Beed insights issue 6

Page 1


06 100+ clients

beed insights

INSIDE THIS ISSUE The Business of Consulting Sudip Bhaju

Branding in the Digital Era


20+ industries

5+ countries

Time flies!

It has been 9 years since beed embarked on its journey into the world of consulting and advising. Last year has been special with multiple notable achievements.

Japa Vaidya

Cultivating a Growth Mindset in a Fatalistic Society Arya Awale An Unexpected, Eventful Journey: Reflections on Organizing HCS 2017 Shreemanjari Tamrakar

English Premier League (EPL): Outlook And Global Presence Niraj K.C.

Nepali Movies: Competing Against the Big Leagues Rojesh Bhakta Shrestha

Beed Travel Diaries Raju Tuladhar

The Mugu Experience Evleen Shakya

Lessons from Bhutan Shikshya Gyawali

beed started its work in Cambodia, winning the global bid to work on a UNCDF assignment, ensuring that its work on access to finance and fintech extends beyond national boundaries. beed also began work around exploring e-commerce potentials for businesses, continuing to stay abreast with contemporary issues. beed has deepened its work in the space of development consulting, working with global firms across multiple sectors. It continues to maintain its position as a go-to firm to understand the Nepali economy and business environment. It is heartening that beed continues to be the preferred choice for many pursuing internships, fellowships and long-term engagement programs in Nepal. The experience around awareness based mentoring has now become a documented case study in a chapter co-authored with Anne Anderson in the book “Exploring Dynamic Mentoring Models in India�.

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beed continues its work through Nepal Economic Forum (NEF) in fostering research, analysis and dialogue around Nepali economy and development practices. NEF was listed as a top think tank in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. We are looking at the next year with excitement as Nepal’s political transition would have come to an end, hoping that the federated structure will replace traditional Kathmandu-centric forms of engagement and help unleash Nepal’s potential. beed looks forward to recalibrating its own model to accommodate this new paradigm as it searches for affiliates and partners in different parts of Nepal. We are in the process of redesigning our website to better reflect our achievements and current work. As we close in on a decade in business, plans are in full swing for a 10th year commemorative issue of beed life. We hope you enjoy this issue of beed insights as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Sujeev Shakya CEO, beed management

ABSTRACT OF “ENHANCING SELF-AWARENESS: A CASE STUDY ON A COLLABORATIVE MENTORING APPROACH” BY SUJEEV SHAKYA AND ANNE RANDERSON IN “EXPLORING DYNAMIC MENTORING MODELS IN INDIA”: “The case study describes the work culture of his company, where self-regulation and self-induced productivity, rather than rules, drive performance. Employees share their positive experiences, where awareness and mentoring play important roles. Employees are matched with mentors to guide and motivate them, and activities are organized for mentor/protégé pairs. beeds, beedsters, and beedterns are personalized terms for staff and interns working in a shared space with a low hierarchical structure—rare for Nepal, a high power distance country adjacent to India— lessening differentiation and heightening a united vision. The same mentoring format has been expanded to the other global offices in Bhutan, Cambodia and Rwanda.”


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s our economies and industries evolve to take on expansion, challenges and market demands, there is a growing need for services that will facilitate operation in such a sophisticated and evolving environment. These services are generally provided by consultants or consulting firms—businesses where one or more experts (consultants) provide advice to an individual or organization in a particular sector/area of expertise for a fee. In Nepal, the business of consulting is not new, but has grown into a market that is more consolidated and competitive. In recent years, there has been a shift from hiring individual consultants to hiring consulting companies that are more focused and domain-specific.


What is the advantage of using consultancy services from a company versus an individual? An individual lawyer providing advice for a fee is a consultant but the same advice sought from a legal firm is a consultancy service sought from a company. The key advantage in hiring a firm versus an individual is the value for money that is being provided in terms of institutional knowledge and vast years of experience (man years)1 of the institution. It also provides a one-stop solution by providing access to a pool of different resources/specialists. There is also the aspect of assurance and timely completion of tasks and activities, as hiring a firm mitigates many limitations of an individual consultant.

