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Entrepreneurship, Money, and Common Nepalese

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“The fear of being different prevents most people from seeking new ways to solve their problems”

I don’t know from where to start because sometimes I really need to take a delicate approach when I have to explain something to some of my Nepalese fellas. You know they are just so sweet and innocent, the way they think and perceive is mostly emotional, and above all, with all that years of brainwashing on absurd ideas and concepts and political philosophies, it’s really hard to explain certain things to my people, especially when it comes to business and money and things like that. Anyway, let me try to explain this.

Someone posted this in a start-up group expressing dissatisfaction for our attempt of monetizing the context. I could hear similar allegation on the comment section of the post as well.

Let’s start from this.

What is money? It’s a medium of exchange. You want a shoes, shoemaker wants rice. Money works as a medium to exchange. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for need.

You want a gem, gem dealer wants ticket to Goa to chill. Money works as a medium to exchange. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for luxury.

You want to build a road in your village, you pay the dozer guy for the work and the money received will be used for his need or luxury by the dozer guy. Again, money is a medium of exchange here. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for societal cause.

Money is nothing but a medium of exchange and it’s the most popular medium of exchange because everyone accepts it. Money itself is neither evil nor divine. A money received by a prostitute may be donated to temple or in paying school fee for her children. Also, money received by the most reputed man in town may go to a thief to buy a knife.

Basically, money is nothing but a medium of exchange. However, some people in Nepal has considered money as something special, something rare, something big and something like …I don’t know what to say, a God, maybe? They have this idea that you should exchange only certain things for money and not for everything …definitely not for societal or political thing.

Like for example, if someone is making road for all, don’t ask for money..just work for free. If someone is trying to raise voice for all, don’t ask for money, do it for free.

Now, in reality, it does not work that way, because everything is exchange in this world and money is invented as a solution to ease the exchange.

Today, humans have everything from nano robot to rocket because of the concept of money. Money itself has no meaning. It’s we humans who have agreed to give a meaning to it to self-motivate and let the exchange to go beyond daily needs. As a result, we have this world full of devices and gadgets and technologies, books and toys and cutters.

That’s what money does.  It motivates people to think beyond and produce stuffs, which otherwise would not be produced.  It motivates people to be creative, innovative, so that they could make something that others would buy, and the money in return could be used to buy foods for home, or pay bills and fees for kids or go for a vacation with loved one.

Coming back to badge

If I have to distribute that badge for free, I need to get it printed for free, which means printer guy has to get his ink for free.  The chain goes on.   If not, someone has to fund the project and I distribute it for free.

This country is f* because of that very same idea of “better get funded than monetize, when it’s for societal or political cause.”

Dull boring posters everywhere, whenever it comes to political or societal activities.  Dull, boring people everywhere, when it comes to political or societal movements.  Because we think it’s so f*cking wrong to exchange anything for money when it comes to political or societal thing.  Guess what? Only dull and boring people with their talent-less works and activities.

So dear cute little innocent Nepalese fellas, there is nothing wrong in selling badges or t’s or even dance party tickets for social causes.  Yes, the other side will collect some money, so what??  What do you think the money will be used for? It will be reinvested on people and market to get more creative and innovative that would inspire many others, filling market with more talented and creative activists.

In the end, society gets social message in more creative, innovative and effective way.  Team gets better motivation and energy to carry on.  Market gets more money flowing in.  No one dies taking money.  It all will be in the economy.  But, new products, new scope is added on.

Take the money out of the equation and see what will be there.  No money in economy.  Boring and dull products distributed for free, thus no value, nothing.   No scope, no motivation.

Which one is better?

So, go sell something for Nirmala, for Kalapani, for climate change, for whatever you are deeply moved by.  There is a name for it, and it’s called social entrepreneurship.   That’s better because you don’t need to beg around for funding, and it’s sustainable way of carrying on.  It’s hard for socialist and communist to understand that.  You don’t be the kind.

Just remember this:  We collectively have been so poor for so long – from generations to generations – because we never understood the concept and idea behind money.  How will you make something, that you have not understood in first place?

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Editorial

Budanilkantha Accident and the social media trial

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We have been getting tons of messages on the incident. So far, what we have learned is that the alleged culprit, Prithvi Malla, is in police custody and is under judicial process.

Apparently, there were some “models” inside the car and netizens are infuriated because “they were in a ramp the very next day”

Looks like no body takes modelling as a career and does not know that modelling as a job too gets bind by contract and commitment and no matter what is happening in your personal life, you gotta be available in your professional world with usual self, unless you have legal obligation to skip your professional activities for time being because of the incident.

Imagine, those people there were doctor, or recording technician, or maybe writer. Would you say, “how could you bindas listen the song in your recording studio, after the incident?” There is nothing wrong for them to get back to their job/work. You don’t know how they are feeling inside. Don’t judge them by how they shield their true state of mind.

If they are guilty, they will be nabbed to the court. Until then, they have the right to practice their profession as they have committed, as they are supposed to. Let it be.

Lastly remember, everything we know is through social media posts and maybe media. No one knows what really has happened but this social media trial is just not right, when there is a whole law enforcement and investigation department to do the job. If Nepal is that bad, Mahara would not be inside the bar. Have faith in the system. Don’t get too much into the social media trial culture.

