some positive thoughts from a Hydro Power developer in Nepal.

Few weeks ago, in the “entrepreneurs for Nepal” gathering, I got to interact with a Nepali Hydro electric developer and a pioneer, Gyanendra Pradhan at a “entrepreneurs for nepal” gathering on 30th of April. He makes a good case for Hydropower development in Nepal. Here are a few stats he pulled out which was interesting.

  • Nepal has 20,000 liter of water per person (thats a  lot).
  • His words ” Nepal is a cheese between 2 breads” because of water and the hydro potential. He sees Nepal’s moment of action is now, where we need to show foriegn and domestic investors that we are serious on our efforts turn this potential gold mine into action. Otherwise the confidence will be lost for a long time.
  • Nepal has enough supply to power south Asia with hydro power, the cheapest form of generating electricity.
  • More than 50 thousand crore rupees (500,000 million rupees)  is currently being invested (or about to) in hydropower in Nepal right  now.

    Gyanendra’s mantra for a successful entrepreneur is as follows:

    1. One need to think differently…To be different

    2. Be a day dreamer

    3. Independent, tough and creative

    4. Extremely optimistic

    5. Be prompt decision makers if they feel they have enough facts/ information

    6. Have a vision to drive enterprise

    7. Have a habit of analyzing their past actions and learning from them and planning future steps
    8. Have determination and strategies to turn the vision into reality

    Some Questions and Answers with Gyanendra Lal Pradhan.

    “What are the major hindrances to goal of producing the 10000 Mega watt of electricity? NRB (Central Bank of Nepal) says our commercial banks don’t have enough capital? Who will fund the projects?”

    Gyanendra answers, “We have 550 billion rupees in our market. Around 2000 Mega watt can be produced with this much capital for the rest foreign investments should be attracted. But people needn’t worry about the foreign investment as once invested in hydro projects they become local investments as it not possible to shift all the infrastructure of hydro electricity. We need to make the environment investment friendly though.

    Which projects are on the pipeline?

    Projects capable of producing more than 3000 Mega Watts of electricity and investments of more than 50 thousand crore have already started. It’s our last chance of producing the electricity and if we fail now , we better forget about producing hydro power in this country.These projects are will not only help in producing electricity but also help to create a peaceful country by engaging every people in construction works, and generating employment and income for all like that of Sikkim 20 years ago.

    What’s the biggest obstacle to making something happen (in Nepal)? We hear about corruption, inefficiency?

    In this country, we have enough enormous resources but they are very poorly managed and there is a lack of visionary leaders. Nepal has a very high rate of political understanding but most of the people don’t understand economics and the virtue of entrepreneurship.

    Can’t the remittance be a good source of capital for investment in hydropower?

    It can be. People should be provided with proper incentives to invest their money on hydroelectricity rather than the areas they are investing now.

    How to manage the people affected by construction of hydro projects and how to overcome objections of locals in constructing hydro electricity projects?

    Affected is wrong word to use. Construction of hydropower projects always improves the life standard of local people by providing them with electricity, roads and better lands…so better say promotion. Usually high, unreasonable expectations of local people make them interrupt projects. We need to make them aware of the limitations of the project but fulfill all the promises you make to the. Making locals happy is more important than reducing cost.

    A final word of advice from the veteran, on life: It’s easy to be happy. Just learn to separate ‘chinta’ and ‘chintan’. Worry and do your best to change the things you can change and learn not to worry about the things you cannot change!

    What do you think ?

    Comments

    1. Hi,

      Investors around the world would be keen to invest in Nepal and moreso in Hydro Power Projects. Govt should allow Foreign Direct Investment as well as Foreign Institutional Investors in the stock market. In addition we should privatise insurance industry and mutual funds. These instruments can tap the money sent by millions of hard working Nepalis from around the world. We should also allow issue of debenture / bonds by private companies and allow its trading on the bourses.

      Imagine with better infra and power ….even tourism will get a boost….Nepal lacks skilled labour. If people can be trained, then they can get into manufacturing in Nepal, rather than toiling the hot streets of Middle East or Nepal.

      I would like to end by quoting JF Kennedy…

      If not now when ?…..If not we who ?

      Jaga Nepali Janta ….Yes baari Duniya layee bataanua paracha ….Gorkha ko himmat bhane ko ke ho.

      [email protected]

    2. If Nepal can harness this hydro resource and turn it into export dollars selling energy to its neighbors that would be great. Maybe Nepal can even zero out its own greenhouse gas emissions. I hope they are successful.