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As the consulting industry becomes more popular, “Bodyshopping” is a model that is picking up pace. In this kind of set up, an umbrella company—usually established firms with operations in multiple countries— puts together a team of individual consultants for the client. These consultants are on the payroll of the company and not the client. The effectiveness of this modality depends entirely upon the adopted practices between the company, consultants and the client in terms of collaboration and exploitation. The difference between collaboration and exploitation can be huge. Collaboration between the three or between any two parties (consultant–client, company–client, company– consultant) is an investment in improving collective knowledge and performance. There is increased value for the client with the synergy and benefits provided through collaboration. However, if the collaboration is merely about boosting revenues from properly sold engagements, there is a compromise on the quality of deliverables and possibility of conflicts (dissatisfaction with the parties), which would ultimately undermine client expectations. The consulting industry has devised several models for operation as it tries to fit into the procurement practices of mainly public and development consulting engagements. In the private and personal arena, procurement for consultancy services is largely based on relationships, comfort and network. Standard procurement guidelines follow scoring based on the company’s experience and team composition, of which, a significant portion of the score, about 35-40%, is allotted to the company’s experience and 25-35% to the proposed team members and the remaining for methodology etc. Bidders for such services can generally be broken down into the following categories: 1. Big company with big names pooled in to create a team (Biggies) 2. Collaboration of two young companies based on Synergy (Collaborators) 3. Individual company (Individual) When technical proposals are evaluated, the Biggies tend to receive a higher score because of the weight of experience portrayed. The Collaborators rank second due to their joint experience and the individual

company third. When it comes to the evaluation of financial proposals, the Biggies and the Individuals tend to be more competitive. Biggies tend to encash on higher technical scores and low operation costs as most of their consultants tend to be individuals. Individuals will quote lower bids in order to improve their scores and chances of winning. For collaborators, their financial proposals tend to be either high or medium in cost. As such, it is either the Biggies or Individuals who bag the project when the averages of technical and financial proposals are taken into account. The only issue in this is the level of commitment and effort in delivery of the level of effort and how it impacts quality. When the assignment is delivered by Biggies, it is usually conducted using prescribed methodology and is process-oriented. The delivery of Individuals, on the other hand, is impacted by their limited capacity and resources. Collaborators—who bring in the synergy of both worlds—are not engaged. Nonetheless, in the midst of all of this, the consulting business is said to be safe as services come to an end with a prescription of recommendations. If the recommendations are adopted and they work, fantastic! If they don’t, there can be a hundred different reasons why they failed. Therefore, getting solutions is only the first step and should be followed by implementation and evaluation to ensure value, effectiveness and assurance. These are expensive services and should be pragmatic in yielding results and not just be treated as a wealth of information that are never put to use.

1 Experience of all the individuals in the organization put together; for example, 5 people with 10 years of experience in a particular field would sum up to 50 years of experience available in the institution.


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ncrease in internet use and prevalence of digital Darwinism have revolutionized the way consumers perceive and engage with brands and vice-versa.

As of November 2015, more than 11 million Nepalis had access to the Internet. The number of Facebook and social media users is projected to rise further as internet prices go down and network coverage increases. With more than 5.4 million Nepalis on Facebook (excluding non-resident Nepalis), we can already see the impact of branding on digital platforms. As Nepali market and products continue to grow and diversify, branding, marketing and advertising

are becoming more important than ever. Recent updates have shown that with the advancement in digital marketing, traditional marketing has fallen by more than 14%. In recent years, companies have started giving more thought to digital branding issues; managers today are spending ample amount of time and resources on establishing their brands on digital platforms. Creating a new brand identity and/or rebranding an existing organization has never been easy, but doing so in the digital era creates a unique set of challenges that many people are either unaware of or tend to underestimate. Beed Insights - Issue - 06


So, in this digital era, what does it take to keep a company and its brand on top? Following are key brand factors that need to be addressed to create successful digital brands.


Consumers are the major target of any branding activity. While creating a digital brand, companies need to identify ways to raise awareness or send messages via digital channels to consumers they frequently engage with. Here, the challenge lies in determining what the target consumers search for, what device they use, when and which social media networks they engage most with. Moreover, digital branding should deliver the same experience you wish to deliver for the customer.


The logo of the company is part of its brand identity. It is the one thing that can form a visual identity of the company apart from the company name. Having a company name that is difficult to spell or remember is another obstacle a company can face. Consumers today have the tendency to search online for products they have seen or heard offline. Thus, choosing a brand name that is easy to remember and contains keywords the potential consumers will use is vital for the success of any business. This will also aid in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as having keyword in the name is an important ranking factor. For instance, if you are a clothing store in Nepal, you can use the name “Clothing Store Nepal” for your digital channels like your website and social media pages.


Another integral part of the branding process is to keep track of competitors in order to differentiate images, messaging and approach. The level of transparency provided by digital platforms allows companies to conduct competitors’ analysis much more easily than ever before. Digital tools allow companies to learn what their competitors offer, how they communicate with their consumers and their promotional and marketing strategies. Thus, brands need to be aware that they are being watched and monitored by interested parties. Today, one can easily match prices, tweet about their


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experiences with brands and come up with different strategies to gain competitive advantage.


Key messages to support the product, service or customer value are what add weight to an identity and enable consumers to make purchase decisions. For instance, a management consultancy’s brand should deliver the message that it focuses on services related to consulting, management and advisory. Now this message should be reflected and communicated in their traditional as well as digital branding efforts.


