First Time in Nepal: KU(Kathmandu University) signs an MOU with Mercantile for Research Activities of its students

Posted by: Lava Kafle

KU Dean of Engineering Dr. Bhola Thapa signed an Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sanjeeb Raj Bhandari ( Mercantile) for joint venture on KU Students’ Research in Handwriting Recognition of Nepali language as KeyBoard is the greatest hindrance to common people (thought of Sanjeeb Raj Bhandari), and Mercantile distributed necessary hardware as well to KU for nurturing the project.
I was invited by KUAA(Kathmandu University Alumni Association) to attend a seminar addressed by Nepal’s 5 …

stars Sanjib Raj Bhandari (Mercantile), Bijay Krishna Shrestha (Beltronix), Navin Joshi (World Distribution), Dileep Agrawaal (WorldLink), Rajesh Kumar Shakya (HitechvalleyiNet), and Deepesh Pradhan (Yomari) who have formed aiming to invest 100 million NRS in ICT sector with Joint Venture tied to Intelligent Capital, LLC, USA. I was a little bit late as I followed the wounded paths ( that had Steep Humps as well ) to the Kathmandu University Management College’s building inside Balkumari, Lalitpur Nepal.
Sanjib Raj Bhandari was asking a Question,” Anybody think, daydream? please speak up nepal’s Graduates.” No body returned an answer. I was tired throughout the way so waited till I felt relaxed. Nepalese society and culture was pointed out by him. We do not want to be different from others by speaking in front of mass. He told an interesting story about naming their venture a Fortune Cookie( AfterChinese Meal, cookie is offered and breaking which reveals Message; the message can be good or bad). Dileep Agrawal exemplified on Blogs being success in US and highlighted extended portions of fortunecookie. Bijay Krishna Shrestha, Navin Joshi, Rajesh Kumar Shakya, and Deepesh Pradhan answered many of the questions asked by the attendees to clarify the Fortune Cookie concepts and the team cited success stories of creative people who had too little fund but got help with Venture Capital around the world.
Meanwhile, I managed to prove how creativity needs to be materialized. When there is an idea, we need to jump immediately. I needed to buy a car, so googled it for Kathmandu Nepal. No results , no sites of automobiles were available, instead asked Sanat about car industry and found that I was wasting my time browsing the web and try finding suitable web-sites. So, I talked to my associates and launched which covers all Sell/Buy items (car was an example only) not found in Nepalese sites and the Fortune Cookie Team hoped it can become global. It took my team one month to get the site name. I told on the occasion that I will seek Fortune Cookie’s Funds If I need to expand my site and funds were scarce with me.
I also explained my creative purpose with the partnership of where I am writing as its hit rates are more than 1000 per day from around the globe , US hit rates on TOP, participated by mostly Nepalese now as it has been created by us to change the old Nepal into a new Nepal, so Nepalese luck can be christened with better spells.
My example was real in the meeting which had sorted out the necessity of capital/incubation for an emerging idea. One friend mentioned that most of the Graduates go to USA for further studies, so, they cannot implement the idea. I replied that for last seven years I am in Computer Industry as a KU Graduate and is doing well without further degrees and necessity to leave the country, because I believe in me and my ideas that have earned me respect, power, computer culture, and the society which could not have been possible if I were not here and if I had not done for the country, my Nepal/Pride which I can make richer by continuously working in ICT with creative ideas. The Fortune Team reiterated that many Nepalese will refrain from going to foreign countries when they start catering bright ideas into reality where Nepalese can become owners not Employees. Dr. Bhola Thapa cited an example on how Nepalese students can get best Quality education in Nepal via KU thereby saving Nepali money from reaching other countries for same level of education.
I had asked the Fortune Cookie Team, if floating shares for public is on the offing and they replied YES. I also raised the idea of merging such 5 top companies into one, but, it was out of scope. Actually we need merger in Nepal for strengthening the software field where a large and well-established process-oriented, rule-oriented, and quality oriented mechanism drives out the products is essential. Which software ever made in Nepal by Nepalese for Nepalese is of best quality that agrees to all engineering norms of ICT?
Finally, thanking Kathmandu university Alumni Association (KUAA) for organizing such creative opportunity for Nepalese to understand how to become owners and the Fortune Cookie Team for being ready to help creative ideas, I want to say, ”Well, Merger of smaller companies in Software/hydroelectric/water/sanitation..into a big one will no longer be my dream only as it lowers cost, increases quality, and boosts productivity. Let us see if Nepalese entrepreneurs can benefit from Fortune Cookie or not and if they want to remain as employee only rather than becoming an Owner of a successful enterprise with own Patent like in US.”
Rest I leave for the bloggers to argue.

