Tech in the Valley, Working in Kathmandu

9 Mar. 2014 - - Total Reads 6,359

Nepal

The questions I get asked when people find our software development office is in Kathmandu, is why there? What is it like? Did you go hiking?

I first started sending work there around 10 years ago, checking out border countries India and China as comparisons. I was coding and selling software to Melbourne companies employing fellow students from Melbourne University. Engineering back then was probably the most global cultural melting pot you could imagine and the guys actually sparked the idea of building a team overseas well before offshoring was common knowledge.

What endeared me most about Nepal was the people I met. I note in the early 2000s when I first went to meet software engineers there, I had to get over the unstable political space: the ruling royal family was massacred at a dinner party and the rest of my hotel was occupied by the UN to help establish democracy. It was quite an incredible time. While there were bombs literally going off in and around Kathmandu, India I thought was far more of a battleground for a startup. Microsoft, Infosys and other large corporates were already pulling the best available talent, shutting out small startups like mine. Plus you couldn’t walk down the street without having 50 people follow you begging. A stark contrast to Nepal where the locals were like, ‘oh yeah another tourist’. The Nepalese family values were beautiful; a place I would happily visit every year. But another huge advantage was engineering/IT was a major export for the country. I’ve been 7 times in the last decade and we now have 40 in our office.

The country is, as most imagine, picturesque: a postcard around every corner, with some of the densest world heritage areas on the planet. But the city is crowded; with over half the population living in central Kathmandu, it is highly polluted like a lot of emerging cities. You’ll see me wearing a mask as I walk or transit to work on the back of our General Manager’s bike (don’t bother with cars there: there are constant traffic jams and only one set of working traffic lights). If you do happen to catch a taxi, the meters broke in the mid-80s, so its set fees and you should ask for the price upfront, but the range varies from driver to driver (sometimes double if they are feeling lucky!)

online advertising agency-Nepal

I’ve seen nearly every corner of the country, except Pokhara which I’m saving till I can take the wife and kids. It is one of the truly magical places on earth – historical city on a lake in the Himalayas under Everest and the Annapurna range (Google images if you have a few minutes). I’ve fought with monkeys over food; bungee-jumped the cliffs between Nepal and Tibet; joined Hindu and Buddhist festivals; and witnessed ritual sacrifices in mountain temples across the country. In fact, in Manakamana it is said that a wish made during the ritual offerings will be granted in your life. I wished for a family and met my wife soon after returning to Melbourne, so maybe there is something truly magical happening there.

I haven’t hiked to Everest base camp or up any of the larger ranges, simply because I’m there for a week or two to work, and the shortest hikes are around 10 days. Plus the overpopulation, litter and almost daily deaths on Everest don’t feel like the right way to enjoy this incredible country. I’ve done short hikes of a day or two with my senior team members, tourist free, sometimes to their home villages – places that have remained untouched for centuries and care little for change. It is amazing to see how many of us would have lived decades and centuries ago: the challenges we have solved and created in the modern cities of the world.

My last trip had been after some major growth at &Mine – both clients and new team members across all offices – so I was busy working with the guys to optimise every aspect of the business I could. With some huge wins already on the board, we’ve got many more tasks ahead to build the world-class back-end office to rival those multinational rivals in India. We’ve also started networking with larger corporates across finance, banking, government, tourism and similar national verticals in Nepal to plan and be part of the next steps in the evolution which has taken place in their neighboring countries. On a commercial front through our business entities there, we are investing in property and looking at ways we can further support local charities.

internet-advertising-agency-Nepal

While I miss my family dearly (to be honest not the crying, nappies and dishes!), I look forward to my time there, as every year I learn more and more about Nepal, the business and interestingly, myself.

If you do want ever want to experience Nepal, it is one of the most unique places on earth, make sure you hit me up beforehand for some pro-tips, on-the ground connections and must sees.