Where your company is based, where your consumers live, what languages they speak and where they make orders from are some of the key questions that need to be answered when it comes to branding based on location. Especially if you operate globally, there is a need to adopt ‘brand true’ strategy for each location. This involves having distinct branding strategy for each location ranging from search engine optimization to determining consumer behavior in terms of device used.


How people in an organization understand and deliver brand promises is another critical aspect that can make a brand work. How they look, talk, write and their nature and approach are all part of the brand delivery process. Consumers seek comfort online by seeing, hearing and reading about key members of the management or customer service team. People are responsible for the online brand delivery because a digital brand communication strategy is nothing without content. This calls for a need to educate, train, monitor and recruit the right people. Branding simply does not have value today if it lacks digital branding. Seeing the trend in digitization and use of internet, 10 years from now, we can expect more traditional media to die out as technology becomes more advanced and interwoven into society. Companies in Nepal need to give serious thought to creating digital brands for survival and to gain competitive advantage.




ndividuals who believe that talents and abilities can be developed through effort, practice, and instruction are more successful than those who believe that talents and abilities are fixed. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has spent several decades studying the dichotomy between individuals with a growth mindset—who see talents and abilities as malleable—and individuals with a fixed mindset— who see talents and abilities as fixed. The distinction between these two extremes has large implications for motivation, productivity, and achievement.


Having a growth mindset is a robust predictor of academic success. In a study conducted with three hundred and fifty seventh graders, students who believed that their mathematical intelligence was malleable had more positive beliefs about effort, were more resilient in the face of failure and had better overall mathematics performance than their fixed mindset counterparts.2 Another study conducted with pre-medical students in America found that students with a growth mindset were more concerned about learning than grades, remained more engaged in

2 Blackwell, Lisa S., Kali H. Trzesniewski, and Carol Sorich Dweck. “Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention.” Child development 78, no. 1 (2007): 246-263.

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vigorous learning and ended up with significantly higher final grades than students with fixed mindsets.3 The growth vs. fixed mindset distinction has implications outside student learning and education. In the workplace, leaders with a fixed mindset place little value in developing the potential of employees, fostering a fixed mindset environment. Leaders with a growth mindset, on the other hand, appreciate effort put into developing abilities, creating an environment of learning and growth. As reported in a 2014 Harvard Business Review article, Dweck and her colleagues have extended their work on mindsets to organizations, categorizing several Fortune 1000 companies into predominantly fixed or growth mindset companies.4 Preliminary findings suggest that employees at fixed mindset companies are less committed, more worried about failing and pursue fewer innovative projects than employees at growth mindset companies. Overall, growth mindset firms have happier employees and a more innovative, risk-taking culture. Fostering a growth mindset has positive implications for both individuals and organizations. However, in Nepal, where many believe that a person’s destiny is sealed at birth, fixed mindsets are all too common.

Anthropologist Dor Bahadur Bista blamed fatalism— the belief that one has no control over their life circumstances, which are determined through a divine or powerful external agency—for Nepal’s lack of development.5 As Nepalis, we may have to work particularly hard to shed our fixed mindsets and move towards growth. The good news is that mindsets can be changed. If you find yourself believing in things like “I’m just not a good public speaker” or “I’m not a math person”, Dweck suggests adding “yet” to the end of the sentence. Doing so, changes the statement from an absolute to one with a potential for change; the key is believing you can improve. Setting new challenges for yourself and prioritizing the value of learning can aid in the development of a growth mindset. Setting small achievable goals for yourself can also improve confidence and lead to a mindset of growth. If organizations want to pursue a growth mindset, leaders have to promote continual learning, acceptance of mistakes and maximizing employee potential. This means valuing affinity for learning over credentials and previous accomplishments. Focusing on capacity for growth may yield significant advantages over firms that simply focus on the existing talent they have in place.

3 Grant, Heidi, and Carol S. Dweck. “Clarifying achievement goals and their impact.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85, no. 3 (2003): 541. 4 “How Companies Can Profit from a “Growth Mindset””, Harvard Business Review, Nov 2014, 5 Bista, Dor Bahadur. Fatalism and Development: Nepal’s Struggle for Modernization. Patna: Orient Longman, 1991.


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Of particular appeal was the Summit’s action-oriented nature—an effort that ensured financial support for people who were already contributing to society through social/ economic initiatives—thereby promising sustainable regional development. At a personal level, I was excited about the opportunity to interact with people who were engaged in efforts that promoted sustainable use of natural resources for economic development.

The HCS is an annual meeting of professionals from the social and economic sectors, held with the aspiration of making positive changes in the Himalayan region. The objective of the Summit appealed to me a great deal.


Being a person who loves new challenges, I came to Nepal Economic Forum for work that was different from anything I had previously done. I had limited exposure to organizing conferences, which made me doubtful I would land the job in the first place. However, as a strong believer in hard work, I started my homework on the project—The Himalayan Consensus Summit (HCS).