First Time in Nepal: KU(Kathmandu University) signs an MOU with Mercantile for Research Activities of its students was last modified: September 11th, 2013 by Lava Kafle

Blog Comments

  1. lpk

    Yes Pawan, you are true. This Ruptse Silicon guy must have got swallowed in Silicon Valley and might have become another VC chip by now. It has been long that he has not been involved in discussions.

  2. pawan

    It is alright Marwari community has a sort of VC concept. They know how to make cash running. I did some wiki and found that there is no concrete definition of VC. Some are Angel Capitalist some are Venture Capitalist. Both want to invest there extra cash to make it running.

    I don’t know where the hell this Ruptse guy is lost, I want to know from this guy who seems to have some first hand experience on VC.

  3. lpk

    Yes pawan, only Marwari communities with Golchha,Khetan, Dugar have succeeded in that way in Nepal as other Capitalists like SRajbhandari,DAgrawal,NJoshi,RShakya,BkShrestha are all looking to get pie by themselves only, not thinking on real VC way. Do not forget what Ruptse, Silicon valley guy said.

  4. pawan

    Talking about VC, there are sort of rudementary Venture Capitalists here. Like marwari community. They guys invest if someone has a very good purposal and has marwari network. Better if other comminties follows same. This is one way to promote VC in Nepal

  5. pawan

    Well, in US, finacial regulations are there bacause it has many history of stock and other finacial crashes. And yes that prevented the investers’ money being pooled to the risk of VC. But still there are many VCs. How they rise fund for VC? How they decide what to invest in?

  6. Ruptse

    Lava, bravo for forwarding to Mr Rajbhandari who may be more open than other sahujis as we know it. VC investment is not an individual or an institution thing, it’s about an environment, where many things have to come together for it to even start working. Look at Europe for example (possibly except London), it’s not the shortage of capital or resources, but the lack of environment that makes VC so non-existent. Europe just uses another model of investment which is more conservative and hence produces value with less risk and hence for smaller reward.

    pawan, majority of successful VCs out here are ex-entrepreneur themselves. There are some with strictly financial/banking background but are not as much favourite, because like I said earlier, money is the easier part of a venture deal. Mindset, operational knowhow, connections that come with a VC are usually more valuable. Here’s a well known example for you –
    And here’s a quote from that website – “An entrepreneur is someone who dares to dream the dreams and is foolish enough to try to make those dreams come true.” Now imagine telling that to a sahuji and asking for his money …

    You can visit to keep update to related topics.


  7. Lava Kafle

    Silicon valley Ruptse and pawan, your argument is basis for modern Nepal’s software prospects and Justin too had stressed earlier on $$ flowing into nepalese economy. Your term “Shauji” refers to shopkeeper type Owner of modern software house , example Mr. Sanjib Raj bhandari, one of the 5 Stars, who has that old culture/tradition prevalent in his current industry and so, cooperated with other four enemies (business competitors) to gain something out without changing the mindset for venture Capitalist model. I have even sent him an email to reply here, but, he is too busy I should presume.

  8. pawan

    Ok, got your point. But who’s going to invest. Its not government. Certainly not I/NGOs. We are not talking about one of those Dhukutis, are we?. So it’s Sahujis. Yes there are lots of risk (don’t have any statitics about your 1/20 success rate). But they see the future share of profit. By the way do you have any idea about VC investers in California. Are they bankers?

  9. Ruptse

    pawan says “Sahujis who ventures and thrive for growth” … you missed right there. VC model is inherently different from traditional business mindset, almost to the point that traditional businesses are antithesis to VC model. In traditional business (aka sahujis), one invests with minimal risk possible to create a sustainable cash flow and profit. Compare that with a VC that invests in a startup with large amount of risk and with no visibility of profit or cash flow – you can almost say invests on the basis of a promise. That’s why 19 out of 20 startups fail even in successful VC environments. Imagine being among the 19. So there you have it – VC model is not a model to copy for its coolness, which FCVP seems to have done so far. There are other better business models for fostering enterprises and creating value in enviroment like Nepal, where sophisticated legal and financial infrastructure does not exist. And finally, reality check is necessary even if it sounds negative.


