KATHMANDU, March 26: The government is holding Nepal Investment Summit 2019 this week for bringing foreign investments to achieve higher economic growth and generate more jobs. Youth entrepreneurship in Nepal is growing at a fast pace albeit in small scale and size. Young entrepreneurs have harnessed innovation and new business opportunities. As the government prepares to host the summit, Republica talked to some young entrepreneurs to know what they think about investing in Nepal and why foreign investors should come to Nepal. Excerpts:
Nepal has high potential in all sectors
BIBHUSHAN SHARMA, Co-founder of Twisting Scoops Nepal
Unlike other developed nations where markets have already saturated, Nepal is a raw market which remains untouched. When people describe the US to be a land of opportunities, I contradict by stating that Nepal is a land of potential. It is a ‘virgin land’ where aspiring investors and entrepreneurs have the freedom to create their own opportunities. It is a progressing market where there is a lot of room to explore. There is a high potential in all sectors and especially in tourism, hydropower, and technology. Aspiring entrepreneurs can literally be a pioneer in any field.
FDI opens opportunities for small entrepreneurs
SHEETAL RIJAL, Founder of Customized Furniture/Partner of Target Consultancy
I as an individual chose to work in Nepal and contribute to Nepal’s economic development instead of going to a foreign country. The contributions by Nepali entrepreneurs have helped to retain youths in the country to an extent and have also allowed them to stay close to home with loved ones. As far as foreign direct investment (FDI) is concerned, the new government has endorsed new foreign investment laws and policies to make favorable environment for investing in Nepal and has a liberal approach to the investors compared to previous governments. Compared to the western world, Nepal has lower tax levels which directly contribute to profits. Foreign investors may also tie up with the local companies and firms to expand their businesses in different ways. FDI also opens an opportunity for small entrepreneurs like us to work as a contributor in delivering knowledge and expertise to them.
Foreign investments can provide opportunities for local youths
SAURAV DHAKAL, Co-founder of Green Growth Group
Investments of any kind can provide more jobs to Nepali youths who otherwise have to toil in the foreign land. This is the best thing I want to see in Nepal as a social entrepreneur. FDI can provide different opportunities for young people as there will be more demand for human capital in different industries. The investments can provide more opportunities for the Nepali youths who are smart in information technology and also creative minds that have not yet been tapped. Like in any development works or industrializations, we also should be caring about nature and environment while exploiting natural resources. Along with establishing big companies and industries and also building larger infrastructures by bringing in foreign investments, we should equally give priority to small and local businesses for small scale economic activities.
Starting business is comparatively cheaper in Nepal
NISKARSH GHIMIRE, Co-founder of Twisting Scoops Nepal
There are so many markets in Nepal that remain untouched today. Nepal is a growing market, and there is no competition at all. You can literally be a pioneer in any field. The difference between Nepali market and others is that Nepal is unexposed. Unlike in other developed nations where beginning a start-up may require huge investments because of already existing premium bands, establishing your own company is comparatively cheaper here.
Nepal favorable for aspiring entrepreneurs
RASANA SHRESTHA, Co-founder and CEO of Nuga: Essence Enterprises
I see Nepal as an untapped market full of potential. There is so much scope for improvement. Moreover, I believe that the Nepali market has changed drastically in recent years. With improvement in their lifestyles and a rapid advancement in technology, Nepal has become extremely favorable for aspiring entrepreneurs. As big multinationals are not much interested in small countries like Nepal, it can prove beneficial for entrepreneurs as they can tap these markets.
We have huge scope for business experimentation
BILAL AHMED SHAH, CEO and Founder of Latido Leathers Nepal
When I started Latido Leathers Nepal, the market of leather goods was literally non-existent in Nepal. Now, Latido provides custom-made leather products goods to a wide range of Nepali market. There is a lot of business potential with dozens of areas still to be explored. There is so much scope for experimentation. I believe that young entrepreneurs like us have the power to create our own trend rather than following an existing one. I think that with social media booming, Nepali consumers have gained a lot of exposure and have become more educated.