Can Nepal Do IT? Kantipur Conclave

About time Nepal broke ground in the field of IT

On the second day of Kantipur Conclave, one of the panel dialogues held was on the topic ‘Can Nepal do IT?’, in the Capital on Monday. Moderated by Suman Shakya, the panellists included Biswas Dhakal President of F1 Soft Group, Asheem Mansingh Basnet, Regional Director of Pathao, and Akanksha Tyagi, Founder of Social Friendly, India.

The discussion began with the introduction of the panellists and their involvement in the Information Technology sector of Nepal. All of the panellists were of the view that it was about time that Nepal make a mark in the IT sector with internet penetration crossing the 65 percent mark. Akanksha pointed out two perspectives on how Nepal can move ahead in the IT sector. First, she specified the fact that the IT sector has two facets—users and creators. Panellist Akanksha Tyagi was of the view that instead of being users only Nepali IT professionals should focus on being creators too.

Secondly, Akanksha stated that the creators must be able to determine the area of focus adding that the products and services offered by IT must cater to the needs of the locals. “IT is not just about understanding and implementing the current trends in vogue around the world,” she said, “IT is also about understanding the geography, culture and language of a region and being able to give solutions to a common problem.”

Panellist Basnet spoke at length about the disruption that their ride-sharing service has brought about in the way people commute. The thought was echoed by Dhakal of F1 Soft Group. Both the panellists were of the view that Nepal needs disruption through IT and that their individual ventures have been doing so whether it is through mobile banking, online payment system, or ride-hailing services.

“We have disrupted the way people were moving, the way people wanted to move or wanted their logistics to happen,” said Basnet. Similarly, the panel also shared views about securing one’s personal data either that be of an individual or an organisation. All of the panellists stressed on the need to raise awareness among people about the trappings of IT specially on social media platforms.

Stating that the Nepali population is relatively new to the world of internet, Dhakal stressed on the need to educate netizens about the contents of the internet. “The government should work towards educating the public rather than issuing restrictions to prevent the breach of data,” said Dhakal.

Meanwhile, Akanksha said that the issue of IT security is a continuous and collaborative process. She said that most social media users fail to browse through the privacy options of any social media site and this lack of knowledge leads to personal data being out in the public. She said, “The users should be educated on the necessity of accessing privacy options on social media platforms because IT security is a two-way effort—from the users and the creators.”