Category Archives: economy

Talks on the state of Nepal’s economy and ways to possibly improve it.

How do we serve our very own 5 Billion dollar investors in Nepal?

We get  more than 5 billion US dollars (was 3.5 billion dollars in 2011) from remittance. Compare this with only US $500 million or so of investment from foreigners. Yet we treat this noble group like third class humans.  

यहि लेख नेपालीमा पढ्नुहोस

“A Nepali returns from Arab for a month to finally meet his family after two long years, He arrives at our Tribhuvan International Airport at night, where he is first put on a long line of Nepali, interrogated by officials. The customs officer scans through his bags like a vulture looking for an excuse to exhort on the gifts bought for his family. Mentally drained, he finally comes out. The taxis outside are waiting for him. They demand, “Give us Rs 1500 to go to Gongabu (bus station).” This is more than what he spends on the bus ride from Kathmandu to his village. He sighs and pays up. After only 3 weeks with his family, he is forced to run to Kathmandu to get a new passport. He waits out in long lines, in heat, pollution and stench. On his way back to Arab, they humiliate him again at the airport. As he boards the plane, he breathes a sigh of relief. He won’t be back for another two years.”

Is this how you treat a community that invests more than 5 billion US dollars into the Nepali economy?

So how could we serve this group well, and make this a win-win?

Here’s a start.

  1. • Lets start with the government – remove regulations. Demand insurance from manpower (staffing) agencies so all Nepali who work abroad have insurance to protect them. At the foreign ministry, make a special fast track application process. Handle all their official works within half a day. Enable getting passport from districts easier. Make a special VIP line at our airport exclusively for them. Make them feel they are the reasons our country isn’t bankrupt. Show pre-departure videos on what life will be like outside Nepal, what their rights and responsibilities are. Teach them how to contact the nearest embassy or consulate.
  2. • Work to change your officials habits to deal with them like they do with “kuhires.” Work with a private company with excellent customer service credentials to offer reliable, direct transportation from Kathmandu Airport to other major towns.
  3. • Manpower companies, start providing cheap, affordable insurance for every worker you send abroad. Offer it in installments. You can surely make a profit by the volume.
  4. • Social workers, connect their families with skills like sewing, knitting, running a small shop etc. Do recommend them on ways to protect the money sent home. Wasting it on a big LCD television in 14 hour electricity free Nepal is not ideal, is it?
  5. • Entrepreneurs, interact more with this group. Understand through them, their families problems. Then build an opportunity to fix their common pain.
  6. For our financial institutions, prioritize their families. Advise them on investments and entrepreneurial opportunities through your institution. These are safe earners who send money back regularly – many of them probably through your bank. Maybe even offer high interest bond instruments for them to buy, that yields in 5 years. You have an enviable opportunity here. Look towards using their ideas in Nepali industries to improve efficiency, safety and quality. Remember these Nepali are building the next generation World Cup stadiums in Qatar by 2020.

Ultimately, this becomes a win-win for all.

“Imagine the same humiliated Nepali returning home in 2 years.

He walks out of the airport and goes through a fast-track service to process his paperwork. He is warmly thanked by this welcoming official, wishes him a happy stay with his family and is directed to a counter inside the airport to buy a ticket to go home to his town. He is escorted to a direct express bus outside the airport that is taking him and 50 others like him. He directly goes home without the hassles of Kathmandu and spends time with his family. To renew his passport, he goes to his local office and gets a new passport in 1 hour.

He is happy to be back home. With the money he was sending home and installment he was paying, he now has a better house, his wife runs a small store through a loan from the bank she went to get remittance money. With the savings this man was making with the bank, he now has a high interest bond that will yield high returns starting next year. With this money and his new-found skills in the Arab world, the man wonders whether he has to return back to the 50 degree heat in Arab. He wonders – with a good house, working wife, money in the bank and my new-found skills – maybe I can start a small factory here in Nepal! ”

Only when we learn to treat our own (5+ billion rupees investing customer) with dignity, will the world will invest in Nepal. How we treat our remittance workers tells them how we treat other “investors”. If they don’t like what they see, they will invest their money somewhere where people respect “investors”.

instructions to get passports infront of the Foreign Ministry

Thank you to these friends, who inspired and helped me write this: Prasanna Dhungel, Ashutosh Tiwari, Sagar Onta, Bijaya Shiwakoti, Sanjib Subba, Bal Joshi.

यहि लेख नेपालीमा पढ्नुहोस
Was published in myrepublica April 6, 2011 & नेपालीमा यहि लेख र प्रतिक्रियाहरु in

create wealth…stop finding out causes of poverty.