Until I started working on HCS, I was more concerned about the objective of the Summit than organizing it. This changed once my work began. Organizing Beed Insights - Issue - 06


an event on such a large scale and which was only a month and a half away, was a much larger task than I had imagined. To be honest, I realized the scale of the event only on the day it began! Organizing HCS was a challenge for me in many regards. At my previous positions, I had been a contributing member of teams but did not take on a managerial role. At HCS, looking at a particular part of the project was not enough, I had to be able to see the larger picture and attend to the smallest details at the same time. I was required to plan, manage and organize preparatory arrangements as well as the event itself. Planning was essential at HCS. Every day and every hour became extremely valuable as we inched closer to the Summit. There was a laundry list of things to be done on any given day and completing all tasks would be impossible without prioritizing and organizing. Every minute became crucial. I was advised to spend at least 10 minutes every morning to plan out the activities for the day and to figure out the most important tasks. Doing so proved to be effective because it ensured that I did not waste time doing things that were less pressing. Keeping track of time was so important, it had to be managed between interacting with people and juggling tasks. It was no less than preparing for an exam but accompanied by team members, vendors, partners and sponsors. During the preparation of the event, interaction with concerned people was a continuous process, which was unassumingly time consuming. Delegating work to team members, discussing designs and deadlines with designers and printers, sending emails to speakers and delegates became daily tasks. People have varied dispositions and every day was different in terms of their moods, a sense of calmness and stability helped in dealing with everybody. Along with that, it was important to be aware of who one was talking to and the deliverables of that particular person. The smallest details had to be communicated to make one’s expectations from the opposite person clear


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and to avoid errors at the end. I realized that clear understanding of any work and the ability to explain it to the concerned person in the simplest manner possible made things run smoothly. The presence of efficient and compatible teammates helped to a large extent. During the preparation period, I felt that this Summit was honing my managerial skills, which had hardly ever been tested before.


In hindsight, the process of organizing HCS was a great learning experience. The journey of learning to organize an event started with HCS, but it has not been limited to events. This experience has had a positive ripple effect on my personal life as well. It has made me realize the importance of planning ahead in every important decision I make. Reflecting on the event, I realized the importance of collaborating with people who are willing to cooperate and contribute to put together such a large-scale event. The team would not be complete without the leaders who had the vision for such a huge and important initiative. It was inspiring listening to their experiences, plans, commitments and witnessing the continuous hard work they put into creating a peaceful world. During the Summit, listening to the participants was a wonderful experience; it was inspiring to see people with immense knowledge and dedication towards their work, who sought to solve problems of different communities. HCS 2017 was a rewarding experience for me. Our speakers went back with memorable experiences and we are even more motivated to curate HCS 2018.




017/18 marks the 26th season of the English Premier League after its formation in 1992. After numerous discussions with football authorities, players and television broadcasters, the First Division clubs resigned from the Football League in May 1992 and the Premier League was formed with the inaugural campaign starting on Saturday 15 August of that year. The inaugural members of the Premier League were: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Utd, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Wimbledon.


English Premier League football clubs racked up more sales than Spain and Italy’s top divisions combined. As such, accountancy giant Deloitte revealed in a report that combined revenues for football clubs playing in England’s top division rocketed by 32% to €3.9 billion (£2.87 billion, $4.4 billion) in 2013-2014. That is significantly more than Europe’s second wealthiest division, Germany’s Bundesliga, which made €2.3 billion (£1.7 billion, $2.6 billion).

Over the years, average size of the revenue is in increasing trend as depicted by the figure above. Commercial revenue grew by 10% in 15/16 season. It exceeded £1 billion for the first time in the league’s history driven by new commercial deals. It is expected to grow by 3% in 16/17. Match day revenue increased to £622 million in 15/16 season due to the enhancement of stadium capacity by the leading premier league clubs. Match day revenue is expected to grow to £640 million in 16/17 season. Broadcasting revenue grew by 10% to £1927 million in 15/16 season as EPL cemented its position as

Table 1: Premier League in numbers 2015/16 (amount in pound sterling)

2014/15 (amount in pound sterling)


3,600 million

3,400 million

Wage cost

2,300 million

2,000 million

Operating cost

900 million

800 million

Operating profit

500 million

500 million

Net player trading

400 million

300 million

Other cost

200 million

100 million

Source: Annual Review of Football Finance (2017)1

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Figure 1: Premier League clubs’ revenues 2013/14-2016/17 (amount in pound sterling (million)) 5000

Amount in million

4500 4000 3000

















1500 1000 500 0


Fiscal Year Commercial Matchday Broadcasting Source: Annual Review of Football Finance (2017) 1

globe’s most celebrated football league. Broadcasting revenue is expected to further increase in 16/17 season.6


