Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, August 20, 2007

ENTREPRENEURS: Need of the Hour for Nepal

An Entrepreneur is a person or a group of person or an organization who or which scans the environment for changes, identifies opportunities in that change and finally implements it. Hence during that period, the entrepreneur comes out with an innovative idea and uses it to start the business. This entire process is called as Entrepreneurship.

If we flip the pages of history, we see the emergence of entrepreneurship many decades ago. American economy is an exemplary case that has witnessed a barrage of growth of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs do not simply establish organizations but in the process provide opportunities for employment and hence help in the overall growth of the economy. This is one of the reasons why America is a super power today. We can easily say that America is an Entrepreneurial Economy driven by the entrepreneurs.

When we carefully look into a developed economy or for that matter developing economies like India, China et al., we see that there is a system in place that supports the growth of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial activities. Two of the fundamental factors that have encouraged entrepreneurship, in such economies, are Venture Capitalists (VCs) and Angel Investors (AIs). These VCs and AIs help the first time business starters by investing in their businesses. This siphoning of funds helps the business starter with much needed financial support to kick start the business. The giant companies like Google, Apple Inc., Sun Microsystems, America Online, Compaq and many other companies in Silicon Valley started with funding from VC firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Today, by looking into success and market capitalization figures of these companies, we can easily say that KPCB has been able to encourage other VCs and AIs to support upcoming entrepreneurs.

Nepal too needs entrepreneurs to strengthen the economic backbone of the nation. And to help these entrepreneurs start their businesses, Nepal needs VCs and AIs. Otherwise, those with brilliant ideas and potentially successful Business Plans would sadly remain in the silo, unable to implement the Business Plans and start their businesses. Hence to avoid such a Calamity, a group of IT professionals from various IT companies recently tied hands together to form first ever Venture Capital company in Nepal called as Fortune Cookie. This is good news for all those would be businessmen and businesswomen who have remained in isolation due to lack of funds to support their ideas. Fortune Cookie is just a start and we will need many such companies in the future if we are to change the economy to an entrepreneurial economy. Such funding will also help Nepal to retain and encourage skilled and risk taking individuals to stay in Nepal and start their own businesses.

The million dollar question at this moment is: Can Nepal provide VCs and AIs? And a simply answer to that is YES. It is not that we don’t have investors in Nepal willing to take risk. The emergence of plethora of Financial Institutions in Nepal is a strong indicator that we do have people willing to invest in Nepal. All we need is such investors to spot the avenues of investments in would be entrepreneurs. We need people like Vinod Khosla to come forward and support innovative ideas.

Apart from financial aspect, to foster entrepreneurs, a country should provide feasible environment for investment. And the only way to make an environment feasible for investment is to have political stability. So on that front too, Nepal is slowly but steadily making progress. The situation demands us to be patient because Nepal is passing through a changing phase and if all goes well, which certainly looks like, Nepal will definitely need many such entrepreneurs to spearhead the economy.

Until and unless we have entrepreneurs fostering in Nepal, our economy will sadly remain where it is today. We simply can’t wait for our economy to be entrepreneurial; we must strive to make our economy an entrepreneurial one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Unlikely Source of National Integrity

For all those who have been watching current season of Indian Idol know exactly who Prashant Tamang is. Wikipedia says "Prashant Tamang (Nepali: प्रशान्त तामाङ) is a Kolkata-based singer and contestant on Indian Idol. He is the first contestant of Nepalese origin to make it to the final rounds of Indian Idol. He is also the first person from the police force to enter the final rounds."
Every Friday and Saturday there is a buzz in the streets and gallis of Nepal. People are found gossiping not about Politics or King but about Prashant Tamang. When the clock strikes 9:15pm of Friday and Saturday, most of the fortunate ones with a TV are found glued to the channel showing Indian Idol. The following day everyone is found talking about how well or bad he performed the previous day. You can find people talking about it in the office canteen, bakery shop, restaurant and what not. Be it young or old, everyone seems not being able to get over the hang of Prashant.

So my question for you, the reader, is:

Has Prashant come as a blessing in disguised? Has he unknowingly contributed to our National Integrity?

My answer is YES. There have been events in the past (People Movement II etc) which have triggered some sense of patriotism. But Prashant Tamang is an unlikely source who has instilled or invigorated patriotism in the Nepalese world wide. All the family members stick together to watch him perform and pray that he performs and outwits every other contestant. People get disheartened when a judge says something negative about him. This might be a story of a fan. But in Nepal this is the story of a Nepali praying and hoping that Prashant wins. There even have been reports about Nepalese people near Indian border going to India and voting for Prashant. What has driven this frenzy? In the past too there was "Indian Idol". But why this time around we have witnessed such an event. Well from my understanding that is what Patriotism is. Although you may wanna disagree to this but ponder about it. To see a Nepali young lad win in such a critically acclaimed worldwide famous show is not a joke. We get worried and excited with him because he is a Nepali by heart. We want to see him perform well and win only because he has a Nepalese blood.

