Rolling Job, Nepal's premium job portal conducted Free Webinar on " Prospects & Challenges for Consulting Companies in Nepal ". The service industry has significantly evolved over the years in Nepal making the concept of outsourcing business functions by organizations very common. According to the Government of Nepal, there are around 2500 HR Consulting companies registered in Nepal which is more than needed to serve Nepal's market. While the outsourcing behaviour brings many opportunities to Consulting Firms, new entrants and other external forces equally bring threats to such companies. We aim to understand what it takes to become a consulting company in Nepal and what are the opportunities and challenges that come along.
Rolling Job has launched the Rolling Nexus Employment and Entrepreneurship Skill Development Program for the entire month of May 2021. The curriculum is designed to assist students, fresher, job seekers, and career seekers in preparing for jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities both within and outside Nepal. The curriculum includes a free resume writing course, a customer service capability workshop, and a digital marketing workshop, as well as a webinar on topics such as HR Youth Leadership in Nepal, Prospects and Challenges for Consulting Firms in Nepal, and so on.
Anisha Kafle from the host company began the webinar with the confirmation of the presence of the moderator and all the panelists. Then the host proceeded to briefly talk about the webinar and it was followed by the introduction of the moderator and all the panel members.
The moderator of the webinar was Mr Bibek Bhandary, Co-founder of Ascendifly who is also the founding member at Sales Hacker Incorporation USA with ten years of experience in sales and marketing and demonstrated history of working in Banking, Finance, Human Resource, Media, Investment Consulting sectors both nationally and internationally.
And the panelists were Ms Archana Kunwar Chhetri, Managing Director, AskMe Management Private Limited, also the only female panel member for the webinar, Mr Avash Koirala from Jobs Dynamics Private Limited, Mr Gyan Raj Panthi, Chief Operating Officer, Rolling Plans Private Limited, Mr Diwash Thapa, Managing Director from Talent Connects and Mr Sushil Sharma, Founder and Managing Director, APPLYJOB.COM.
The webinar was live on the official Facebook page of Rolling Nexus and the audiences could drop their queries in the chat section during the session which was later answered by the panelists at the end of the webinar.
After introducing the moderator and the panel members the host Ms Kafle handed over the forum to Mr Bibek Bhandary, moderator for the webinar. Mr Bhandary talked about how whatever they all had to share should have experiences of HR and consulting industry as the focal point. He further added how it was encouraging to see all of them come together at a common platform given the trying times we are in right now. Without any delay, Mr Bhandary went ahead asking the very first question of the webinar to the panelists. The moderator wanted to know more about the company that panelists represent and what would they want the audience members to perceive their company as.
Mr Panthi from the host company was requested to answer the question first. Mr Panthi represents Rolling Plans, an HR management consulting firm which was established in 2004. Since then they have been doing all the consulting business here in Nepal. He also added that they have been focused on contributing in terms of customer service excellence where they operate several call centre management operations businesses as well. Similarly, from the few last years, they have also started contributing to IT-enabled services where recently they launched Nepal’s first professional networking website, Rolling Nexus. Rolling Plans can be perceived as a company devoted to believing in its vision which is to touch every walk of life through technology enabling innovation and supporting institutional and human capital development. Rolling Plans and Rolling Nexus works under fours Es which are Employment, Empowerment, Entrepreneurship and Engagement.
Moving on, it was Mr Sushil Sharma from APPLYJOB.COM to answer the question. He said that it was his first session in Nepal and seemed very happy to participate in it. Then he responded to the question by saying that APPLYJOB.COM was started in 2017 which is similar to any other job portal such as LinkedIn but they have plans to implement more features. He added that they are still in the development phase. He said that he is not from an HR background. His company is aiming for the global market. He wanted to work on a single product that could best represent the nation and also contribute to it. The company was his imagination and it has turned into a reality for quite a while now incorporating in nine countries in total. The goal of the company is to generate 10 to 15000 employment opportunities in Nepal.
Then it was Ms Archana Kunwar Chhetri’s turn, who represents AskMe Management Private Limited which is an HR consulting management company. She answered the queries by saying that AskMe has been in operations for the last eleven years. She had taken over the company only four/five years ago deciding to do something of her own for which she gave up her banking job. AskMe Management majorly focuses on recruitment, training and outsourcing business. Besides, trying on innovative ideas and implementing them in the company is what she likes to do. One of those ideas was a virtual job fair they had launched in 2020 where over forty different companies participated and it went to be a success beyond expectations. They have also launched askme.com, an e-commerce platform. She said that she does not have any sorts of background in HR. Ms Archana believes that customer service is the key to success while maintaining ethical standards.
