Nepal has been developing advanced and high-quality software applications and earning valuable foreign currency by exporting them, a report unveiled on Tuesday said.
A collaborative research carried out by Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) Federation, Institute for Social and environmental Transition-Nepal (ISET-Nepal) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) shows 50 percent of sales for software industry comes from the foreign markets. Sales ratio in domestic market stands at 25 percent, according to the report. Remaining 25 percent of sales come from software services, software license sales, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), and software environment setting service.
Speaking at the program organized to unveil the report, CAN Federation President Binod Dhakal said the number of software developers as well as quality of Nepali software applications is increasing. “Nepali developers are working with many international firms in foreign countries. There has been an apparent growth in software industry which indicates that Nepal has become capable of creating high quality software to fulfill the demand of offshore markets,” he added.
According to the report, the Nepali market is full of projects from both domestic as well as offshore sectors. “The private software development industry has the potential to earn foreign currency because of the opportunities created by outsourcing software and applications,” states the report.
Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Masashi Ogawa said that Nepali software industry has enormous potential with qualified manpower. “As the software can be sold online, no transportation cost is required. Also it does not require huge investment. Nepal has to exploit its potential and utilize it fully,” said Ogawa.
The survey shows that 24 percent of software professionals in Nepal are women. Of the total software engineers working in Nepal, 11 percent pocket Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 per month, while 13 percent are getting monthly salary of Rs 13,000 to Rs 19,000. Similarly, 43 percent of software professionals are paid in range of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 per month, while 9 percent are getting monthly salary in range of Rs 31,000 to Rs 39,000. Only 7 percent of Nepali software engineers are pocketing salary of Rs 51,000 or above.
Highlighting the findings of the report, Dhakal said that the government should focus on monitoring and evaluation in reference to ‘supply and demand’ of computer parts and peripherals.
The report has recommended to the government to encourage local engineers, scientists, architects, programmers and designers to work for new innovations by providing financial and technical support to them.
According to the report, Nepal also has the expertise to produce computer peripherals like mouse and keyboard.
The survey was conducted in Kathmandu Valley and 82 respondents each for software and hardware survey were selected for the study, according to the report.
Meanwhile, CAN Federation has launched an offshore web portal to make it easier for international software companies to know about Nepali IT industry and the services that it can provide. CAN Federation hopes that this portal will help to attract foreign software developers in Nepal.
According to the study, around 80,000 desktops are imported in Kathmandu annually of which 68,000 are sold.
“The gap between import and sales of desktop computers shows that dealers have huge number of desktop computers in stock. As new advancements are coming every other day, the computers with old technology will remain unsold,” said Dhakal.
The survey shows that 116,000 laptops are sold in Kathmandu Valley annually.
Of the total companies selling computers, 33 percent buy computers from local distributors while 67 percent import directly from other countries.