What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

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kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby kazi » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:27 am

@sthapit, your mission as a road warrior along the blazing path of gaining trust among online shoppers in Nepal is indeed commendable. Is that the behavioral change (trust ) in people that you were talking about?
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"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby kazi » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:17 am

FB now worth $33 billion.. are you kidding me?
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"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

sthapit
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Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby sthapit » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:07 am

While I'm under no illusion of building the next Google or FB, Harilo is doing well these days. Customers reviews have been generally positive http://harilo.com/testimonials.

Also, it didn't take long for a copycat site which we'll take as a compliment for now http://forum.harilo.com/Imitation-Flatt ... 00428.html

People reading this form might be interested in some of the lessons we learnt in the last 5 months http://forum.harilo.com/Lessons-from-st ... 71033.html

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby kazi » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:56 am

There you go.. as you put it so appropriately, I think imitation is the best form of praise. It seems you are getting boat loads of it. I just can't get it in my head that people would go to such extents.. in fact I think there is something reprehensibly wrong about this.

I admire you in that you have a successful working business model. Accolades. I did not really like your lessons though... some of it at least. The reason is that once you hop into a system, there is not much hope of you changing the system. I have high esteem for this concept of harilo.com but do not think highly of your implementation. The reason is that one way or the other that small adaptation will cause a ripple effect into your consumers.

In addition to your business success, do something to change the system also.. and tell us about it. That is where we will find our lessons from your experience. Otherwise, you are just a business man, not unlike any other retailer. I hope you do not take me otherwise because I have high respect for you and your work.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

sthapit
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Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby sthapit » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:33 am

After having come back to Nepal for 2 years I have a lot to say on the topic, but I'll just respond to your comment with a short story.

Last year a couple, who I later happened to become good friends with, came to Nepal on a 3 year work assignment. They had with them a nanny for their kids who they brought with them. The husband, being the head of a large international organization, had everything arranged for the family. Moving expenses, VISAS, housing, SUV, driver etc. etc. Unfortunately, the VISA for the nanny was denied even though all their paperwork was perfectly in order. They were very confused and proceeded to clear up the "confusion" and was surprised that they were being asked to pay a small bribe to get it sorted out. Of course, they were totally against paying any bribes, especially since they were doing everything according to the law of Nepal. They tried to speak with their superiors but was asked for bribes there too. Basically, there was NO ONE HIGHER who would help them without getting a bribe. This dragged on for a month till one day the husband had an epiphany - he realized that all this was to avoid paying $50 and more importantly he was going to lose the nanny. So he did what I think was the right thing - he paid the $50. At some point the reward of standing up is just not worth it - there are bigger battles to fight in your life. People who have not lived in Nepal will just not understand this just like I did not 2 years ago.

Bribery in Nepali government offices is completely open, happens irrespective of whether you're doing something legal or not, and as far I can see impossible to fight. If you see a way to get anything done without small bribes along the way please do share - there are many of us living in Nepal who are honest and decent that would love to see a way out.

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby kazi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:40 am

I had just graduated and came back to Nepal for a short visit before I want back to work. But to go back I had to go with tourist visa to finalize papers. The issue: I had forgotten to show some money on my passport. The immigration officers would not let me pass. In my own country, I felt alien. A little transaction would have cleared me, but I decided to suffer humiliation and cancel the flight. On top of that I had to pay a penalty on the flight and then book a more expensive flight at the last moment. Was the pain worth for me? I do not know. But I would not give in to the corrupt system even though it would have cost me $5 then.

As you can see, I am not the best person to ask business advice. And as I said earlier, I have high respect for you and your work, but I feel my lack of business acumen brings this conversation to a halt from my side. Thank you for sharing as well as listening.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

sthapit
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Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby sthapit » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:43 am

Perhaps you misunderstood me - this isn't about business acumen/profits. Most people in Nepal, including me, do not pay bribes to get ahead or get around a regulation. We pay because there is no way around it. If my friend didn't pay the $50 he would have lost the Nanny his kids grew up with. If I didn't pay I wouldn't have been able to register my company and wouldn't have been able to start work. You found a way to not pay $5 and take the hard route - good for you but so would we. But I bet if you couldn't go back to the U.S. at all to get back to work you would have paid the $5. If someone held Google's or FB's servers hostage I bet they would pay too - not to increase their profits but because someone has a gun to their head.

It's a sad situation and one that is definitely hurting our country. But if we want young people to run successful startups (and that is the only real and sustainable way to develop our economy instead of being addicted to foreign aid), we cannot also expect entrepreneurs to be idealistic to the point of being unable to work. If anything, other idealistic people who don't have entrepreneurial spirits or technical skills should be working to change the system to pave the way for us. It breaks my heart to see dozens of very skilled people, both Nepali and expats, who would love to do a startup in Nepal but end up leaving because they can't deal with the corruption - I don't think that is the answer to the mess Nepal is in.

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby kazi » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:07 am

I acknowledge your point of view and choose not to engage in further discussions. Rather, if it helps to make your point, Transparency International is on your side according to the news. Thank you for your time and patience with my words.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Ganesha
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Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby Ganesha » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:15 pm

I empathize with sthapit on this and I believe giving away that 50 dlrs was a wise decision. Someone said that there is a very thin line between "swabhiman" and "aahankar" and one should tread cautiously. But at times, one has to be pragmatic and that 50 dlrs was pragmatism one hundred percent.
aawartan.org - nepali forum

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: What is required to start Google, Facebook in Nepal?

Postby kazi » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:55 pm

Its not about the amount of money, because that is what *pragmatism* is about. What if the amount was $500 or $5000 or even $50,000? For somebody even $500,000 may be pragmatic depending upon the perceived benefit. But this is not about money. What this is about is principle. And by principle, whether its $5 million or $5, its the same.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.


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