Udhyami 101 concludes ‘Udhyami Seed Camp: Women Focused Edition’ and announces ‘Udhyami Seed Camp: Tech edition’
Kathmandu, July 2, 2017: Udhyami 101, powered by Nepal Telecom and hosted by Startups Nepal as part of its startup bootcamp ‘Udhyami Seed Camp’, has been concluded in the town providing insights on basics of business from some of the most successful entrepreneurs and experts in Nepal. This article discusses what we witnessed on the lively show held on last Friday, that was attended by hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs in Kathmandu.
Fundamentals of being an entrepreneur
“Being an entrepreneur means you try new things, make mistakes and learn from them,” said Dr. Rudra Pandey, the Executive Chairman of Deerwalk Inc. and the Chairman of Deerwalk Institute of Technology. The keynote speaker for the program, who called himself an accidental entrepreneur, reflecting back to his journey of being an entrepreneur, also stressed on the need to give up according to circumstances. “Never giving up is not always the solution. As an entrepreneur, you need to know when your business is not working and why is it not working. There will be times when you will have o give up on your old business and start something new,” added Pandey.
On the occasion, he also highlighted some traits that every entrepreneur must possess. According to him, ‘A2- attentive and agile to little things, B2- bold and brave, C2-creative and caring, D2- desperate for innovation and different in your idea, E2- ego and energy to make your business successful, P2-innovating a product according to problem of the society, M2- money and market analysis for your product, G2- growth and governance, and T2-time and team’ are the pre-requisites that an entrepreneur must have and focus on.
Similarly, Srijana Jyoti, Chief Branding Officer at Syakar Trading Company Pvt. Ltd, talked about Jyoti Group’s incubation centre- WhiteHat, an IT investment company that invests in conceptually interesting and offers convenience to people to buy goods or services without any physical constraints. She added the importance of blending young and old entrepreneurs together to bring the best out of entrepreneurship. In her concluding note, she encouraged women entrepreneurs to start their venture without hesitation.
Ecosystem for entrepreneurship
On the next session, Narrotam Aryal, Executive Director of King’s College, talked about the link between education and entrepreneurship. “I can’t trim anyone’s dream, I can only cream them,” stated the educationist, also encouraging other educationists to always believe in their students’ dreams and never demoralize anyone.
“Just because an entrepreneur’s project or business fails doesn’t mean he is a failed person. We have to overcome the traditional concept of society on failure. The society has to embrace failure and give an environment to the entrepreneurs where they learn from their mistakes and failures,” shared Aryal. He stated that there needs to be a healthy ecosystem set up on the mindset of everyone in the society, and that the education system should be well-driven.
Other technical factors like constant motivation and security for business also propel entrepreneurship, according to Aryal. “Also, an innovation centre is a must to help businesses accelerate. After all, everyone needs a little push to grow and excel. Most of these things are lacking in our country so let us all work together to build this ecosystem and keep it going,” he further stated.
Emerging Technologies and Startup Opportunities in Nepal
Baburam Poudel, Sr Engineer at Nepal Telecom, talked about new developments in the wireless technology of Nepal. “Acknowledging the developments in the IT industry of Nepal, startup companies can use the technology in a useful way to reduce the costs as well,” shared Poudel. He also cited the boosting trends of the companies today which help them reach the mass. “The tourism and hospitality sector of Nepal has a very huge potential and startups in this sector can explore many possibilities,” added Poudel. He mentioned some tools and services of Nepal Telecom that can help run startups effectively and suggested aspiring entrepreneurs unleash the potentials of entrepreneurship through emerging technologies in Nepal.
Insights on ‘Basics of starting a business’
The event then proceeded to a panel discussion moderated by Rupesh Krishna Shrestha, the co-founder of Idea Studio Nepal with renowned faces in the business industry of Nepal followed by an interaction session with the audience.