  10. pawan

    It’s always Sahujis who ventures and thrive for growth, so don’t consider VC as some sort of social NGOs. This is a good beginning if not a perfect one. Making too many rules at the early stage will definitely kill the whole concept of VC. I certainly like government not to set any rule at this stage for two reason first they are busy with other issue. Secondly, Nepalese planner knows nothing beyond remittance. Only condition to grow is to keep rolling what is started. For the sake of new capitalist Nepal, please try to avoid negative thoughts.

  11. Ruptse

    Good article! But like your article, the founders of this venture are lacking in some key ingredients. VC investment models work in only few strict environments around the world, the most successful one being in northern California’s Silicon Valley. Fortune Cookie VP (FCVP) seems to have neglected to study that closely. Copy-cat models take long time to work or in most cases just don’t. Take a look at similar efforts in Nepal’s big neighbors and how long that is taking to validate the model. Legal, financial, social, educational infrastructure changes that VC models are build upon seem to have been neglected by FCVP folks. Just because a few sahujis get together and start a VC fund does not mean it’ll work. Believe it or not, in today’s world capital climate, money is the easier part of the venture model.

    And btw, Intelligent Capital, LLC quoted everywhere by FCVP folks doesn’t even seem to have a website and logically can’t be a mainstream player in US. Would anyone care to elaborate?

    Who is addressing these tough questions in case of Nepal – venture financing rules, legalities, stock market discipline, oversight, intellectual property issues etc? I do hope that FCVP is not just a wishful thinking and that they will push for such necessary changes. And I surely hope that it doesn’t end up like a real fortune cookie – a laughing piece over burping.

    Silicon Valley

    PS: is available right now for anyone to register.

  12. lava kafle

    Pawan, I have always admired your nice/sweet/sleek write ups even in Nepali language that touches one’s heart, brain and soul. You remarked that I have high blood pressure so is writing sharp toned articles. I would like to defend by saying that many of the the readers, whom I want to shake up, have a lot of onion-patched filters and I want to bypass every shield and make my message reach to the buul’s eye. About blood pressure, I have low diastole and Systole using some ancient medical vocabulary, and, I use sharp tones in speaking/writing to keep levels match to the normal person. If one’s listening is a little bit impaired, then voice is loud, as an example. If I had high blood pressure, I would have died with the force that you noted.
    Meanwhile, support for venture capital is overwhelming and we are getting a lot of hits.

  13. pawan

    यो लव कुमार को अर्टिकल खोई के हो के, चर्को स्वरमा लेखेको जस्तो, पढदा पनि कान थुन्नु पर्ने। पछिल्ला लेख पनि उस्तै। हाई प्रेसरको बिमार हो कि के हो।

  14. Bikal


    You seem confused and what you say do not make any sense. You do not want any venture capital yet at the same time you want businesses and industries to grow and prosper. Most businesses require – at least initially – funds to sustain and grow until they can do so themselves. Venture capitalism is one of the sources of such funds for these businesses. At such a time when the economy of the country is in doldrums, venture capitalism seeks – to some degree – to address the need of funds for these businesses. Venture capital will help any country that needs it, be it the US, UK, or Nepal. Maybe more so in the case of Nepal because we sorely need capital so that many more businesses in other sectors such as food and beverages, housing, textile, retail etc can be started and sustained.

    A legal business entity that is engaged in a commercial activity – whether that be in retail, housing or ICT/software/hardware – is highly beneficial to any country. At the very least these benefits come in the form of employment generation, taxes and utilization of human resources available in the country. Justin’s point is valid, salary earned by employees are spent on food, clothing, entertainment and other necessities/wants. These spending at the very minimum spur growth in other sectors of the economy. Therefore, be it Nepal or US, a software business is a business and as such is wanted and needed by Nepal. Nepal needs and wants more such companies to come and establish here not less.

    Your comparison of software with petrol is equally bizzare. It’s true software will do little if you need food or petrol. However, this is like comparing hammer with a saw. What good is a saw if all you need is a hammer to drive the nails? In the same vein, what good is food or petrol if all you want to do is check emails or maybe write a response to this comment?

    Nepal is not a poor country. Like any other country, it has problems but it is not in any way poor. True, the economy in not performing well, true again there is a high level of un-employment in the country, true again there is a political upheavel in the country. However, these does not in any way make Nepal poor. Problems exist because solutions exist and Nepal will and is capable of finding a solution. Recent political developments in Nepal clearly point towards this direction. If any, these are the indicators of a country that wants to reach for the stars and maybe will reach the stars.

