Prospects and Challenges of IT Entrepreneurship in Nepal

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Sixit Bhatta

CEO and Co-founder, 

Tootle

The sixth session on ‘Entrepreneurship Talk Series’ organized by BIC Startups in collaboration with Skill Lab had the guest speaker Sixit Bhatta, the CEO and cofounder of Tootle; first ride-sharing service in Nepal. The topic of discussion for the session was ‘Prospects and Challenges of IT Entrepreneurship in Nepal’. The session started at 4:00 PM. There were around 60+ participants in the online zoom session.

Mr. Bhatta started the session sharing his entrepreneurial journey after working in the corporate field for 13 years and now as the world is facing crisis and everything is locked down, it has brought his entire journey to a halt. He stated that there are lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs by acknowledging the change in human behaviour after this pandemic and lockdown situation. We also have lots of challenges to face as well. 

Shortly, afterwards the session headed to open floor discussion. Majority of the event was basically a Q&A where participants asked their queries and the speaker responded. Mr. Bhatta responded in a humble and down to earth manner to all the questions.

Mr. Sixit enlightened us how two different brands with similar product and service resemble similar functionality and the major difference about two brands depends upon the story we weave around the brand and create a brand story. Mr. Sixit believes that tootle branding depends on its being a local startup company which enables people to choose tootle over other brands and enables people for freedom of movement. He stated that in post COVID 19 situations where people will move around less with focusing on social distance, there is a chance of people using more tootle rides rather than public transport. 

Upon talking about the biggest challenge an entrepreneur faces is to change the human behaviour is mass. An entrepreneur not only just solves the problem but a entrepreneur’s real journey is to change human behaviour which requires lots of finance, hard work, communication and so on. He also discussed the socio-cultural challenges faced like dignity of youths to not be a ride-sharing driver or the status-quo bias of people in Nepal.

He talked about the financial problem entrepreneurs face for the new ideas. He believes that people don’t invest in your idea as the idea within itself is not sustainable therefore people invest in you, your skills and core competence. He quotes that absence of law does not mean it is legal. But in Nepal absence of law means illegal which is wrong. Innovation always precedes regulation in Nepal.

When a foreign giant business venture competes with local startup Mr.Sixit says there are two options either to compete or to be bought out as we have the knowledge of the market. He believes that a person on an entrepreneurial journey should be optimistic, have strong belief in his instinct and be able to give up many things. 

 He stated that the  education system of Nepal needs some fundamental changes where students can visualize the problems  and apply their learnings to solve them. Nepal has a trend of innovation leading the legal amendments and civil society as well as entrepreneurs should lead the government to introduce better regulations.

The session turned out very good and the down to earth response of the speaker really set the mood of the event further. 

  • By Sumina Pradhan & Niraj Aryal

Sumina is the Program Assistant at BIC Startups, and a MBA 3rd Trimester student at Boston International College.

Niraj is the Program Associate of Skill Lab and a BBA 7th Semester student at Boston International College.

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