Thanks to its youthful workforce and cost-effective labor, Nepal's appeal as an emerging tech destination is evident. The country harbors aspirations of becoming a global IT hub but faces a formidable obstacle course. Various policy roadblocks and a dearth of state support have held back the tech industry from ascending beyond its infancy, preventing it from evolving into a research-based powerhouse capable of pioneering new technological frontiers.
Sixit Bhatta, the founder behind the ride-sharing platform "Tootle," established in 2017, shares his personal odyssey, recounting the challenges he confronted while navigating Nepal's nascent tech landscape. Bhatta paints a compelling vision for Nepal's tech future. He passionately advocates for a transformation from a service export-oriented industry to a research-driven one, poised to fuel groundbreaking technological innovations over the long term. Now more than ever with the rise of technologies like AI, he emphasizes that Nepal must embrace a long-term vision of becoming a research-based tech innovation hub. He underscores that Nepal has laid the foundation for tech innovation but needs to take the next step by focusing on integrated platforms in sectors like unified payment gateways, fostering robust funding avenues for startups, and addressing policy bottlenecks.