Mr Diwash Thapa from Talent Connects responded to the question saying that it’s the youngest HR consulting company in Nepal which was started in 2019. The company was founded after a problem statement that was the difficulty of finding premium jobs despite having qualifications after returning from abroad. So as a company as told by Mr Thapa they connect the talents with employers looking for strategic roles. He added that they cater to technical and management roles and companies only. He said that they are working as a strategic partner with companies from UK, USA and Australia currently. They also provide consulting services to emerging startups. They have their own in the house HR team where they build products and work in the theme of digital HR. He concluded his answer by saying that they are also building a local Applicants Tracking System (ATS) for assessment based hiring and so on.
Afterwards, Mr Avash Koirala from Job Dynamics took on the floor by thanking the organisers for providing such an amazing platform. He then proceeded to answer the question posed by the moderator. Talking about Job Dynamics, Mr Avash said that the aim of the company is supporting businesses in creating direction and work hand in hand with them strategically. People are the ones who either make or break the organisation so he said that he is proud to work in that aspect of the company. He added that they prioritise learning culture and work innovatively. They work in four domain. They are recruitment, consulting, training and staff outsourcing. He also shared the vision statement of the company which is wanting to become a strategic partner while crafting future and reciprocal growth from both the client-side and people aspect. He said that they take clients growth as the growth of the company. The four majors values the company strongly believes in are empathy, passion, persistence and self-regulation.
After the panellists shared their experiences, the moderator added some points. He said that for outsiders it looks as though the companies that the panellists represent are competing against one another. He further added that it is inspiring to see companies ranging from years of experiences or having recently started, who have carved their niche in the market or are in the phases of doing so, agreeing to come together on the same platform.
The next question was about the situation that we are currently living through. Yes, you are right, it was about the pandemic. So the moderator went on to ask what sort of challenges or opportunities for that matter that they have come across during the pandemic given their nature of job which is people attached and has to deal with different human aspects.
To the question, Mr Panthi responded by saying that it has hampered the global economy resulting in market ambiguity. He further added that our country has also experienced adverse effects and changes in its economy. The company had plans to adopt different marketing strategies after the first wave but it all changed due to the second wave in 2021. The major challenge was the work situation because they are a consulting and service-based company operating in different parts of Nepal. Another major concern was the work from home arrangement. They had a lot of brainstorming sessions and the management were proactive and vigilant too to come up with ideas and take immediate actions. And as a result, they were successful in executing all the tasks by giving their best. There is no growth revenue-wise in the present time but they overcome other challenges and they still are working with our existing clients. Talking about the opportunity, they launched Rolling Nexus amid a pandemic creating opportunities for many job seekers and employers. He said that there are more opportunities than challenges. There is Rolling Bazaar where locally made products can have the market. There is Rolling Event where people can connect and start online class and counselling.
Moving forward, the moderator requested Mr Sushil Pandey to answer the question. Mr Pandey said that they are more focused on the future than the present. He added that they are going onwards implementing technology and its system. He also said that in the coming days we have to be technology-focused to keep up with future generations. He has made connections with people on different platforms and has been successful in widening the reach. Applyjob.com aims to expand globally. He also added that the company is in the process of tying up with companies like Microsoft, Google and more to meet the target of providing free recruitment service to 50000 startups. They are planning on bringing globally certified training courses on their platform. Moreover, they are planning on centralising shortlisting process and other processes of recruitment on applyjob.com itself. Mr Pandey stressed the lack of patience in Nepali people and the phenomenon of not utilising the job portals thoroughly. He went on to share the slogan of the company which is “ultimate job machine.”
Continuing with the question regarding the challenges faced in the cutting scenario, Mr Diwas briefs the challenges in regards to both national and international clients. He also shared what are challenges that one could face in developing countries like Nepal as well.
Ms Archana too shares how Askme Management managed to survive the lockdown by identifying and utilizing new sets of opportunities through technology. The panel collectively emphasized how being proactive and tech-driven has helped them sustain their companies so far.
An important aspect, which is a takeaway for all companies is that during times like these, one of the most important aspects to help sustain your company is the humanitarian aspect. If the employees are not treated with care, respect, and empathy; the company’s survival will be at risk.
In regards to the lockdown, the panel also shares insights on booming and emerging industries due to lockdown. Mr Gyan Raj also further explains how sectors like E-commerce, IT, VPO, etc are on the rise. Surprisingly, by being a developing country, due to low obligatory pay rates, international companies were seen to be more willing in hiring employees from Nepal and the hiring rate during the lockdown seemed to have doubled!