    I cannot for certain say communism will help or not help Nepal but if we are take history and past examples into consideration, then communism donot seem to provide a viable, practical and sustainable alternative to democracy based on equitable capitalism. Cambodia was at the worst state when Khmer rouge communist finally fell down, Russia was at its lowest point in history when communism finally collapsed there. North Korea is facing huge starvation of its citizens while its nearest cousin and neighbour South Korea enjoys living standards equaling and in some cases exceeding that of the Europeans and the North Americans. China’s economy was reeling over before it finally recognized for the need to open up and at least organize its economy along the lines of capitalism. A few years back private property – unthinkable in any communist state – was recognized by the Chinese state. If these empirical evidence are to suggest anything, then it is that capitalism to a large extent works.

    You say you are a poor Nepali but I suppose you are not giving that as an excuse for your laziness, are you? In that case you truly are poor and no amount of wealth can make you rich or other wise. If you equate spending with being wealthy then you truly are a lost cause.

  15. lava kafle

    Dear Nepali, I have tried sending an email to Sanjib Rajbhandari asking him to defend issues here and let us hope that he gets time to defend from his fortune group.

  16. Lava Kafle

    I thank Justin for his clear viewpoint regarding the Venture of D2 in Nepal that has been helping to promote the Nepalese social status, market, and contribution of Nepalese in global arena/economy by employing as many software engineers as possible,and, this virtue cannot go to other companies.

  17. Justin

    @ Anti-VentureCapitalist:

    The wages of nearly 150 software engineers are paid by US dollars at D2. What do you think the employees do with that money? Burn it? Hide it in mattresses? No… they spend it and introduce it to the Nepali economy. In the case of D2, capitalism or communism makes no difference. Any country needs international trade, and software is one of many industries that allows just that.

  18. Anti-VentureCapitalist

    It appears that the top five stars named so by so called Tail-Wagging LAVA KAFLE are not sure about its success. If they had they would have put their respective comments. It looks that they are in worthless shape. Venture Capitalism will help countries like US only. Nepal is a poor country, so it needs communism, not capitalism. We do not want software company with ICT. We want food, cloth, house industry, alcohol to be promoted. What the hell will siftware do when you do not have petrol in your cars, sanjib, dilip, bijaya, Navin, Rajesh and Dipeesh, so call 0 Stars!!! If you have guts, reply here. I am a poor nepali no concern with your 100 million prize as my creativity has no help from ICT. Give me money to make money as I think my creativity lies in spending money.


    OH CEO, you disagree with mergers!!! small company, less captial, less manpower, less opportunity to get handsome projects. In Nepal’s 200 s/w industry sector companies, why we have not seen any company that has real software worth of millinos, say even 1 billion rupees.If we can merge best talents of the top 5 star Fortune Cookie team with Other top big software houses, we will have about 1000 software engineers working for the same goal. It is not that I have not heard of other big company that aleady has pure software professionals(150+) hoping to make 500 soon. It is not sure if that company will agree to merger with other parties to become 1000, or 10000 if we start getting jobs like in India: daily registry keeping, book keeping, where we do not need just engineers but also, training intitute trained fellows. We will be able to digest all 4000-5000 engineers then belonging to ICT sector.
    Large Company, experienced management, huge capital, huge ideas, corporate culture/benefits, long term vision, and BIG BIG Projects like NTC Mobile, MarSyangdi..Imagine the worth.. Did you mean to say that VC means Venture Capital? can’t you elaborate further?


    hello CEO of, Foolish people have smarter ideas to turn into reality and profit which I relayed to the Fortune Cookie Seminar,and, now it should be clearer who raised the idea. “Kaam garne Kalu, Makai Khaane Bhalu” implying that you work and I take the credit for launching the site as I faced problem in buying a new house,Bike and a car, and I was the one to sought the solution.
    The world is for those who can persevere, fight, push through, and lead. Although you are branded a CEO for our common project I am going to Patent it earlier in my name unless you try the process first by help of Fortune Cookie. I am thinking of patenting “World’s all uncovered Buy/Sell site” in US in my name.
    Our team spent considerable time in naming it correctly so it is swalloable, searchable from google/Yahoo/MSN/..and Word-Of-Mouth easily digestible to all generations.
    We want to help people find solutions to their problems in buying selling anything, and it was my idea, friend, who first faced the problem and opted for solution. If you need extra money to expand this site, go to fortune cookie.

  21. adsuncovered

    hey lava,
    you have not mentioned in your article whos idea it was and who started the site.we at want to thank you for your suggestions and even letting the big shots in nepal know about the site,iam very pleased to know that these men are starting a VC.i hope young talent can florish.i disagree with your idea of merging all the companies together.

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