This is what the Wiki had to say about how popular Prashant is in the region:

"Prashant Tamang has become a celebrity in Nepal and Northern West Bengal. Prayers for his success are expressed even in website of Tamang Society.[5] Nepalese newspapers, websites, forums, blogs etc are filled with stories related to him and support for him. A riot, followed by a 12 hours bandh was observed in Darjeeling after the local telecommunication was unable to provide SMS service when Prashant was in "Danger Zone".

The mayor of Mirik, T.B. Rai, has vowed to spend Rs.10,000 in SMS for voting Prashant and his staff have also vowed to spend a month's salary on SMS for voting Prashant. Nepalese people working in Brunei, UK, Hong Kong, UAE are reported to have been sending money to SMS for him.

Rallies are organized in Darjeeling and Kurseong in his support, some of which are attended by his sister, mother and grandmother. A signature campaign for his support was organized by Himalayan Darpan Newspaper of Darjeeling. Schools, clubs and police are found asking people to support Prashant who have named him 'पहाडको गौरभ Pahar ka Gaurav ' (Pride of the Hills). Sikkim Cabinet Minister G M Gurung and S B Subedi planted tree saplings at Singtam to pledge the Sikkimese support to Prashant and to show the unity between Nepalese community in Sikkim and Darjeeling."

May be our politicians can learn a lesson or two from this saga. I bet even in their houses the story of Prashant Tamang is told and discussed. Learn from this saga and help Nepal become ONE once again. This heroic epic of Prashant has to be studied by all our politicians to understand what pride we have for being a Nepali. Show us that you can do this Mr. Politicians. Show Us.

Lastly, thank you Mr. Prashant Tamang for making us patriotic and proud in this critical time in Nepalese history.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Waiting for that Magical 1000!!!!!!!!!!!

Nearing 1000

Are we witnessing something exceptional? Is this a temporary development? Are we all set for a Paradigm Shift? ………………………………………………

I am bullish. I think we will be witnessing one of the historical moments in the face of Nepal. I am eagerly waiting and praying for that figure to hit 1000. I am not dreaming. I am optimistic। But it is difficult to convince the Bears. Time will only tell. And I am bullish about the Nepalese economy in overall.

Skeptics say that our stock market is all set for a CRASH. What does CRASH mean? I don’t think our stock market is going to crash this early. Not until 2010 atleast. We all brag about the NEPSE being supported and strengthened by Commercial Banks and other financial institutions. So in this pretext is it possible for our stock market to crash? My answer would be as it is: NO NO NO.

Fig: NEPSE hitting the 1000 mark

Here is a simple reason to that। For our stock market to collapse, the companies that are leading the NEPSE should perform very badly। And I don’t think these companies, meaning the Financial Institutions, are going to perform that badly because of the following reasons.

a. According to WTO, starting from 2010 any foreign companies can start a business without equity participation with domestic companies. That means our economy is all set for the Greenfield Investments.

b. Taking this prospect into consideration, Nepal Rastra Bank, has made it mandatory for these FIs to increase their Paid up Capital. Hence, these institutions will be floating some more shares in the market to increase their Paid up capital. And as you all know, Nepalese investors are hungry for FI’s shares. Hence, with positive speculation of the investors, the share prices will go further up taking the NEPSE index along with it.

So in my view, NOW is the right time to start investing in Nepal (if you haven’t started as yet). There is one golden rule in Investment for me: “Enter the market when others are leaving” or “Enter the market when everyone else is bearish about it”. That’s what Warren Buffett says. And that is my rule as well.

If you notice the development of NEPSE in the past year, you will see a steady but slow increment in the value of index. As of today, the NEPSE is waiting patiently to hit the 600 mark. The skeptics about the Nepalese stock market said in 2006 itself that our stock market was going to crash. Did the market crash? Instead the market appreciated and developed. One reason why such so called Bearish Expert failed to predict is this: those experts never looked from the perspective of a Buyer or an Investor. Investors, no matter what happened, in Nepal are bullish than those who suggest them. This is the main reason behind NEPSE’s uphill journey. And I am very much BULLISH that this rally (average) will not stop for another two years or so. What I am waiting now is for that magical figure of 1000. 1k should be the driving force for the NEPSE now. 1k should be the aim of the investors. 1k should be the name of the game NOW.

I am prophesying these lines considering the current status of Nepalese Stock Market. That is with knowledge about Market Hypothesis, security board’s policy, macro and micro -economic situation and the nature of Nepalese Stock Market.

Monday, June 25, 2007

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