“IT students can do valuable internships at our company. During three months we give them real projects, and make them ready for their next challenge. I really believe that they can build our country.”
Roshan Bhattarai is co-founder and CTO of IT company Proshore in Kathmandu. He sees big opportunities for IT companies in Nepal, if only they give big opportunities to IT students. Like he does at Proshore: “We offer IT students a nice working environment and give them a task and a timeline, they can choose their own time to work. In the office, we provide free breakfast and lunch from our own kitchen and they can play table tennis and games. But the focus is really on learning to grow.”
How can IT students build the country?
“Nepal can become a big IT hub, if only things were better organized. There is no national IT policy and there are a lot of practical problems, for instance you cannot use the national credit card to log in. The export of software could also be interesting for our country: There is enough manpower, but education and business should be working together better. If you are a foreigner and want to invest in an IT company in Nepal, you have to invest a lot of money.”
“It is important for Nepal to create jobs, we are leaning too much on India. We import three to four times more than we export! I think that the biggest opportunity is in creating IT jobs so IT students don’t have to go abroad to earn money. At the moment, a lot of young Nepalese are working in other countries, which is a pity. The government should turn this around.”
How has Proshore contributed to the Nepalese IT sector?
“In IT, you need to have a good strategy and talent. We started with five people, now we have more than 60. We have grown from building websites to developing apps, for mobile but also desktops. At the moment we try to enter open source communities and think of ideas to develop further.”
“Right now Nepal needs to focus, there are no big IT companies. The people who are studying here shouldn’t look at higher grades, they should focus on developing skills. The internet is here, so you can start making money. But in Nepal, parents pay for education so students become lazy. They should recognize that if they develop a skill, they can support themselves. In this way, they can close the gap between education and business.”
“I went to college recently myself and I am now thinking a lot about how Nepalese IT can be improved, the gap between college and practice is huge. We try to work with schools to make them ready for business, but of course we can also spot talent there.”
“Students do not have a degree to work at Proshore, we look at skills. Degrees are less and less important. We value students for what they have to offer.”