If you are looking for answers about what or where Nepal is in terms of IT business or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, then you will barely find any answers. Though the industry credit a major share in income and revenue generation but due lack of proper monitoring and data’s there are no hard evidence of this sector in Nepal.
There are more or less hard data about software and hardware companies and what they are doing but for shadow companies that are operating unconditionally, it’s a global business where you can connect to the internet and do business.
Every year around 5,000 graduates enter the labor market with degrees in ICT in Nepal. Though this large group of productive workforce is currently in operation under this sector in Nepal but there is no proper records or data maintained to ascertain the real position of this industry.
When we talk about IT and BPO then we generalize things to software companies and call centers only but adapting and understanding the dynamics of internet and modern technology things have changed. It has changed the possibility of making this industry available 24/7 from anyplace and any sector.
In a recent trend freelancing website like www.elance.com, www.freelance.com are some of the examples where young people are directly calling US and other potential market for outsourcing jobs where they can directly reach the market. So the basic necessity is a good internet connection and network.
Prakash sayal an enthusiast said, “These days with the help of technology everything is possible you can directly call to various nations using Skype and other services to do business. For payment you can use your bank account or use western money transfer. It’s your choice. I have been working as a freelance since past 2 years and it’s quite interesting as well as exciting.”
Likewise, with just limiting the industry to its core associates the BPO industry is changing its dynamics in every aspect of its operation and practice. From Ngo’s to direct business, the BPO industry is utilizing its capacity and workforce in different aspect of its revenue generation. Operational from small rooms and few computers this industry is growing in number with limited resources and capital.
In one hand the fall of big BPO companies like ASK ME, Serving Minds and link Tree certainly gives the perfect example of how BPO industry needs to be dynamics and stable in terms of its existence and operation whereas on the other hand the small scale scattered BPO and call center certainly gives the example of its potentiality. All these big companies had hundreds of staff but none of them survived due to lack of adaptability but looking at the small scale they survive by their small numbers and scavenging business in adapting technology.
Looking back to the past history of the Dhulikhel Information Park, it certainly shows the government’s role and perspective towards IT and BPO industry. It was envision with the master plan to provide correct facilitation to the IT industry but with time and technology the concept of the info park was rusted due to its location and lack of proper vision.
At different stages of time the government of Nepal has been trying to facilitate and lure the IT industry with the facilities but with its location and lack of value people have lost their interest.
The private entrepreneurs have been questioning, why should they go to their when they have all the facilities like internet, technology and security in near and center of the capital. Perhaps, it would be an additional cost for businessmen in terms of cost and revenue generation.
Though such parks are essential infrastructures in terms of planning and strategy to lure big foreign investment but due to lack of proper monitoring and vision it proves to be one of the great disasters.
Likewise looking at another perspective of BPO industry the most prolific example is the Volunteering tourism business that has been untouched and has remained silent and operational. With a backdrop of more than 100 million USD turnover per year this shadowed opportunity has been using the skilled labor in maximizing its resources. This industry has been synchronizing BPO and IT sector to maximize its revenue by every means possible. Most of the tourist who come to Nepal visit Nepal for volunteerism where they pay amount of USD 3000 to 5000 for their program to manage their accommodation and supervision. Though these programs are expensive but the volunteers in view of learning and helping the locals come here with new zeal and will.
According to Ministry for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, during 2013 it was estimated that around 798,000 tourists visited Nepal. Most of the tourists visiting Nepal were from India, China, USA and Thailand among others. Likewise, the number of tourists visiting controlled areas recorded an increase of 11.2 percent year on year. A total of 12,937 trekkers visited the controlled areas in 2013. If you look at the numbers then you closely see most of the tourist visiting Nepal come for a unique experience where Nongovernmental organization are using their volunteering programs to carter their needs.
On one hand these programs are made specifically for tourists targeting their interest. Some of the NGOS even outsource such volunteering programs on behalf of other international organization which may seems good for the economy but unknowing a lot money being drained due to lack of policy and mechanism.
Hindrances for BPO industry
1. Tax system
3. Government’s confusion
4. Internet bandwidth
6. Lack of payment gateway
IT or Internet related business certainly have flourished in Nepal due to cheap labor and high skilled based workforce. Due to this many of the world’s large international company work operation from here where due to lack of proper policy and mechanism this industry is bearing a lot of loss in many aspect. If the government could focus on these aspect the country could certainly make more revenue generation opportunity.