Your best business development ideas in Nepal

Hi everyone,

As a foreign entrepreneur, launching a business in Nepal is a fantastic project and an exciting challenge. Some ideas are likely to succeed. Some others are promising but may not work as well as intended.

In your opinion, what kind of business or industry is likely to succeed in Nepal? What kind of industry or service currently unavailable or underdeveloped in the country would meet local needs?

On the other hand, what are the most common business types foreign entrepreneurs would be eager to launch in the country but with very little chance of success?

Thank you for your insights.

Buy in Nepal, handicrafts or other, that's fine
Visit Nepal, trek in Nepal, enjoy the mountains, help the poor, or the children or do temporary work to help others, that's fine.

But, trust my old experience, do not go into business in Nepal.
I am not saying it cannot be done, but if you are a foreigner and care about either your sanity or your pocket book, you will abstain.

Let the nepalese do the business development

Besides, foreigners can have the "best business development ideas in the world" but those are all subject to rules and regulations, and prior approval of the Authorities, most likely Department of Industry; so check with them first to see if your ideas are compatible and acceptable to the DOI.
Example: foreigners cannot go into the handicrafts field, or become travel agents etc.
First step: consult up to date list of what businesses are ok for foreigners to go into
and which ones, you will be prevented from going into.

There's nothing easy about doing direct business (investment) in Nepal

You are so right! I think more tourists are cheated by partnering up with Nepali than get into trouble on the streets in 'after hours' Thamel. If you don't do everything by the letter of the law and cover your butt every step you will not have a chance of recourse. And the Nepali are so kind and gentle by nature it will hit you like a brick to the head when they change their mind and meet another tourist with a bit more money. It's the same in the US. If a foreigner goes into business with an American it usually ends badly, as well. It's about the 'home field' advantage mixed with a bit of nationalism. Actually, I know foreigners in the handcrafts industries, most of whom do business like they are in the old West.

So don't invest more than you can afford to lose and remember that if you were in the West you would easily spend more than you could lose here just by living your life there. You'll have an interesting life and help to develop a country that missed the industrial revolution.

There is a reason they call Nepal "Never Ending Peace And Love." I have a wonderful Nepali family who've adopted me and they always give me more than they take. There are many Nepali like them. 

I'm going to try to upload a picture. Never tried it before. If it doesn't come out right maybe someone will tell me how to do it:

On this same general subject,  one major consideration should be kept in mind before any foreigner considers any possible investment in Nepal. As far as I can see, no mention of it has been made of it in these columns here, to date.
The point is that no investor in his right mind should invest his money in Nepal or any other country on the planet unless he can receive or benefit from full prior guarantees that he can get both his capital and profits, dividends or earnings out of that country when the time comes for REPATRIATION of the funds to his home country.
So let us look at the current situation in Nepal:
1. The hard fact is that the nepalese rupee is not a convertible currency
2. As a result, the nepalese currency is not traded on world currency markets
3. The currency is therefore worthless in Zurich, New York, Paris or London
So, foreign investors should be wary and tread lightly is the best advice one can give

While it is true that Nepal does have a Foreign Investment Act, foreigners who consider making direct investments in that country would be well advised to concern themselves not only about ¨investing¨but more importantly insuring ¨THE FINANCIAL EXIT OF THEIR CAPITAL¨
What texts, present legislation, central bank directives presently provide those guarantees to foreign investors in Nepal? And if they exist, are they presently being applied or enforced?
Ask your banker, financial consultant or lawyer to provide you with solid evidence of that
All I know is that I have never seen them.

You are absolutely right. It is impossible to get the rupee out, well, not impossible, but difficult. If a person thinks they can come to Nepal like the Chinese did in Madagascar and exploit the people and resources I suggest they go elsewhere.

If, on the other hand, you want to help on a humanitarian basis by bringing industry to Nepal, export goods or something else to strengthen the economy, then please know that this is a country filled with warm, friendly people who need help to catch up on the world stage.

One other thing, the Nepali rupee is 1.6 of an Indian rupee, so as India's economy gets better I think Nepal should be able to get a boost. Wouldn't that be the way that would work? I'm not an economist.

Don't invest more than you can afford to lose. Know it is so much cheaper to live a good life with a cook, house cleaner and day helper that you could just amortize it as the money you saved in living expenses. I'm happy to help anyone wanting to come here with honest answers and if I don't know something I can usually put you in touch with someone who does.

You are absolutely right. 
In respect of your next to the last paragraph. it is a fact that the indian rupee is on fixed parity ratio of 1:60 over the nepalese currency. But that being so, it's a double edged sword if I may put it that way!
If the indian rupee goes up, the nepalese rupee goes up
If the indian rupee should fall (for economic or any other reason) the nepalese rupee will automatically follow suit.
It can only be hoped that one day - and we can all hope sooner rather than later - the central bank authorities of Nepal will change Policy and make the rupee fully convertible on the world's exchange markets.
What better way for attracting more direct Foreign Investment into the country and stimulate economic growth in Nepal?.......

.......the ¨best business development idea¨ that comes immediately to my little mind!

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