ENGINEERING ENTERPRENEURSHIP IN NEPAL

Essay 5 : DELTA Essay Writing Competition

Engineering Entrepreneurship in Nepal
by Jowelsha Bajracharya

After about a century of the wave of democracy in this country epitomized as the paradise of the Himalayas, the much awaited political stability of the nation has enabled the netizens of Nepal to finally explore and invest in diverse economically prospecting options apart from the very much traditional agriculture and public service sectors. Among the very popular professions, engineering is the exponentially popularized courses of the present generation.

          While by saying ‘engineering’, more than 60% of the population believe it to be confined to only civil engineering, it is no public conflict to say that the other lines of engineering are also gaining popularity and market.  One of the effective key ways to meet the demands of the growing facilities of engineering is through engineering entrepreneurship. Whilst, in a country where about 66% depend on agriculture and haven’t even heard the word entrepreneurship, it is quite difficult to practice this line of work but on the whole, not impossible. Entrepreneurship, in strict google terms is the activity of setting up a business or businesses and taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. However, it has a varied sense of meaning in different professional field. In engineering field, entrepreneurship isn’t just limited to taking chances for profit, but it is also about taking risks and getting out of one’s comfort zones to bring forth new creative and visionary solutions from an entire population stripped to a single individual. Whilst it is no surprise when I say that the top leading entrepreneurs are from a technical or engineering background (Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Bjarke Ingels), it is also a fact that this form of entrepreneurship is still lacking in Nepal.

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        Talking about being specific, since I myself am an architecture student and   strive to be an entrepreneur in the distant future, I am well aware of the present conditions of architects in Nepal. As a profession that was often mistaken as “a civil engineer’s side job” is perhaps the most academically draining course according to Harvard. Even at the turn of the millennium, the status of professional architects was troublesome, let alone the entrepreneurs. However, after the earthquake epidemic of the year 2015, the government took serious considerations and passed the law where no building or structure could be built without the involvement of architects. This one epidemic and the physical disasters it inflicted made the otherwise ignorant natives learn the importance of sound architecture and a good architect. Hence, the prospect of architectural entrepreneurship in Nepal is very promising to say the least, with the bulk of the projects being conservational and commercial. With yearly around 380 architecture students graduating freshly, the future of private architectural firms in Nepal is promising, given the quality increases with time.

          In present context, excluding government bodies, around 50 independent architectural firms are established that take over construction projects with the help of other fellow architects and civil engineers respectively( namely Prajwal Hada Architects, 3 Dots, Bibhuti Maan Architects, Saroj Pradhan and Architects, A for Architecture). In addition to this, architecture is the one versatile profession that altogether bounds all other engineering fields as well (structure, sanitation, electrical, mechanical, landscape architects) so on and so forth which creates a vibrant working platform for engineers in all sectors. However, mostly due to fear of failure in a growing competent sector and the thrill of abroad experience, most of our promising architects fly off to foreign nations to harness their skills. So, what can be done to counter it? Formal entrepreneurship programs should be included in engineering courses from the very beginning. Though largely based on science, creativity and technology, a base of leadership and efficient social interaction is what truly shapes an architect, not just the entrepreneur. Architectural schools should promote more society based design courses for the graduates to have a comfortable realistic method of working so that they can have better future vision. Fellow seniors who flew away for further studies ought to be invited back to the nation to share their working experience and skills and with the help of government funded loans, more firms should be established to meet the needs of the forwarding Nepalese society.

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         Hence by establishing an assuring and reliable system, every potential architect or engineers in general should trust their leadership quality and provide numerous opportunities and possibilities towards their fellow employees as well as the society as a whole!

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