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Showing posts from August, 2014

One Eye On Nepal

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A tech startup launched partly or fully by Nepalis that might manage to raise 100K or 200K from among Nepalis in the first round, also called seed round, or friends and family round, if it does good work positions itself to raise north of a million dollars in its second round from professional investors. But it would be hard, probably impossible, to raise a million dollars from among Nepalis.

There is a flip side to that coin. Say that tech startup does well and ends up with a valuation in the 100 million dollar range in five years. Interested Nepalis either invested in the first round or did not invest at all. Because round two onwards you have to be a licensed investor to invest. You can’t come into rounds two, three or four.

Granted a tech startup is high risk behavior. Bottom line, it could fail. You could lose your money as an investor. But I can’t think of a better vehicle than a tech startup to start tapping into the robust capital markets in this city, the finance capital …

Nitish, Bihar, And Development

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English: Flag of Janata Dal (United) of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Map of Bihar showing location of Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Lalu Prasad Yadav, at a political meeting in Kesariya, Bihar, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Bihar has seen the emergence of a new alliance with Nitish, Lalu and the Congress coming together. The other of course is the BJP alliance with the likes of Ram Vilas Paswan that swept the recently held national elections.

Right now the two alliances are running neck and neck. That means it will be a close fight next year in Bihar, but it is advantage BJP. Right now Sushil Modi is running ahead. In Bihar it might be 50-50. But in Uttar Pradesh it will be a total sweep by the BJP also at the state level.

Bihar is one place that could give Modi something akin to an opposition. And Modi in Gujrat was known as a man who brooks no opposition. His China model is not only economic, it is also political. He does not like the idea of having muc…

सच्चा राष्ट्रियता गरीबी सकेसम्म चाँडै कसरी मेट्ने भन्ने हो

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The flag of Nepal (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In response to a Facebook post by a friend.

(१) नेपाल र भारत को जस्तो नजिक को सम्बन्ध कुनै दुई देशको छैन, अमेरिका र कनाडा को पनि छैन। त्यो जनता लेवल को कुरा। र त्यो तराई का मधेसी को मात्र होइन। नेपालको प्रत्येक समुदाय को कुरा। शाह राणा को पनि "बेटी-रोटी" कै सम्बन्ध हो। हिमाली भेग को कुरा गर्ने हो भने तिब्बती शरणार्थी सबै भारत मै छन। यता दार्चुला, उता धारचूला, मान्छे दुबै तिर उस्तै।

(२) सरकार लेवल को कुरा गर्ने हो भने भारत मा जुन सुकै सरकार आए पनि हाम्रो नेपाल संग जस्तो राम्रो सम्बन्ध अरु कुनै देशको सरकार संग छैन भन्छ।  के भनेको होला?

(३) नेपालका प्रत्येक पार्टी का नेता दिल्ली धाउँछन्, र त्यो भु-राजनीति बुझ्नेले अप्राकृतिक मान्दैन। चन्द्रमा पृथ्वी वरिपरि घुम्छ, पृथ्वी सुर्य वरिपरि घुम्छ। बरु राजनीति र लोकतंत्र बुझ्नेले सोध्छ, भारत ले ठग्छ भन्ने त्यत्रो ठुलो डर छ भने नेपालको संसदले अर्को देश सँग गरिने कुनै पनि संधि सम्झौता नेपालको संसद मा पुर्ण बहसमा लगेर बहुमत ले अनुमोदन गर्न पर्ने प्राबधान किन नराखेको? २०४६ पछि मलाई अलि कति excited…

East West Nepal Railway

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Nepal topography. The green/yellow zones hold the Inner Terai valleys. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is talk of an East West Nepal Railway. The current talk puts that right next to the Mahendra Rajmarga, the East West Highway. I believe that would be a mistake. The rivers right south of Chure tend to be really wide. You go further south and they narrow down substantially. Bridges are the most expensive part of a road (or rail).

So if the idea is to build an East West Railways at the lowest cost possible, the best part to do it would be in Mid-Terai.

There is widespread feeling among Madhesis that the Mahendra Rajmarga was never built for Madhesis in the first place. It was built for the Pahadis. The highway that would most benefit the Madhesis would be the Postal Highway, or the Hulaki Rajmarga. It goes very close to the Indian border. Because the most dense clusters of the Madhesi population happens to be close to the Indian border.

An East West Railway that runs through the midd…

33-33-34

A tech startup shares its ownership widely as it grows and matures. I think 33-33-34 is a healthy ratio, although many permutations and combinations are possible: 33 to the founders, 33 to the investors in various rounds, and 34 to the team.

Some venture capitalists think their share ought be 40 per cent. Some of them collude with the founders to leave very little for the team. Some of them gobble up even more than 40. I know of one case where the founders had been watered down to around one per cent. That company died soon after.

Round 1 investment is also known as the seed round, or friends and family round. Usually people who have known you a few years put in some money. Venture capitalists are people too. There are all kinds. That includes the bad apples. Vulture capitalists are venture capitalists with bad character. Often times the vulture capitalists have a tendency to water down the early stage investors, and this is with successful companies.

If you are going to give away…

"Nepal can become a developed nation by supplying power to India."

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English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"Nepal can become a developed nation by supplying power to India."
- Narendra Modi

The government of India formally claims it has better relations with Nepal than any other country in the world. It is also true that India-Nepal have a deeper relationship than any two neighboring countries in the world, US and Canada included.

But recently as soon as news surfaced that India was trying to enter into a power trade agreement with Nepal a lot of leaders and commoners in Nepal gave a knee-jerk reaction. There was deep suspicion and mistrust. India was accused of all sorts of wrong motivations.

Where does that come from? It is very important to get to the bottom of it. Because therein lies the key to ending poverty in Nepal.

I think that parody of false nationalism is everything to do with the fundamental incompetence of the leaders of Nepal, be they political or in the bureaucracy.