In 25 years, English football has been transformed into the sport’s most globalized and lucrative domestic competition. On the opening weekend of May 1992, all but 13 players were from England or Ireland. The number of English players starting matches in 16/17 season decreased to almost 15%.7 It is often cited that the players like Eric Cantona, Dennis Bergkamp and Gianfranco Zola opened the floodgate for other foreign players. They were revolutionary as they brought dazzling skill to the game and made EPL intrinsically exciting. When Arsene Wenger was appointed as a Manager of Arsenal in 1996, his tactics proved to be revolutionary. Mr. Wenger steered Arsenal to the championship in 1998. It was the first time the top flight tournament had been won by a manager from outside Britain. The trajectory continued as Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez introduced more technical aspects to the game. Especially Jose Mourinho proved to be

6 7 8

very successful with his “Park the Bus” tactics. The night of “Istanbul 2004” where Liverpool miraculously won the champions league against AC Milan proved to be a defining tactical approach of Rafeal Benitez. The players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Thiery Henry provided more fluidity to the game and helped EPL dominate other leagues in terms of global presence. Lately, the arrival of world-class coaches like Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Kloop has further intensified the excitement of EPL. Last season, notwithstanding the common tactical belief, Antonio Conte reintroduced idiosyncratic 3-4-3 formation, supposedly considered to be orthodox and unpopular. Thanks to his shrewd tactics, Chelsea FC promptly won the title. Likewise, Manchester City has been winning the hearts of global audience with its “tiki taka” brand of football. The season 17/18 is sure to be one of the most exciting in the history of EPL.8 Special thanks to Mr. Subarna Malakar for his help in putting this article together.

Barnard, Micheal “Annual Review of Football Finance”. Delloite, July 2017. Rumbsy, Ben. “Fewer Englishmen than ever on show in Premier League”.The Telegraph, May 16, 2016. “Secret and Success”. The Economist June (2017): 73


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COMPETING AGAINST THE BIG LEAGUES DISCLAIMER Before I begin my thoughts, I would like to admit that I am neither a movie critic nor anyone associated with the Nepali movie industry, but someone with a soft corner for homemade Nepali movies. All the views expressed in this article are solely for the purpose of introducing and promoting the Nepali movie industry to dear prospective readers. If the views expressed resemble any individual’s thoughts, it is not a coincidence, it is a win-win situation. Finally, I would like to take full credit if anyone intends or watches Nepali movies after going through this article, Jai Nepal!!!



he Nepali movie industry does not have a long history compared to Hollywood or Bollywood, but has been able to produce many blockbusters and entertain millions of Nepalis over the years. Like any other industry in Nepal, the Nepali movie industry has come a long way and has faced various ups and downs. Nevertheless, the industry has evolved over the years and is facing a revival: creating its own niche and gaining market amidst the dominant presence of bigger players.

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• The beginning: The first Nepali movie Satya Harishchandra was released in 1951 BS and was produced from India. The first Nepali movie produced in Nepal was Aama, which was released in 1964 BS. Some of the building block movies that were released in the early years were: Maitighar, Mann ko Bandh, Kumari, Sindoor, Paral Ko Ago and Jeevan Rekha. Back then, most of the movies were produced by the government under the Royal Nepal Film Corporation. • The golden days: Nepali movies grew rapidly during the 80s and 90s; the number of movie productions increased drastically, which were also able to gain good market. Blockbusters such as Samjhana, Kusume Rumal, Lahure, Basudev, Saino, Koseli were released while movie stars such as Bhuwan Kc, Rajesh Hamal, Shiva Shrestha, Gauri Malla, Karishma Manandhar and directors such as Nir Shah, Tulsi Ghimire, Laxmi Nath Sharma were born. • The downfall: the insurgency period, which began in the mid-90s proved to be a curse for the Nepali movie industry. The production of Nepali movies went down sharply and almost came to a standstill while the industry lost its loyal audience and market. Amidst a dwindling market, Nepali movies lost their authenticity and many mega stars left the country in search for better careers.


• The perception: Many of us do not even consider watching Nepali movies, despite some movies being entertaining, due to our perception of Nepali movies. Looking at the movies made during the early 2000s, you may get the idea that our movies are a waste of time, with poor direction, cinematography and acting. However, today, a new genre of Nepali movies—catering to a different set of Nepali audience—have emerged. Having grown up watching Bollywood and Hollywood movies, it is natural that we compare Nepali movies with the biggies. We do not want to change our habits and try new things; we end up watching international movies even though they turn out to be super flops but don’t dare watch a Nepali movie which has received good accolades. Perceptions of the target audience cannot be changed overnight. It is a gradual process, which requires continuous effort of all stakeholders including artists, theatres, audience members, distributors and the government.


