Chemical Engineers in Entrepreneurship

 Essay 13 : DELTA Essay Writing Competition

Engineering Entrepreneurship in Nepal 

by Sovit Kumar Karn

Department of Chemical Engineering [first year]

Pulchowk Campus

 “Either make your own dream come true or you will be hired to make someone else’s dream come true.”

An entrepreneur is someone who develops a business model, acquires the necessary physical, human capital and resources to start a new business and is responsible for its success or failure. Entrepreneurs create something new and unique that has the capability to transform the society, community and the nation. An Entrepreneur creates opportunities not just for himself but more importantly for others. In Nepal, this is even more important as we have a high number of unemployed peoples and opportunities are limited to a privileged few. We often get some of the major problems in everyday’s life like impure food, improper electricity and petroleum, unemployment, etc. As an engineer we can sought out for their solutions that can help a struggling Nepali family directly, lifting them from poverty simply by creating ‘jobs’.   Entrepreneurship is the “capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit”.

Chemical Engineering is one of the broadest backgrounds that can enable us to work in so many areas- nanotechnology, materials, energy, medicine, and many more. And it can enable to discover and invent things that can change the world. Chemical engineers tend to be smart and the education teaches them to break apart problems and solve them how to think about processes end-to-end and how to optimize for cost, time, and effort. Chemical engineers can also do tasks such as estimating the production costs, designing the layout of equipment and specializing in process improvement.

Chemical engineers learn to change raw materials into economically viable products. By solving technological problems, they create innovations that impact our lives in surprising ways. Chemical engineers are, above all, problem solvers seeking analytical and trouble-shooting skills. The Chemical engineering entrepreneurial firm in Nepal can incorporate various scientific methods that can benefit our society in vast areas such as Petrochemicals and oil refining company [producing Chemicals, Plastics, Engineering Plastics, Styrene, Polyurethanes, Foams, Polyamides and Intermediates, Biodegradable Plastics, Performance products like Chemicals coatings and Functional Polymers, Agricultural products, Oil and Gas and many other everyday products…], Bio-processing technology unit, Environmental Engineering Consultant, Engineering Consulting firm [like in Oil and gas reserves evaluation, small project management, water treatment upgrades, environmental assessments, environmental clean-ups, heat exchanger/boiler design, control systems], Breweries: How to brew better beer, Analytics/bioinformatics, Pharmaceutical research, Algae-to-Fuel, Invent a new process/part/method in the chemical engineering space and commercialize it, Bio-renewable chemicals, etc.

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Entrepreneurship in chemical engineering being the most dynamism field holds development  in several research sectors that can serve to humanity by someone dreaming to become an entrepreneur with some of its generic principles such as using the tenets of biology and the applied tools to understanding the living systems, opening new opportunities and solutions in these complex systems; from a simple reaction between molecules to economical design of a chemical reactor, kinetics and catalysts; exploring the expansive range of energy research opportunities; generating creative and transformative solutions to respond to environmental and sustainability challenges; developing new materials that can do everything from bone re-growth to powering cell phones using nature’s molecules; developing processes representing unit operations, providing a library of building blocks for creating new processes; and designing systems for chemical production, bio-reaction, creation of advanced materials and environmental treatment.

There are many problems with starting and running any entrepreneurship in Nepal; even more so, for engineering based ones. But the first rule in entrepreneurship is “There is no rule, it is supposed to be difficult, and that’s the beauty of it”. While establishing and running a company in Nepal could be expected to grow the GDP which is very challenging as there is extremely minimal production of goods inside the country. The major optimizing challenges focuses on areas more that directly like Political- Unstable government, Small segregated resources and markets, Petty Nationalism; Economic- Lack of Low-cost finance, Under-financed government, Corruption in society; Social- Communalism, Time Management, Social capital as related to imports; Technical- Technical skilled labor shortages, Leadership and Management skill shortages, technical services and infrastructural inadequacies; Legal- contract law enforcement, intellectual property laws, Complex processes to formalize business start-ups, Corruption in Judiciary; and Environmental- Dumping of waste, Green house gases, Costs of environmental protection

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Engineering Entrepreneurship is one of the most important elements that counts with the development as a whole and can innovate and invent while promoting for the economic progress. The start-ups face many of the same challenges that other professionals face, and they can meet these challenges by applying their technical knowledge, communication and teamwork skills; the most up-to-date practices available; and hard work. Benefits include financial reward, recognition within industry, society and in the country as well and the gratification that comes from working with the processes of nature to meet the needs of society. While this might be the biggest contribution for the country and its people by being the entrepreneur.

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