Why do startups fail in Nepal? Why hasn’t the startup culture picked up like other developing nation? With very few graduates preferring a job in the corporate world, people are increasingly turning their attention towards smaller companies to explore career opportunities. People, younger generation rather with very limited work experience are drawn towards it thinking it’s a great culture. Influenced by social media, they imagine startup life equals to beanbags in the office, Friday beers, and free food. People don’t have absolute power to demand a higher salary or more vacation days but they do have high expectations.
But, meeting the reality may be quite the wake-up call. It’s hard to justify the investment and I am sure every founder would love to offer great perks but financial reality just doesn’t cut it. Even though this country is digitally backward, there are numbers of companies trying to make a difference in this era of tech entrepreneurship; bridging the gap and the government has also recently started supporting entrepreneurship. Of course, finance is a problem because you don’t get investors and adequate capital for marketing their products thus making it really difficult for the growth.
I came across an article about the startup culture in Nepal where he mentioned a couple of things and I couldn’t agree more with the writer. One point he talked about was the resources, there is x number of people graduating every year as an engineer or doctor but very few have experience in the related field. Apart from the investment and resources, there are other factors too hampering the industry.
The other misconception here is, startup means it is related to IT and to find experienced developers is not easy because half the people you know are abroad. Why is there no non-tech startups except for handmade industry, because it’s more about utilizing something you already have and not creating something innovative to address the other problems of the nation. Of course, I applaud them for encouraging women empowerment and creating job opportunities but it’s still just another business. Yes, non-tech startups need technology too at one point like how Uber, Airbnb has used technology to provide their service but their core idea isn’t IT related at all.
SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHY IS IT FAILING?
The major issue here with people is their attitude and I am tired of it. Most people here are filthy rich, yes you read that right, the government is poor but people aren’t. For most of them, being a CEO isn’t a struggle because they probably have their dad’s money and one of the reasons, why the companies also fail here is because the founder themselves have zero experience or little knowledge. It’s just not about having the money or an idea, the thing that matters is how you make it sustainable; Customer experience, technology, treating your employees right or whatever it takes.
I have millions of ideas that pop up in my brain every other day and I end up discarding them because I might be way ahead of time for Nepal. For an example, digital payment wallets which helped India in times of demonetization last year is just starting here and boy, their service isn’t up to the mark. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about creating a product and being the CEO of the company, there’s just a lot more to it than that.
I want to start my own thing too but not because I want to earn money but, I want people in the world to look at Nepal differently and I want to take my sweet time because I want to learn more about running a business and not just for the sake of doing it. We are just not about Everest or Gurkhas and for Christ’s sake, I am tired of seeing ”Buddha was born in Nepal” line.
SO WHAT NEXT?
If you’re a wanna-be-entrepreneur at this part of the world like me, I understand it’s become a joke which is sad but don’t give up. The best thing you can do is to observe and work towards achieving the goal. If it is a tech company great, if not then when it is mature enough to start leveraging tech, make sure you have the technically sound partner on board. Sign up with Startup Nepal, join the community because they are doing their bit to help people like you and me. Take the opportunity to grow your network; to connect and share your ideas with investors and, to make your dream – a reality.
And of course, always understand your customers and take their feedback to constantly improve your service and be better. More than the competition, open your business to make a difference in the nation because honestly, we hear a lot of complaints.