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• Stiff competitive environment: Nepali movies have a very thin margin to standoff against international movies, especially Bollywood movies. Unless the movie is able to garner some good publicity, there is no way the movie can succeed in the box office. Unlike Bollywood and Hollywood movies, our artists are yet to create a stardom appeal that pulls audiences to theatres. Albeit, in recent years there have been a few Nepali stars who have been able to pull audiences to theatres, such as Dayahang Rai, Saugat Malla and Anmol KC.

In 2073 BS, for instance, 85 Nepali movies were released. However, only 5% of them were able to make a profit. On average, it takes around NPR 6 to 8 million to make a movie, while it takes around NPR 10 to 15 million to make a movie with good artists and crew. Even if we take an average of NPR 6 million to construct a movie, NPR 510 million was invested in Nepali movies that year.9

• New life: With a huge window of opportunity, there has been an entry of a new generation of versatile actors, creative directors and other supporting technical crew required for producing quality movies, which has created a new discourse. The usage of latest technology along with entry of producers with risk-taking capacity has helped the industry immensely. Moreover, adaptation of promotional strategies, especially use of social media, higher penetration of internet, entry of multiplex across urban areas, higher disposable income and an increasing diaspora have also helped revive the Nepali film industry.


• Growing audience: Released in 2012, the movie Loot is perceived as a trendsetter. The movie was able to regain lost fame of Nepali movies, and was able to collect NPR 25.5 million. Likewise, another movie Kohinoor released in 2014 was able to collect NPR 120 million.

Chakka Panja, a comedy movie released in 2016 collected over NPR 160 million gross in Nepal and over 200 million gross worldwide, highest by any Nepali movie against a budget of NPR 8 million.10 The success of Chhakka Panja clearly indicates that Nepali movies have great scope if the right type of movie is presented to the target audience. After being posted on YouTube, the movie has been viewed by over 10 million viewers. Similarly, a song from movie Wada Number. 6—surke thaili khai—is

the most viewed Nepali movie song on YouTube; as of July, 2017 the song had been viewed almost 21 million times, the song was uploaded on 6th August, 2015. • Going global: With an increasing diaspora across the globe, Nepali movies have also found a new market beyond our national boundaries. These days, Nepali movies are premiered in global cities and good movies have been receiving overwhelming support and love. The love shown by our diaspora in foreign lands indicates both appreciation and patriotism. Likewise, a trend of hosting award ceremonies and promotion campaigns have started to happen in international cities.

Likewise, with the improvement in our story telling and originality, Nepali movies have started participating in various international film festivals and have been able to attain some success. Recently, Nepali movies Jhola and Saghuro won special awards in South Asian Film Festival, while Nepali feature film White Sun was able to bag Best Film Award at the 27th Singapore International Film Festival.

• Moral: Entertainment entertainment and entertainment: We cannot expect people to visit theatres just because a movie is Nepali. Given a choice, people will always want full entertainment from a movie. Our movie industry needs to take competition as a challenge and turn it into an opportunity. Just like the South Korean movies, which previously faced huge competition from Hollywood but turned around this challenge to use it as an opportunity to create very creative and entertaining movies. Today,moviegoers around the worldlove South Korean movies even if it means reading subtitles.

It is understandable that our movies do not have the same level of cinematography, direction and quality on par with foreign movies that have huge investments and resources. However, if we keep on loving and supporting our homegrown movies, we will get to watch better movies that match international standards in the days to come. The future of Nepali movie rests on us, the audience. Let us give Nepali movies a chance, let us hit the theatres!

SOME POPULAR NEPALI MOVIES YOU CAN ENJOY ON YOUTUBE: Pashupati Prasad, Chhakka Panja, Kabbadi, Kabbadi Kabbadi, Talakjung Vs Tulke, Loot, Prem Geet, Jatra, Wada no. 5, Jhola, Kalo Pothi, Badhshala, Sano Sansar, Kohinoor, White Sun (Seto Surya).

9 Six hit movies out of 85 produced in the year 2073 BS,, 18 April, 2017, html 10 100 days of Chhakka Panja, Rahul Raut, 17 December 2016,

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here are we travelling” is the first line that comes to my mind when signing up for an assignment. The nature of assignments undertaken at beed and the passion to work out of the box have resulted in travels to diverse destinations and meeting diverse people across Nepal and across continents. Every assignment undertaken at beed is an adventure with perks of travel and an opportunity to learn. Some of the key learnings and observations gathered in the course of my travels are: Moving out of your comfort zone and adapting to field conditions: Travel isn’t always as luxurious and glamourous as pictures posted by friends on Facebook and Instagram. At times one has to accept what is available. The most important travel lesson is that every field trip means moving out of your comfort zone. It can be terrifying to get out of your comfort zone to work in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people but once you do, there is no better feeling than treading on unfamiliar territory. It is important to make plans and set targets but it is more important to be flexible, as things never work out as planned. Crazy nostalgic field trips: Assignments at beed have always been enjoyable and at times, extreme: ranging from luxurious assignments in Pokhara to the adventurous cheese factory assignment in the Langtang Valley. I guess the nostalgia is always associated with the adventurous field trips. A big hi-five goes to the two colleagues who proved that despite all odds, the determination to succeed can help achieve anything. Truly, these ladies conquered the 5000-meter Tsergo Ri peak even if it meant popping 3 pills of Diamox to reach the summit. I finally realize what these little pills are capable of.


