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.

1 comment:

Sangharsha said...

Lets hope we will get some serious investors, & lets hope the policy makers will create a favorable environment for investment.
But I am not convinced with the progress of Fortune Cookies, its been months and I don't see anything moving.
Lets just hope for the best.
And Sharma ji, keep writing.

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