– Michael

Michael Simonetti
Posted by:

Post Reads: 6.4K

Share this

Go on, see if you can challenge us on "Tech in the Valley, Working in Kathmandu" - Part of our 168 services at AndMine. We are quick to respond but if you want to go direct, test us during office hours.

Add Your Comment

Trusted by

Bank of Cyprus
Google
Macmillan Publishing
Melbourne Central
LBG Australia and New Zealand
Victorian Government
OJAY
SunSense Digital Agency
Brisbane Times
Crumpler
The Age
Australian Organic Food CO
Castran Gilbert
Madman Entertainment
Chia
Plan It Sync It
Watches of Switzerland
Green St Juice CO
Engine Swim
Novvi
WTFN
Magento Solution Specialist
Xavier
Switzer Media+Publishing
Elucent
White Suede
Bostik
Acquia Certified Site Builder Drupal
Associated Press
POSTER Magazine
Arthur Galan
Cell Therapies
Tomorrow Stars Basketball
Federation Square
One Shift
The Burger Cheese
Oakdale Meat Co
Naturtint
BlackMores
Grays Ecommerce
Jetstar
MAP
Kadac
The Fortune Institute
Fairfax Media
Instant RockStar
Florsheim Shoes
Melbourne Heart
Palace Cinemas
DUSA, Deakin University Student Association
ADP Payroll
Coles
Catholic Insurance
Ubertas Group
Magento
Dinosaur Designs
Toy World
iPrimus
Natralus Australia
MyAccount
High Street Armadale
DepSkin.com
Metricon
Jalna
Adobe Professional
Liveoneday
Bintani Australia
Oracle
Federation University Australia
Hairhouse Warehouse
Schiavello
Engineers Without Borders
Fresh Cheese Company
Viktoria & Woods
Bigcommerce
Maxine
Shell
Paypal
National Relay Services
Carlton Football Club
CSquared Executive
VISSF
Max’s
GooglePlay
Telstra
Tek Ocean
National Museum of Australia
Melrose MCT
Buy Aussie Now
AC/DC
Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals
Van Egmond Group
Tribe
Cronos Australia
Rock Pool Group
Passage To India
NMI Insurance
The Canberra Times
Loan Market
The University Of Melbourne
Parker Lane
Eway
CB Richard Ellis
Amino Active
Drupal
Marshall White
Scrum.org
Arc One
Grow Your Business
Mamma Lucia
Positive Poster
Royal Freemasons
Think & Grow Rich Inc
Maximising First Impressions With Design – Oakdale Meat
Matchbox Homewares
Garmin
McArthur Skincare
Moov Head Lice
GPT Group
Appstore
Peter Mac
Mecca Brands
Hanover
SwinBurne University of Technology
Kay&Burton
Craft CMS
Etihad Stadium
131 Pizza
21st Century Australia Party
OMS – Order Management System
Australian Physiotherapy Association
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre – MSAC
Wild Rhino Shoes
Forbes
Melrose Health
Rydges
Australian Anthill
Sports Power
James Buyer Advocates
SMH – The Sydney Morning Herald
Boston Consulting Group
Atlantic Group of Companies
Dial Before You Dig
Heat Holders
News
Movember
Aqium Gel
Windsorsmith
QV Skincare
Tassal
Sunday Creek
DeeWhy Market
Bulk Nutrients
Ello
Celebrate Health
ISO Certified
CAN- Common Wealth Bank
ABC
Uber
Bondi Sands
Street Kitchen
Fast.co
TPP
Australian Government
Ego Pharmaceuticals
Vendor Advocacy Australia
Toni&Guy
RMIT University
Smart Company
Focus On Furniture
Unsw Australia
Ebay
Rackspace
Passage Foods
Beaumont
Grainshaker

Testimonials

The guys at &Mine are one step ahead and have made the process pleasant and stress free. All credit to them and their great working culture because I expected the process to be awful. I am looking forward to taking this project live and doing more business with &Mine. Lauren Brown, Director, Motto fashion

More Testimonials
AndMine-Google-Partner-Signature