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Similarly, a trip to a village in Sindhupalchowk to study the value chain of carpet, leather and lapsi landed us in big trouble. The vehicle we were travelling in got stuck in knee deep mud. The jeep refused to budge even an inch. The driver and I got down to digging out the vehicle. The risk was we were in the middle of nowhere with limited water, no food and no shelter for miles. My colleagues were enjoying the whole fiasco and laughing not realizing what problem we were in. Well, it took us almost 6 hours to get the jeep rolling. The other memorable field trip has been exploring the mysterious villages of Lamjung and crossing paths with the ‘Honey Hunters’ of Lamjung. Having heard of the honey stories and the inquisitiveness to try out new things I had my first brush with ‘Wild Honey’. A concoction of hot lemon, mint and a spoonful of wild honey was just enough to knock me out cold. News got out that a researcher has been knocked out cold. The next day, while roaming the village with a heavy head, every villager who passed by was like “ltdLl7s5f}” (Are you Fine?). To say the least, it was embarrassing.

Increasing connectivity: Having made touchdown in almost 60 districts of Nepal, I have noticed that connectivity has increased between villages and so has the reach of ‘Red Bulls’. There are very few villages in the Terai and mid-hill areas which are not connected by roads. The technicality of these roads can always be debated as these have been built by way of so called bulldozer terrorism. However, social development has lagged behind. Women are still abused, denied basic education, the caste system still exists in these small villages and majority of rural Nepal lacks basic education and health infrastructures. Limited infrastructure to support regional agreements: With the failure to move ahead with SAARC highway we are now talking about BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal road corridor) and OBOR (One Belt One Region). As we embarked on a BBIN field survey this July, I realized we have not done any homework on our side to see if such ideas can be supported with our existing infrastructure. Many issues came cropping up in my head such as the availability of infrastructure at custom points and the capacity of our roads and bridges to sustain the increased vehicular movements with the BBIN and OBOR agreements. Trading cities have the worst infrastructure: I always wonder why the biggest trading cities in Nepal have the worst infrastructure. In my recent trip to Birgunj, I realized that road conditions (not that is was any better in the past) in Birgunj have deteriorated to a point where one has to go to the Simara airport

to see what a black topped tarmac looks like. The city is in such a chaos with pot holes and open drains and the stench of sewerage is overwhelming. People are seen walking on the main road through the flooded streets with shoes in hand. Better still, with every downpour the drains overflowed and there was water logging and ducks swimming on the street. I wonder why this city, which accounts for the largest industries and the heaviest movement of goods (import and export), has not made progress in terms of infrastructure. Growing new cities in the east: As a child, I remember driving with my parents to Darjeeling and every time we had to stop in cities such as Itahari or Biratnagar we complained about the bad restaurants and lodges. However, in the last decade, cities such as Itahari and Biratnagar, which were once considered as night stopovers, have made positive transformation. The spending capacity in these cities is increasing and consumerism is on the rise. The key drivers are increasing remittance and growing realty market. Can you imagine having to book a table on a Thursday evening in Biratnagar? Restaurants are priced similar to Kathmandu and the quality of food is at par with any restaurant in Kathmandu. However, the service level is low, which can be attributed to entrepreneurs not focusing on training staff and the inability to retain staff due to greener pastures in the middle east. I guess when we look back it is the experience we hold close to our hearts that keeps us together at beed.

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ravelling has always been a learning experience for me. Though people love to go for popular treks like the Annapurna base camp (ABC) and the Everest base camp (EBC), they rarely opt for a trek to remote places of Nepal. Since many tourists visit places like ABC every year, the trails are well developed and proper accommodation is not hard to find. However, rural places of Nepal that do not have proper tourist flow remain underdeveloped. In April 2014, I visited one such place: the Mugu district in Nepal. The purpose of my visit was a trek to the Rara Lake. We started our trek from a place called Bajura. After a day’s walk, we reached Kolti where we stayed overnight. The next day we started our trek early morning from Kolti. It was almost midday by the time we reached the trail alongside the Karnali river. We had to trek on barren, dry land with only a tree two kilometers away. Resting under the tree after a long walk under the heat gave so much comfort at that moment. After hours of walking, we had finally spotted a small hut to rest for lunch. The lunch served at that


