20 years ago, our mentors (our teachers, fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts etc) started giving us career guidance from an early age and tell us explicitly or implicitly what they expected us to become. They analyzed what was wrong in Nepal at that time and tried to make us into solutions to the problems they were facing, then.
That is why they told us to become a Professional ( Engineer, Teacher, Banker, Manager etc) or a Doctor or a Scientist.
“डक्टर वा इन्जिनियर है !”
Most frowned upon some of our ideas of making a career in sports, poetry, writing or even acting. Equally No No was Politics or Public Service or even the Army or Police. “After all the education you have got, you are going to be just THAT? !!” was their answer. Arts (Sociology, economics etc) and Commerce (Management, business, finance etc) was only if we were not good enough be a Doctor or a Professional (Engineer was the common name given then). Our mentors also never saw social sector as a viable alternative either. (maybe the concept was not born then).
Lately, I was curious to see whether their advice was effective in shaping our generation’s
Continue reading Are we what we are shaped to be?
A lot of people ask me, how and why do you run a business amidst the chaos in Nepal ?
I don’t know how to answer this directly. So here I am organizing my own thoughts to see if it makes any sense to you.
a)I temper (lower) my expectations. (if it takes 1 year else-where, it might take 5 years here).
b)I take regular breaks from work.(re-charge my batteries, go trekking,get in touch with our basics).
c)I regularly leave my businesses in the hands of capable lieutenants (delegate-empower-partner)
d) I stopped trying to change people and started accepting people for who they are. (hard for entrepreneurs to come to terms with, but has been a valuable lesson to me, concentrate on the positive – there is too much negative in Nepal to bring you down).
e) I try create environments that induces people to change themselves. (Extremely hard, but is the only way to go, if you seek to bring sustainable change – a big gamble).
f) I only stay close to relatives who are progressive and support my ‘entrepreneurship’. I run away from “Nepal sucks” relatives. I stay away from “Yestai ho” ones (those who believe in status
Continue reading running a business in chaos
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
Continue reading Is your immediate goal to earn good risk-free and a stable income? Join a non-profit sector in Nepal.
come to think about it… for an software development firm like ours, this past 6 months been quite an experience.
- “survived a 16 hours a day without (grid) electricity, operating an IT firm “
- “made it through getting drinking water supplies from taps that open for 1 hour every 4 days” “
- “everything and everybody is at least 15% to 30% more expensive since 6 months ago”
- “taking 3 to 6 months to find/hire a single web developer”
- “having one of the most expensive internet service in the world and the most unreliable mobile services”
- ” going through almost every single day a political strikes, city shutdowns and road stoppages for the last 6 months” (see www.nepalbandh.com for proofs)
As an entrepreneur I say , this has been quite a bountiful experience for me and made me into “a guerilla crisis management expert” .
“If I survived this, I can now survive anything.”
I bet a lot of the entrepreneurs here in Nepal can now be classified as” a crisis management expert” ,
Maybe its time to market that skill set too in your resume, if you ever needed to.
When one wants to start a new venture (especially the youths in Nepal) , I recommend this :
a) Do what you like to do. (seriously!).
b) Stay small (as small as you can as much as possible.) Reasons, managing people and the environment around us specially in Nepal, is one of the hardest thing to do. It drains our creative energies and refocuses our energies to mundane tasks of administering, managing and whim of other’s emotions.
c) Instead, improve your own image (brand, value, worth) by carving out a niche and concentrating on becoming the best at that niche. i.e if you are the best at making “circular breads” and enjoy making it, stick to it and become the best at it. You will find enough loyal customers as you build your brand.
d) Stay small, think big . concentrate on how you or you and your small team can think big while staying small. You make a bigger impact this way. Don’t let that ego of you persuade you otherwise.
So if you are looking for a job, join a one person company, if not, join a small organization and enjoy the ups and downs
Continue reading Stay small, think big in Nepal