When asked about the motivation to start ‘Shine Nepal’, Bina Shrestha, the CEO at Shine Nepal, shared her experience, “No matter small or large, I wanted to make a difference in the society- that was the only motivation. Firstly, we implemented our idea of running a children centre to help working women who face career problems amidst managing responsibilities for children. But, that business went flat. So, we had to give up and start something new. When I went abroad, the cleaning services running smoothly in the airports of Qatar hit me with an idea of replicating the concept in Nepal. So, here we are today, Shine Nepal.” Shrestha, who always wanted to be a writer but turned out to be an entrepreneur, advised all entrepreneurs to be adaptable and change seeking.
Asgar Ali, the CEO at eSewa, took us back to the time when the idea of eSewa first germinated. He recalled how their company F1Soft International, started in 2004, took 14 years to finally make profit and how they launched their product, eSewa in 2009 and became Nepal’s first and leading online payment gateway with an integrated digital wallet. “We have learned a lot during this period of persistence and understood that a company grows only if it has a profit. Having no profit means the company can’t grow, but only remains stable,” added Asgar.
Three basic requirements of a startup
According to Asgar Ali, for a startup, an entrepreneur should envision if it addresses a problem, carefully analyze the entire process, and design innovative ideas to better the business.
Similarly, Bina Shrestha advised the innovators to think about your business in such a way that even you would want to invest if you were an investor. Next, she pointed to the need to hire a quality team comprising of a legal advisor and lastly, to consider your customers’ requirements well. She stated, “Business is not business until you have your first client.”
When asked about the tools they use to make their business successful, Shrestha talked about different apps that help schedule their work and Ali mentioned about analyzing the scalability of the business.
What do our young entrepreneurs lack?
Sunayana Tamrakar, Investment Manager at One to Watch, pointed out the lacking areas of young entrepreneurs. She expressed, “Our entrepreneurs lack figures. They just look at cash flow and don’t look into figures as per sale. Just as a doctor says figure tells a lot about your health, a business is also measured through figures. Look into figures in detail; cost, profitability, solvency position. Make sure you have a long-term plan vetted by figures. Know where you want to spend and where you don’t. Otherwise, you will fall flat on your own face.” She also mentioned that most of our budding entrepreneurs lacked proper legal aspects in their startups. “Remember to carter well the legality of your business. A cost is involved in it but that cost will pay you back,” she added.
Rooms of improvement for entrepreneurs
“When someone asks us for a loan, what we look for is a great thought and depth in the proposed idea. Entrepreneurship is not a hobby, it needs depth. We want to see your burning passion and courage instilled in the idea. Add valuable weight to your ideas, that’s what every investors look for. What I see in Nepal is the synergy of the youths but the energy and creativity also needs hard work. Work hard in such a way that you can become a job creator and not a job seeker. That is what needs to be improved” expressed Anil Keshary Shah, the CEO of Mega Bank Limited.
Likewise, while answering the question on what does an investor look for before investing in a business, Sunayana Tamrakar mentioned, “Before investing, we analyze when are you reaching where, what kind of investment are you looking for, what is your working capital or asset, where are your legal standards and if you have the literacy required.”
The interaction session with the audience saw discussions on the governance and the context of online transaction system in Nepal, how IT companies can squeeze losses, tackling investment issues in mechanical sectors and the importance of social mission. The panelists gave their insights on all these issues and emphasized on the importance of managing human resources, empowering them, and focusing on solutions precisely along with a social goal to solve these problems.
New edition of ‘Udhyami Seed Camp’ unveiled
The participants of the latest Udhyami Seed Camp held on April 2017 shared their stories of starting their entrepreneurial journey. Rizma Joshi from ‘Sroth Code Games’ shared her Udhyami experience and how she experienced enormous growth from the boot camp. Also, Rohit Tiwari, from ‘Engineers for Nepal’, shed light on his Udhyami Experience. It came out as a boost for people who desire to start their own venture.
Udhyami 101 marked the conclusion of ‘Udhyami Seed Camp: Women Focused Edition’ and embarked on the journey of new ‘Udhyami Seed Camp: Tech edition’.
By Drishti Maharjan