Wealth is a something created. It is by nature dynamic, something to strive for. Poverty is an idle state. It is the state that people naturally stay put in. Don’t over-analyse it. Don’t spend too much resources find yet another root causes of it. It is a state in which people normally stay in.

Instead of “launching programs to find where poverty is coming from”, we should concentrate on creating wealth (enlarge the pie).

Instead of the multi lateral agencies and INGO’s giving “millions of dollars” to poor countries like Nepal find out root causes of poverty, put in a fund to help banks to make it much easier to give loans to small entrepreneurs and small businesses trying to scale up. Help Jump start organizations and businesses that generate wealth (social + economic ).

Concentrate on giving people opportunities to generate wealth by doing what the innovative countries did. Help incubate business, and support those young entrepreneurs who produce and supply services to generate more wealth here in Nepal.

(more wealth leads to more jobs with dignity + more opportunities to lead a dignified life).

So Lets teach each other how to create wealth. (And shun programs that calls for poverty alleviation or poverty research).

Is your immediate goal to earn good risk-free and a stable income? Join a non-profit sector in Nepal.

If your immediate goal is to earn good money risk-free, and a stable income in Nepal within a space of a few quick years, and you happen to be a well educated Nepali, I recommend you join the non-profit sectors (basically I include non profit donor funded Non Governmental Organizations, multi lateral agencies and the aid industry in Nepal, in this category).

Here are some of my opinionated observations. Take with a BIG pinch of salt! :)


You will earn at least two times more money in the same period in an INGO as you would in most private business in similar positions in Kathmandu. (Safe bet: you will earn much more)
You will get to travel at least four times more. (on average)
You generally work much more hours per week in your business than the 5 day a week, 9 to 5 job in the international non-profits.
You will have more holidays and free time working for an INGO than in a private business.
You have more exposure to international circles and networks (which comes handy in any career moves or further education).
The pressures of working in an INGO may be much relaxing than in a private business. (Almost to the point of boring, some of my friends quip)
And your job security is much better than private firms.
On a regular basis for a few years, I have seen more NGO’s and INGO’s vacancy advertisements (and the largest sized ones too) in Nepal than any business has. I have hardly seen any of my friends in NGO sector find a problem finding another job in the NGO sector. Also my perception is that the NGO sector seem to have a smoother job transition than the private sectors.

On a side-note: for those entrepreneurs amongst you, how about catering your products and services to the deep pocket non profits -INGOs and multi lateral agencies. They are excellent customers with deeper pockets and more will to spend than many private firms, in Kathmandu!

What do you think ?

When you forcefully close a city: you lose, I lose, we all lose

So you force-close a city (Kathmandu) for a day:

  • you put brakes on 5 million people’s mind for a day
  • you make 5 million idle minds become a devil’s playground
  • you force a million youths to lose their morale and purpose (one level down at  a time).
  • you strangle any entrepreneur’s budding desires to start something here.
  • you make me question your moral superiority and …doubt mine (for bowing to you)
  • you make me not want to do anything for anyone.
  • you make us all dumber
  • you force 5 million people to be poorer.
  • you make it easier for us to leave this place and leave you all alone to rule the desert.

what a Lose- Lose situation.

Waste managment and more: an opportunity for social entrepreneurs.

As we grow up, we look for ways and patterns in which we can make a ‘deep emotional’ impact on our surroundings besides feeding our desire to be self sufficient. :)

In Kathmandu, i have lately been meeting young entrepreneurs who not only want to  make it big, but make a ‘positive social impact’ while doing so.And lots of opportunity is here during this transition period in Nepal, to rise out from the crowd of normal entrepreneurs. I see a big opportunity for entrepreneurs with social conscience’ to stand out and be recognized and preferred by clients, customers and be profitable socially and economically.

here are some small ideas where i see social entrepreneurs in Nepal can make a difference:

a) Angel investing in startups (for other young entrepreneurs who have  non existant collatorals, and who have ability to create jobs)

b) Waste into “recyclable energy” . You can be the darling of Kathmandites who are tired of seeing waste littered around day after day while earning from tons of organic waste that falls in the streets each day here. I hear 80% of waste in Kathmandu is organic (and can be thrown into a small garden to make compost).

c) Drinking Water problem: Tapping rain water to replinish households during the dry winter and early spring ( people will thank you while giving you profits from your actions)

d) Incorporate social responsible ethics into any business. here is an example. I just opened a website about responsible way to travel in Nepal site inside the travel nepal portal . Check the tips out here.

e) add your social entrepreneurship ideas and opinions… below!!!