Tag Archives: business tips

The business cost of avoiding confrontation

The business cost of avoiding confrontation in Nepal

A friend from the US living part-time and doing business in Nepal expressed frustration over our (Nepali) strong cultural desire to avoid confrontation in a professional relationship. Specifically, the steep business cost of this in-action. We discussed for some reasons behind this.

The graciousness of Nepalis is a double-edged sword. The Nepali hospitality is world-renowned but this can be problematic in international business culture. This is rooted in a Nepali tradition of treating visitors as ‘gods.’ People here go out of their way to make sure that a visitor’s experience is a good one. Nepali people don’t like to disappoint. It’s personal pride. But in business, if you don’t let me know that you are going to ‘disappoint’ me – i.e not delivering on time, not delivering on the quality i seek – then I will make promises that I can’t keep, losing face and disappointing others. This creates a domino effect on all my professional relationships. In business, brutal honesty of your short comings saves a lot of pain later on. In a lot of cultures, this is expected of you in business.

But a Nepali may not understand the

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tips from Karna Sakya, a locally established entrepreneur and author.

During a recent interaction with entrepreneurs for nepal group which i established and co-run, got some good tips from Karna Sakya of Kathmandu Guest house fame.

Here are a few.

  1. Experience is critical for an entrepreneur, more than the academic qualification as its it’s the experience that teaches you better on how to manage time, motivate people towards your vision, develop your human resources, get the loan approved, deal with unions etc etc. Nepali entrepreneurs have to learn more from the context of Nepal rather than from international books on entrepreneurship. He cites examples such as, Laxmi Sharma, who has been to a school for not more than three days but became the first woman “Tempo Driver” of Nepal and has then created an internationally sprawling business of handicraft, and is now known as “the button queen on Nepal” for her unique designs of buttons made from animal bones.
  2. “Saraswati ra pasina sittaima bechnu hundaina” (Knowledge and sweat should never be sold for free) and believes that there isn’t anything called free lunch. He adds, “Selfishness is not wrong, if it does not harm others”. Selfishness is a virtue until it hurts others.

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few ideas for kathmandu’s guerilla entrepreneurs…

Pain is Opportunity. This is how we entrepreneurs see things. We just look around, see where certain situations are causing discomfort (pain) to people, families, neighborhoods, towns and even the country. We find an opportunity, an idea to change lives, then offer the services people need. In the past five years, there has been an amazing growth in interest among the new generation of Nepalis to become entrepreneurs. Many young Nepalis are starting organizations, businesses and institutions in their 20’s and 30’s.

We all know Nepal is undergoing a lot of pain these days. But this is exactly when entrepreneurs should seize the opportunity. In a country with where one thousand Nepalis are leaving the country daily for jobs, providing dignified jobs here, is the best social service you would be providing.
For those of you who are just starting out, here are a few examples where pain is an opportunity here.

What if you…

  • Provide a open office space that could be prepaid and rented on a per use basis in the heart of Kathmandu and other urban centers. A great place for start up entrepreneurs to meet others. ‘Co-office’ or brainstorming space or ……

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Better business writing, from George Orwell, with a little bit of help from me.

Some simple guidelines to help write english essays /blogs better.
I had to write this up quoting George Orwell’s guidelines which i just read.
I have given examples to help you out. Please print it out, if it helps.

Himalayan times, English Daily in Nepal is is often hilarious to read because of the way their editors write their english. It needs some serious rescuing!
this is the one of their headlines “Defence still a bone of contention.” or “snow flurry greets northern parts’ or “Uncommon grace”.

Here are simple rules on the way to writing better english.

i. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

bad: I “stood shoulder to shoulder with” with tenzing.

better: I stood ‘with” tenzing.

bad: I would like to take the pleasure in announcing our refreshing redesign of Exoticbuddha and humbly look forward to your grateful feedback.

better: Check out the ‘refreshing” redesign of exoticbuddha. Send us your feedbacks!

bad: I would appreciate it if you could understand our concerns and pay us in due

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Top ten challenges with human resources in Nepal

So here is a  list of challenges faced while managing associates while running Digital Max Solutions, a Website development company and an online branding firm.

1) People take the job as a training first – execution of their responsibilities second(they are less inclined to feel responsible for their jobs). So tell them bluntly about this distinction when you hire them.

2) Competent manpower are hard to retain for more than a year. Expect short term. Build for mid term, hope for long term. Try calling employees —> associates. Show them you mean that. It may make all the difference.

3) Some people work hard to impress you during the early months of their career with you, and then once they win your trust, start slacking off noticeably (intentionally /unintentionally). So build regular incentive packages and compare their contribution with new people regularly (through statistics, earnings etc)

4) In Kathmandu, you would have to invest most of your resources on infrastructure management, insurance and backup/security of the infrastructure, leaving not much resources for human resources trainings and career development. The only option here is build environment where they can learn

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