Management Information: Limit and Extent
Gaining New Ability
Export of IT Services
Data Communication in Nepal
The role of IT: Efficiency or Burden?
Sharing Multimedia Endeavor
of IT Services
Published in CORE, Jan/Feb, 1995
source of earning foreign currency in the past and at present have been
the carpet and garment industries. These industries are utilizing raw
materials mainly from other countries and are using foreign laborers us
redirecting the funds It, other countries.
Tourism is growing as the third
largest industry with its orientation towards the sale of services and
is cashing in on out country’s natural beauty. However, it is
difficult to assess the damage done to our cultural heritage and
environment. Due to the increase of rile Nepalese population and the
need to feed them first, we are exporting only limited agricultural
products to out friendly countries.
The time has already come when Nepal
should look for a new dimension where there are possibilities of earning
foreign currencies and utilising the unemployed human resources who will
happy to get blue collar jobs. In this age of the information
revolution, where magnetic media are taking the place of papers,
there are a lot of opportunities in the world market for
converting information on paper to magnetic median usable with
computers. Nepal should thus prepare herself so that she can also reap
the benefits of this emerging service industry in the world and
strengthen our economy by grabbing even a tiny piece of the whole cake.
Apart from services such as word
processing and map digitising, services such as data processing, desktop
publishing, hardware assembly, software development and technical
consultancies have large prospects of being significant foreign currency
earner for Nepal.
Our two giant neighbouring countries,
India and China are already in the fray of exporting IT services. China
has sold 3.26 billion Dollars worth of IT products in 1993 with 30
percent growth over previous year. India's turnover of IT industry in
92/33 was 1.082 billion Dollars and is having a growth over 91/92 of
23.77 percent. India's software export alone in 92/93 amounts to 225
Million Dollars. Countries like Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam are
already ahead in this business of IT export and Singapore can be
considered the best in reaping the world market as compared to its
Nepal has also started exporting some
IT services to US, Germany, Japan etc. but the amount so far has been
negligible with respect to the national income.
Feasibility of IT Services
The facts behind the feasibility of
exporting IT services are the following:
Labour rates in Nepal are among
the cheapest in the world. We have a lot of school-leavers who are
unemployed and do not want to do physical work in carpet or garment
Establishing an IT service
industry is possible even with a small investment. One can start the
business for as little as Rs 50,000 with one computer in his house.
Cheap Training Cost
Semi-skilled labours to be used in the industry can
be trained in a short duration such as one month.
No Disadvantage of Lack of Sea
The products of the industry
can be exported without facing the difficulty of a land-locked nation
the the use of air links or telecommunication lines.
No Environment Pollution
IT related services does not have side effects such
as environment pollution.
Present Infrastructure in Nepal
The number of companies dependent of
IT related services (IT products sale, software development,
consultancy, computer training, maintenance, data processing, word
processing , DTP etc ) are estimated to be exceeding 200 all over Nepal
and around 150 in Kathmandu valley alone. Many companies in Kathmandu
valley are equipped witht eh latest computers and have LAN system. Some
are even equipped with minicomputers and UNIX operating systems.
The number of computer graduates in
Nepal is estimated to be 100+ at present and 40 – 50 graduates
annually will be returning to Nepal in the coming 3 to 4 years. After
four years, approximately 20 computer graduates will be produced
annually in Nepal only.
Many organizations (public and private) in Nepal have already started
data communication facilities through telecommunication lines. Many
organizations have access to global links through facilities like
Hindrances to IT Services
and India had started using computer during the same time, India is
trying to penetrate the would market of IT services especially in
software development and technical consultancy areas. The major
hindrances for Nepal in export IT services are :
Lack of IT Professionals
Nepal did not have in the past
its own source of producing computer professionals and thus the number
of computer professional at present is not enough to be able to support
the demand for computer professionals.
Under Developed Local Market
Nepal is far behind reaping the benefits of the
technology by utilising it for increasing one’s productivity and
efficiency. Computers are merely being used as a word processor.
Especially large public and private organisation have not been able to
use the technology for increasing their performance. There is lack of
knowledge regarding the role of software in computers, the cimpo9rtance
of integrated approach to system development and the management of
information. People buy computer hardware but do not want to spend on
software or management of computer system. Due to these reasons, there
is limited use of computer in Nepal.
Unless the use of computers spreads
throughout Nepal, one can not say to other countries that we are able to
provide services relation to information technology.
Poor Image in the World
Nepal is renowned in the world for its Himalayas, and
natural beauty but most people have the feeling that it is
technologically backward and may not be able to provide IT services. Any
body or organisation going abroad for marketing its IT services will
have difficult times in convincing the possible clients of the services.
Many small business in Nepal can not afford the cost
of Marketing services outside Net)al especially in Europe, USA, Arabian
countries etc. No organisation has taken a coordinated approach. HMG has
not been able to visualize the possibilities of this industry so far.
Lack of HMG Policies for the
No government organization has
been made responsible for providing the policies to boost IT industries
in Nepal. HMG must be able to provide enough facilities for foreign
investors to come to Nepal to open joint ventures regarding this
industry. The talk of an IT park was initiated by the Nepali Congress
government and we should hope that the present government will take it
up further for the economic development of the country.
There is no separate data
communication networks set up by any organization in Nepal. Although
there is talk of X.25 services, Nepal Telecommunication Corporation (NTC)
has not been fast enough to provide the services at a reasonable price.
To be able to export IT services, this is one basic infrastructure
requirements which should be available at an affordable price.
There is an
immediate requirement for HMG to look closely into these matters and
formulate policies that will foster the IT industry and encourage the
foreign investors to come to Nepal. The idea of IT park should be
followed up by ah the people involved with the industry, Computer
Association of Nepal(CAN) and HMC. Organizations like Trade Promotion
Center(TPC) should help to promote international marketing of IT
services. There is even a talk of four years project for export
promotion of computer software and services from Nepal to be supported
by International Trade Center, Geneva and this matter should be
encouraged by HMG, TIC and CAN to materialise.