of Edushala moderated the session.
“With the increase in smartphone penetration, there’s a growing market of mobile apps in Nepal,” said Biswas Dhakal, initiating the show. “But, being technically sound is not enough to develop a successful app. Before we develop anything, we need to ask ourselves whether if the apps we develop are going to be used. Then only should we proceed next,” shared Anish to the mass of audience, who mainly comprised of apps and game developers.
“In Nepal, we don’t perceive big enough to change people’s behavior. The main challenge underlying is to change people’s behavior,” shared Ashish. Echoing Anish’s views, Dhakal said, “Everyone wants a product/service to be available, but nobody would try it. While launching eSewa, we thought it would be a goldmine idea. But, no end users were using the service until long. We’re still having a real hard time for user acquisition.”
The discussion also sought to know the reason of lackluster download of Nepali apps compared to global scenario. The panelists also realized why we have not been able to build a global brand yet and explored how we can develop apps focusing on the global market.
“But, the number of downloads is not only the parameter,” said the entrepreneurs in the dais.
“For any app, the technical part is just 5% for the success of the app. There is marketing, promotion, and more. We need to know how to market an app and reach the actual customers to make it successful,” mentioned Dhakal.
The session also saw a discussion on Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of an app. “It depends on what sort of app it is, and how it works. In the case of Tootle, it’s the number of bike-rides, not just the no. of downloads determines the overall success the venture,” shared Bhatta.
“Similarly, talking about eSewa, it is the no. of financial transactions, not the download number of the app that shows whether we’re successful or not,” Dhakal reiterated Bhatta’s opinion, adding, “It took 8 years for eSewa to earn 500,000 downloads. However, our other venture CashOnAd was downloaded 200,000 times just in a duration of 2 months. But, it failed. So, the success of an app just doesn’t depend upon the no. of downloads, but how much it will be used, and whether it can generate revenue or not.
“CashOnAd was going to be acquired by a businessman for 25 million dollars, but I didn’t sell it as I had the dream that it had potential to earn more. But, the app failed and landed us to a loss. So, I realized that need to make real value of the business. It was the lesson learned from the failure that we also should make an exit strategy of our ventures,” Dhakal shared.
“Nevertheless, acquiring of another a startup venture by another business is to kill-off the competition. As an entrepreneur, you also need to value your company and take risks. If someone comes to me to acquire the company now, I wouldn’t surely sell it,” Bhatta said talking the necessity to have faith in one’s idea and business.