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place made me realize the privileges we have in the city area in terms of the quality and taste of food. As we moved on with our journey, the drinking water bottles that we had carried started to be empty as the heat made us very thirsty. With very few human

realize the importance of water since every drop of it gave so much satisfaction while walking in the heat and dry land though we would have never thought of drinking that water back in Kathmandu. As we continued with our journey, we had to pass through a dangerous yet adventurous trail. One of the trails we had to pass through was such that there was a huge rock on one side and the Karnali River on the other side and the trail could accommodate only a foot. If one goes off balance you fall straight into the river. The entire rock climbing experience was a unique adventure in itself. Finally, we reached our stop for the day in the village called Ratapani. settlements along the way, drinking water was not easily available. The thirst compelled us to drink the sandy water directly from the river. We were so dehydrated that we were not able to wait to get the water treated with piyush. This experience made us

The next day we headed towards Rara Lake early morning from Ratapani. As we were approaching the lake, the entire landscape had completely changed. From dry lands with hot climate we reached a place with cool temperate weather. The entire area was

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covered with lush green forest and clean spring water flowing directly up from the Himalayas. The air was so fresh and the greenery was mesmerizing. Since the place was untouched with hardly any tourist using that trail, it was what I would describe nature at its best. As we reached the lake, we simply went “wow�. The serenity and attractiveness of the lake was extremely awesome. Spending two days near the untouched Rara Lake area was a self-rejuvenating experience for me. My overall experience of this trip made me realize the importance of nature and what it has to offer.


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Though the entire trail was a really difficult one, the scenic beauty of Rara Lake made the trek worth the trouble. The changing landscape from dry land to dense forest shows the diverse landscape of Nepal and the beauty of the country. Meanwhile the journey made me learn the significance of basic elements of nature including water and trees in our lives and how we fail to acknowledge their importance. Visiting places beyond the comfort of city life once in a while makes us realize the privileges that we have and at the same time appreciate nature.




ecently, I had the opportunity to visit Bhutan on a work trip. Based on what I had heard and read, my perception of the country was that of a strict and reserved state that had once expelled thousands of people of Nepali origin due a perceived cultural threat. Upon visiting the country, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Bhutan shares many similarities with Nepal and is yet different and unique in many ways. The richness in culture, bio-diversity, topography as well as the fact that the British have never colonized both countries, takes the resemblance further. However, one stark difference has been the way in which Bhutan has been able to grow into one of the fastest growing economies without fully opening to the world, adopting modernity while at the same time preserving its traditional culture and heritage. Bhutan has therefore been successful in setting itself apart from rest of the world. Besides its food, festivals and traditional architecture, one of the most unique things about Bhutan is its indicator of progress – the Gross National Happiness (GNH). GNH is an indicator that was coined by the fourth King of Bhutan—Jigme Singye Wangchuck who believed that happiness and spiritual well-being were key in measuring a country’s progress. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the people of the country exude calm, composure and humility, something I noticed as soon as I landed at the airport.


While in Thimphu, I had the opportunity to meet various eminent personalities; from Ministers to businessmen, entrepreneurs as well as trekking guides. I was quite amazed at the level of professionalism and humility


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displayed during my official visits to ministries and other offices, with these eminent personalities almost always shaking hands with everyone; the same cannot be said for Nepal where a young female is often ignored or overlooked. In Nepal, every time I happen to go to a government office or other corporate offices, I am referred to either as ‘Bahini’ or ‘Nani’ despite my presence in an official capacity. While I do not mind senior officials referring to me as Bahini or Nani, I often wonder if a male of my age would also be called ‘Babu’ or ‘Bhai’ in such meetings.


Bhutan, besides being clean and beautiful, is also a well-disciplined country. This is evident from the fact that the country has no traffic lights. The city roads of the capital are well maintained and police officers direct traffic in crowded places. Even during rush hour, motorists seem calm and unruffled, with cars halting one feet before the zebra crossing as and

when they see pedestrians approaching—a very rare sight in Kathmandu where pedestrians often have to wave their hands to stop oncoming traffic. While the Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has initiated a campaign for road safety by charging fines to pedestrians crossing the road haphazardly as well as to motorists not prioritizing pedestrians in zebra crossings, such campaigns have not lasted as both the public and regulators have shown no interest in sticking to the discipline. Adding on to the disciplinary practices in Bhutan, it is also the first non-smoking nation, where smoking in public or selling tobacco is illegal. Perhaps these are the simple reasons why Bhutan is considered one of the happiest countries in the world. It is very well said that ‘Travelling can teach you more than any university’ and my visit to Bhutan has certainly been one of the best learning experiences, providing me with a fresh outlook and thinking process.

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beed management is an international management consulting and financial advisory services firm working in Bhutan, Cambodia, Nepal and Rwanda. Since its establishment in September 2008, we have served over hundred clients inside and outside Nepal.

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