They have a saying – “time flies by fast when you are having fun” well, it has exactly been one year since I have joined Biruwa and I feel like last year has gone by in a jiffy.
December 30, 2011 when I returned back to Nepal after my undergraduate degree in Business Administration, was not the best time of my life. Leaving my closest friends and loved ones back in the states, I decided to come back and with the goal of making a “positive impact in Nepal” and start something of my own in the long term. If you have gone through goal setting courses, obviously the goals mentioned earlier are too vague, lacked focused and not the easiest thing to do in Nepal’s condition.
all the downs going on in my personal life then, I was in no position to setup a proper goal. It wasn’t easy at all, reverse culture shock was tougher than expected, not being independent, not earning any money, living with my parents, low-key social life and curfews was exactly what I was not. After couple months of wandering around doing nothing, I started looking around for jobs. Around the end of February I landed a sweet internship position at Laxmi Cares (with the pressure and help from my family)
where I researched on stocks traded in NEPSE for exactly half a day, realizing I absolutely hated doing that at the end of the day. Luckily one of my cousins referred me to the position of Administrative Assistant which had opened up at Biruwa Ventures.
When I applied for the position of Administrative Assistant, I did not know everything about Biruwa. The entire idea of shared office space was intriguing to me, and I did not even care about the other three services that Biruwa provided. Somehow and luckily Vidhan, Abhinab and I shared similar vision and I got hired for the position. After a year being here, Biruwa has helped me adjust back to the Nepali culture, and as a team we have grown our office space area of 1200 square feet to more than 3000 square feet, served plenty of clients and accomplished some pretty awesome things.
As of right now, we have 8 different companies with around 30 people housed at Biruwa, from an outsourced research company from USA to an awesome initiative to map out Kathmandu in Open Street Map. Originally in our 1200 square feet area, we had around four companies serving around 12 individuals. Our transition to the new location helped provide office space and opportunities to more individuals in pursuing their dreams and creating jobs in Nepal. With regular and free brainstorming and consulting services, we have helped out more than 50 individuals polish up their business plans and kick-off their businesses with a strong foundation. We know that todays youth is our future so we have reached out to more than 200 students in their undergrad in different colleges showing that entrepreneurship is also a career option. At Biruwa, we are not only focused at what we do but we make it our responsibility to reach out and help people around Nepal. We raised more than 50 thousand last summer to help build a quality birthing center in Rukum by participating in KORA cycling challenge 2012, we plan to have more riders and raise more money this summer to help Baitadi in KORA Cycling Challenge 2013. We further expanded the team, hired and got to know some fantastic interns. The list of our accomplishment in the last year just goes on.
I know I have gotten the better end of the deal being a part of Biruwa. A lot of us measure benefits we receive at work with the money we earn, but seldom realize that there are other factors that needs to be incorporated too to measure what we get in return for the effort we put in. For everyone housed at Biruwa, we are a family, Biruwa is a home away from home, where like minded people hang out, come up with some crazy ideas and make those ideas a reality. Biruwa has become a safe haven for a lot of people who have studied abroad and come back with goals and views similar to us, who want to bring a positive change in Nepal with entrepreneurship.
After joining Biruwa, I have networked with hundreds of individuals, become a first hand witness of various business/technological progresses going around the country and gained immeasurable amount of experience on top of my monthly paycheck. It has been a fantastic one year, full of surprises, fun and much more than I could have ever imagined. Thanking just couple individuals for an awesome year is not fair at all, the Biruwa experience exists because of everyone housed in it, our clients, our advisors, our fantastic interns, our partners and most importantly because of people who bring the spirit of entrepreneurship along.
Here is to another year full of adventures, growth, impact and positive changes.
Ankit SJB Rana