While moving forward with the impact of the pandemic situation on youths and job seekers, our panelist, Mr. Sushil provided the audience with some advice encouraging seriousness and the importance of continuous learning with a positive mindset. Focusing on potential job seekers, the panel encouraged all the youths and freshers to use this time to upskill and build a portfolio.
Since the pandemic has a huge financial impact on all the companies, freshers will be more likely to get job opportunities due to the budget allocation. During or after a pandemic; job opportunities are everywhere, and as our panelists mentioned, the key to finding employment is to work on upskilling, build a network and grab the opportunity
Archana Kunwar Chhetri further added that qualifications should not matter at most times but if any person is experienced, they can ultimately add value to the organization. In the IT sector, normally Diploma passed grads are also hired as they can upgrade the value of the organization so, rather than qualification, the potential to add value should be addressed. She quoted that the freshers should develop themselves through self-learning. She exclaimed with grief that there are a lot of freshers or job-seeker candidates who are unknown about their roles and responsibilities, the vision of the company, the tasks of the vacant post if they are asked about in interviews which justifies the lack of research and is a very negative perspective in the candidates.
She added that we should always run for and grasp the opportunities and there should be a genuine hunger for knowledge whether they may be the job-seekers or the people who are running successful companies. The will to learn new through various platforms through hook or crook should never be put to a full stop.
With the same question asked to Sushil Sharma, he responds that there are ample valid job portals abundant in Nepal. The employer requires dedicated employees to stove in the market and if the job-seekers tend to be like growth-hacking employees, any employer will be ready to hire such employees. For instance, if a person is inclined towards generating more leads, more sales, increased clientele, an employer will hire such persons having greater potentiality and quality. If there is a strong belief, confidence level, and immense capability in a person with a self-learner attitude, then there are always the gates welcoming you.
Diwash Thapa replying to the question of perspective of remote working from company and employee side, he answered that Talent Connects is concerned with three domains: i) People Management Skills (ability to work as a team member with synergy)
ii) Technical Skills (knowledge about Zira, MS Project Management like tools)
iii) Big Data (knowledge about Pivot Table and others), if a person is keenly interested in self-learning, he/she can learn through various E-learning platforms, YouTube, free webinars as knowledge about these software tools is a must whether it’s a tech company or not.
Similarly, he added that national companies should have good communication skills and fluent English speaking capability to deal with international companies regarding his experiences with the clients of international companies. In addition, there should be an adaptation of technology as well and proper guidelines to perform remote working like performance tracking tools, measuring office hours’ performance, etc.
Gyan Raj Panthi further added that the candidates should have behavioural changes while giving interviews. He explained that the freshers need to understand about developing the skills rather than expecting a high amount of salary while approaching the job interviews. They need to know that they just need to start the accelerator button and there will be market demand of that individual. Nowadays, there are plenty of jobs available that can be done from homes and ample tools to measure KPIs. He insisted on indulging in Customer Service if the job-seekers have enough knowledge of excel, communication, and some technology to begin the career with.
Avash Koirala answered the query of one of the participants about cost reduction due to outsourcing. He responded that outsourcing companies help the companies, corporate houses, banking institutions, and other SMEs to overcome the staffing challenge and they can focus on their main business domains. He also shed light on challenges faced by outsourcing companies regarding layoffs, financial burdens delegated by the clients in terms of outsourcing staff.
With the question regarding service fees and premium charges, Gyan Raj Panthi, Diwash Thapa, and Sushil Pandey responded about the industry standards and premium offers, and other ethical practices. In the end, all the panelists shared a brief message to the freshers and job-seekers about ample opportunities abundant in the 21st century, job portals, upskilling and learning attitude.
Gyan Raj Panthi focussed on 4 Es- Engagement, Empowerment, Employability and Entrepreneurship, virtual interviews and informed about Nepal’s 1st professional networking site, Rolling Nexus. Archana Kunwar Chhetri mentioned the fraudulent companies that are responsible for fake promises of job offers and keen research on such propagandas. Diwash Thapa quoted on upskilling and learning the 21st-century skills that are most needed to thrive in today’s world. Avash Koirala focussed on Attitude and Sushil Pandey concluded his message with “ There is something but nothing”.
All the panelists including moderator Bibek Bhandari shared their welcome message to the organizer for organizing such a wonderful webinar which was worth learning and sharing one’s knowledge. Ms Anisha Kafle was handed over the session and thanking all the panelists, moderator, and the participants, she showcased E-certificates as a Token to Love to the panelists, Mr Pravash Rai, HR Head of RPPL introduced the next webinar named “Challenges in Foreign Employment” which will be moderated by Saroj Dahal along with respected panelists and the session was ended with a thank-you note.