What is stopping Nepal from being a silicon valley of South Asia?
We have a great weather. We have amazing people. We work hard. We are smart. We speak English. Still the Kathmandu valley is not even close to being a “silicon” valley.
Before thinking about silicon valley in Nepal, we need to to think about challenges IT companies are facing in Nepal.
#1 — The first and foremost is the lack of qualified resources in Nepal. To start with, there are not enough IT graduates in Nepal. We should have at least 25,000 IT graduates every year in Nepal. By graduates, I mean those who complete four years of IT college degree in computer science or information technology. I think Nepal should allow IT colleges to freely enroll IT students in their undergrad program. This way, good colleges will flourish and bad will vanish. Of course, universities should strictly monitor qualities in those private IT colleges. If there are 25,000 graduates every year, 60% or 15,000 of them will be really good and the remaining 10,000 will get there after some internships or fellowships. No country in the world can produce 100% good graduates. Countries like India just produce too many of them and from that pool good ones creep up and bad ones sideline. So, before thinking of silicon valley in Nepal, let us allow private colleges to enroll as many IT students as they can. See the example of good high school graduates the country was able to produce after private schools were given opportunities to enroll as many students as they can. Private High schools have done such a great job that English communication is not a problem for in Nepal any more.
#2 — Ease of doing business. Why is silicon valley a silicon valley? Because it is very easy to do business there — easy to register, easy to issue stock options, easy to tag a valuation to a company’s IP and easy to close a company. Nepal must form a panel to change corporate regulations so that Nepal becomes the easiest place to do business.
Large US corporations will not go to Nepal before we solve resource and ease of doing biz issues. We can’t be a Silicon valley if we cannot lure global giants to Nepal.
(From Mr Pandey’s, who is founder and executive chairman of Deerhold Ltd, LinkedIn)