Every Last Thursday of the Gregorian month, Bikalpa – an Alternative jointly organizes the “Last Thursday’s” event at Biratnagar in collaboration with Hotel Namaskar, Makalu Television, Nepal Youth Entrepreneur Forum (NYEF) and Biratnagar International College. The objective of the program is to disseminate the ideas and knowledge about entrepreneurship through the personal sharing of successful entrepreneurs. Also, the program creates an opportunity to do networking and share ideas among the participants.
The 46th Last Thursday with an Entrepreneur held on 25th April 2019 was held in Hotel Namaskar Biratnagar. The Guest Speaker for the program was Mr. Sixit Bhatta, Founder, and CEO of tootle.
This month’s Last Thursday saw an eminent entrepreneur from Kathmandu; founder and CEO of Tootle, Mr. Sixit Bhatta. In an insightful and energetic keynote speech, he shared about his entrepreneurial journey with the attendees. Born and raised in a middle-class family, he was fortunate enough to complete his schooling and college from Kathmandu. After his graduation in engineering, he worked for 12 years in the telecom sector before he left his job to express himself. He said, “Entrepreneurs are the ones who express themselves. And it’s not only entrepreneurs who express themselves but Musicians, filmmakers and so on. Everybody who love to create expresses.” During his speech, he talked about his observation of younger demography of the world. He noticed that Nepal was a young country but most countries with younger population were poor. Also, developing countries have been copying western ideas of development. With that, he believed that we had blindly supported few facts without actually testing them. He asked the audiences to figure out if this was the case or not.
While talking about his journey he shared that in the beginning, he felt it was easy to start a business but soon found out the challenges. “As an entrepreneur, one must understand that there are going to be external challenges as one got into the game like in the form of government policies or even nature made challenges. There are internal challenges as well as the Psychological challenges, like confidence biases. People tend to become overconfident and also develop an illusion of knowledge. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, one needs to understand that there will be a lot of knowledge gap. So, an entrepreneur needs to be an optimist and take calculated risks. It’s pretty much like getting married. There is a chance of failure as well. But you will have to try nonetheless. I started as an overconfident guy but as I moved on, I began to understand that I had a lot of things to learn. In the case of Tootle, I thought that once I built an app that easily connects riders with passenger, people would begin using it. But I faced a lot of newer challenges in the form of cultural and social challenges. A lot of people were reluctant to carry other people in public. We had to work to bring change in that attitude of the public.
Why do I start tootle?
“I noticed that 8 of the 10 motorbikes in Nepali streets were riding without any passenger. I saw a women bargaining with taxis parked outside one after another. She wanted to find a cheaper fare. Inside Nepal, we lack the freedom of movement. Especially people with disabilities and women. It’s because we lack proper public transportations. So we developed the Tootle not just as an app, or a ride-sharing platform. It’s the company that works to provide that freedom. Apart from that, it is providing a job to others as well. Another area that tootle aims to challenge is the flawed development model of the country which is more about copying west rather than developing according to the need of the people. In the last 200 years, our development has been based on automobiles. Our cities aren’t designed for people. They are designed for a car.
Wealth is not about having cars or houses. It’s about living, talking, and expressing oneself and so much more. So, we need to open spaces for our people, not just for cars.” In his concluding remarks, Mr. Bhatta urged the younger audiences to always listen to their heart and then no one would be able to dis-hearten them. “Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t do it. Take a risk, fail and learn from it. Don’t run from the challenges. This country has immense possibilities and people like you all need to express themselves. Everybody doesn’t need to be an entrepreneur. Do what you want and create a 21st-century world. It’s up to you now.”
After sharing his experience, he also answered the queries raised by the participants. More than 100 people attended the event held at Namaskar Hotel. The program was also covered by many local and regional newspapers and online media.