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Editorial

India trip and realization

India has so much to teach for newly formed country like Nepal.  Life is too short to learn everything from own mistakes, so wiseness is to learn from others mistakes as well.

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Image: Unsplash

A month back I had been to India. It was not for the first time but this time I had gone after 2 years with better perspectives.  Not comparing as such or passing judgment, but throughout the journey and stay, a thought was building in me.

As soon as I reached Gorakhpur, I could see and feel the chaos and lack of civic sense among people. People were honking and rushing. I saw a half-naked woman eating from a trash. I saw poor and homeless people struggling to survive. I met people in despair with no faith in system. I spent a couple of days with family that would blindly believe in superstition and tradition. As I reached Bangalore, I could witness the rat race, the traffic, the robotic life. I stayed in one of the most expensive gated community and I could see the life of those security guards and maids and the gap between the class.

Throughout the journey and the stay, I was thinking of my country, my people, and this page and our social media as a whole. How we would make voice against anything wrongdoing, how we would collectively stand against them, voice our concerns and opinions; how whatsoever government would act on.

Yes, we are economically backward, and maybe in many other fronts, but there is something in us and that is unity, the empathy. Call us sheep or nationalist or emotional cry babies, or keyboard warriors, we somehow come together in many issues and concerns that we collectively distaste. Whether a person is tea seller or tarkariwala, we somehow embrace them as they are, as didi, dai, bhai or bahini. There is still some level of empathy, respects. No matter how much we hate our government, we have somewhere this confidence that when there is a real need, we can reach out to them, whether by gathering in Maitighar or by reaching out to local representatives and we still have the confidence that our voices get heard and addressed, somehow. There is no wall as such between ruling class and others.

I could not feel that as such in India, among Indians. It’s like as if they have given up and everyone is just focused on themselves and treat each other, see each other based on needs and class and their own socially and professionally constructed groups.

Life is too short to learn everything from own mistakes, so wiseness is to learn from others mistakes as well.

Yes, India is doing great in economic front, and maybe science and technology but when it comes to politics, when it comes to social unity, when it comes to shared values and respects, there is something missing in that country. And all that thoughts and feelings made me proud of my country and people much more, and actually made me much hopeful.

I don’t know what went wrong in that country that it has ended up in this state. It surely isn’t due to its size alone or population when country of bigger its size or population larger than it is doing better. But sure, something has gone wrong making it the way it is. And when I think of my country, my people, which is taking the leap of progress, marching towards modernization and prosperity, and seeing the unity and empathy and collective wisdom in building, my biggest fear is we ever turning anything like India.

I love India, and I always say this to anyone that for me Nepal is from Mt Everest to Kanyakumari and i love every human that lives within this demography but there is a political map up to where I can exercise my right, make a difference for now. That’s where I take a long breath. I have a country, a sovereign country, whose people have not yet given up, things are not as messed up, society is not yet as divided. This gives me a hope and an immense pleasure regardless of all the lacking and shortcomings.

Of course, India with so much diversity and rich cultural background, it is not that plain and simple to understand India and humans living there, but still to judge it by a traveler’s eye, it has so much to teach for newly formed country like Nepal.  Life is too short to learn everything from own mistakes, so wiseness is to learn from others mistakes as well.

So let’s take an oath in individual level that we will learn only good from others but we will not let mistakes of others, wrong practices of others get introduced in our land, among our people.

A determination we all shall live by.

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Editorial

We are poor because we hate money

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“If you hate rich people, if you hate money, if you hate how economy works, you are destined to die poor,” a wise man once told.  

During my recent Bangalore visit, I got to meet some start-up founders.
 
One of them was a lady probably in her mid-20s. Her company is into digital marketing. They call themselves branding experts and they claim themselves to be quite creative. Went through couple of videos made by them and also couple of their works. They also do social media marketing. I asked, “how much do you guys charge for handling a page?” She said “depends…starts from 2 lakhs.” She employees 15+ people.
 
Met another team who runs a research company. They charge anywhere between 5-25 lakhs for conducting a market research.
 
Likewise, had also met entrepreneurs, business enthusiasts, freelancers. They all have similar stories, similar spirits and passion and they all are hungry for money, bold enough for money.
 
Meeting those people, I didn’t find myself any less or inferior, nor I find my people less creative or less talented, but I noticed there is something in them that we don’t have and that is, guts to throw numbers, guts to dream numbers, guts to chase numbers. Personally, my heart would tremble to ask 6-digit fee for a consultancy or a month-long research and they ask the number for social media handling. By the time, they start their business, they are in few crore valuation. In a year or two, 10 cr company. In 5 years, 100 cr company. That’s the trend and target, they all are up to.
 
One the way back home, I was thinking, why do we fear so much to dream big numbers? why do we tremble? why are we so cheap? why do we settle with peanuts? and many similar questions.
I think I found the answer in those thinking. It has something to do with the society and culture I belong to, and what they say and how they say when it’s about money and numbers, especially big numbers…and I grew up thinking as if it’s a shame and insane to think big numbers, chase big numbers.  Somehow, I am psychologically programmed to fear the number beyond certain point.
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