KATHMANDU, Aug 15: Experts and business leaders have said that Nepal's global trade is suffering due to lack of product diversification.
Ashutosh Tiwari, managing director of Safal Partners, said on Wednesday that the main problem of Nepali market was that traders and manufacturers were failing to diversify their productions. Citing example of handicraft business, Tiwari said: "There is lot of potential for bringing creativity. However, we are not utilizing it. We need design sense for this."
Speaking at a MoU signing ceremony between King's College and Demola – an international innovation challenge platform – in Kathmandu on Wednesday, he said: "In economics, we talk about capital and technology for businesses. However, we need more than that. We need productivity in work and complexity in design. Only then we will be able to compete in the global market.”
With the signing of MoU, King's College has become a partner of Demola in Nepal.
Also speaking at the program, Saurabh Jyoti, director of Jyoti Group, said that the knowledge provided to students is not helping to bring innovations in corporate and business houses. "This is becoming a big problem for us,” said Jyoti.
Similarly, Kati Bhose, head of cooperation, counselor at Finnish Embassy in Kathmandu, opined that education has to focus on research to create human resources as per today's demand.
‘Innovation comes by embracing failure and learning from it’
Could you please tell us more about Demola?
Demola, which was initiated in Finand in 2008, is an international innovation challenge platform which works to bridge the gap between academia and industry. It works with a mission to identify and tackle challenges of society, utilizing the ideas and problem-solving attitude of students.
Demola selects students from multi-disciplinary background and company's experts to co-create solutions to the challenges faced by the companies. We work together with students for eight weeks. In Demola, students do not apply to Demola or companies. They apply for projects which they are willing to solve.
Till date, Demola has collaborated with 50 universities and 750,000 students of 16 countries and leading companies of the world.
What kind of problems do Demola projects solve?
In Demola, most of the challenges are complex. This means traditional analytical problem-solving skills cannot be used as a solution. Challenges here are of multiple perspectives which one cannot solve with the help of one kind of expert. You need human scientist, engineer, and business people and a combination of all these skill sets.
Innovation is part of any company. The human resources play a role on this. They need to embrace failures and learn from the findings of their failure process and take an inspiration from that. This directs them toward success in the coming days. Passion and willingness to solve problem is also much-needed for bringing innovation into any organization.
Did Demola do any research before collaborating with King's College?
We knew about King's College through our alumni. The alumni, who were from Nepal, explained us about King's College's focus toward entrepreneurship which is an important aspect of innovation. Also, I found a very important characteristic in Nepali person that is sense of humor. Humor, communication and openness are very much needed for creating good products or service which I find in Nepalis similar to Finnish people.