DigiHub has created an ecosystem to provide financial technology services from one place: CEO Dhakal
DigiHub has created an ecosystem to provide financial technology services from one place: CEO Dhakal
Bipul Dhakal. Photo: ICT News
Hundreds of new companies come in every year in the field of information, communication and technology. Only a few of them can influence the market. Similarly, ‘DigiHub’ is one of the successful companies.
Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Bipul Dhakal. Dhakal is an established name in the field of technology. He has been gathering the experience of the country’s leading payment company for a decade and a half and is now running DigiHub.
We spoke with Dhakal about his travel experience in the technology sector and what DigiHub is doing in Nepal.
You have a decade and a half of experience in Nepal’s technology sector. You even started working abroad in Ekta. Later he started working in Nepal. What made you work in your homeland?
Graduating in Chennai (India), I gained experience working in software and market management. The working culture there is more important than academic knowledge.
Uta’s experience helped me a lot when I came to Nepal and started working at Efwan Soft. The responsibility of creating and managing new sister organizations at AFWAN was challenging. Credit for the success achieved there should be given to teamwork and work culture.
After nearly a decade, at the request of Mrs. Nisha Adhikari, if they could start working in the United States or Canada, both of them could do their PhD alternately.
We visited the two countries for three months to understand the market and other things. In the end, we quit our job and came to a struggling decision to work on new thinking in Nepal. Together with friends who have worked together, ‘Three Monks’ was organized.
After realizing that we would have to wait a long time to get the expected results from ‘Three Monks’, we created SB Solutions. Its products began to find a market. Nisha also started working in travel and tours. Thus, I have been involved in the field of technology for more than a decade and a half.
Meanwhile, Lokraj Sharma, Pratap Shrestha and others were contacted. At their request and activism, I joined DigiHub.
Please tell, whats the story of them big puppys …..
It is clear from the name. It is a kind of roof, where many people live or take shelter. In a way, DigiHub is the main roof that connects everyone, in which different companies are connected. DigiHub does the work of bringing all their work in a systematic and one-stop system.
It is very difficult for those working in the field of Nepali technology to give a complete solution by including everything. Mutual support and cooperation is essential.
Couldn’t cooperation and collaboration be done separately?
Could be Here is what I have to say. That is because DigiHub has built an ecosystem through various companies to provide all the necessary financial technology services from one place. At present, we are providing various services like loan management, payment solutions and hospitality through Hawa.
It’s been a year since DigiHub started working, but the companies involved and the manpower involved have a long experience.
Various products have been made to serve the big corporate house from a simple grocery store. We have reached out to the service recipients only after the necessary platforms are ready.
What is DigiHub’s Financial Technology? Please explain.
It would be easy to understand it this way. When we keep cash, withdraw money, take loans, we see that work is done from the bank in an instant. In order to provide such services, any organization has to connect different softwares through different companies. DigiHub Group provides the same financial technology solutions.
An ecosystem has been created to simplify the work. The efficiency of the companies involved is in their respective fields. For example, SB Solutions deals in debt management and automation.
Nepal Payment Solutions assists in payment. Thus, both of them need each other’s help and cooperation. In the past, we worked by finding each other or by finding the bank itself. Now we work on one door system without any hassle for our customers.
Now we are doing the same not only in payment and lending but also in hospitality. By bringing hotels on the same platform, everything from their booking to digitizing everything is being done through pronouns.
We are working to digitize and provide services to those who do not yet have online services and those who have not gone for automation. Other such works are also being done. In all these works we need each other’s help and cooperation.
So you are working to bring those companies together and make them a hub?
Yes, building a hub is not the end of the company, but we have joined hands under the DigiHav Group, maintaining our name and the characteristics of our work.
Which companies are involved in the hub?
SB Solutions, Nepal Payment Solutions, Sarvanam, Aikmtech and Annapurna are the main affiliates of DigiHub Pvt.
Similarly, we are also empowering various other PSPs (mobile wallets), remittance companies like Payment Solutions and Consulting with Software Solutions according to their business. We are also working in collaboration with various other organizations.
Does this complete all the work of financial technology?
It is difficult to complete any work in any way. Our effort is to make them all simple and easy. If necessary, the hub can include other organizations.
Since we are different organizations working with our own specialties, some people need cash payments and some people need platforms. After connecting to Hub, the customer did not have to deal with different organizations. However, some tasks may require the help of others.
What has been the main work so far?
Mainly, we are implementing APIMS Solutions, Service Hub, Credit X and Insta Loan Solutions, the systems required for payment and automation in most of the banks and financial institutions in the Nepali market.
We have a wide range of organizations and businesses. Such as hotels, restaurants, banks and financial institutions are connected. We are working to automate the cooperatives. In a short time, 6-7 microfinance institutions have been fully automated.
Preliminary work is being done in about a dozen others. We are also working to provide services from the same door by combining the work of managing the government from the payment of the broker. All these works are moving forward in the concept of Digital Nepal.
We are also working to make the various tasks of buying and selling goods online, air and bus ticket booking, hotel booking, school etc. simple and easy.
Others are already doing such things in Nepal, aren’t they?
Yes, why not. Others have done the same. We have tried to provide easy service to our clients under one door system. We are moving towards remarkable success in a short time.
As Nepal is a small market, competition is high here. We believe that those who provide good and comfortable service will be liked. We are aware that there is no shortage of work.
There is intense competition in the market. How do you view the market?
We have to compete not only with Nepalis but also with big foreign companies in this field. So we are conscious of maintaining the standard.
After visiting USA, Canada, Japan, etc., I realized that the Nepali market is also big. Yesterday, a bamboo shoe factory could have delivered shoes to Nepalis. Today, more than a dozen such factories have not been able to meet even fifty percent of the market demand.
Other service providers have now been added along with telephone service provider NTC. When the market is competitive, we have got comfortable and good facilities.
The need for our services to all governmental, non-governmental organizations and bodies has increased. In this way, we have to grow in competition.
Competitors have learned that maintaining the quality of software, keeping competitive prices and making after-sales service fast, efficient and reliable has no effect on competitors.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of working with international organizations?
One hand does not clap. We have Digihav International with us in the international market. Headquartered in Denmark. We are together in other countries where he has worked and will work. In this way, we believe that we will benefit more than them.
So do you plan to work anywhere other than Nepal and Denmark?
Of course it is. The work of intervalet fund transfer in Nepal is in the final stage. The work of automation and digitization of stock broker work is in the final stage. Work is underway to develop software to discourage foreign-linked money order business.
Some work is moving forward as per the agreement reached with Visa Card. Similarly, people who use cross country exchange i.e. foreign payment instruments like mobile wallet or mobile money can also avail payment and settlement services in Nepal.
Similarly, a person using a QR code in neighboring India cannot use it in Nepal. Even Nepali mobile money cannot be traded in India. We are also working on these and other such services.
At the same time, we are expanding our software and services to other African continents, Southeast Asia and some European countries.
When can these works be used?
It is difficult to pass the time. As money and countries are involved in the field of technology, government regulation is needed. When the government does not make decisions in time and does not make rules and regulations, things fall behind.
We have also got permission from NRB for cross country exchange work. But that alone may not be enough. It is difficult to say how many problems can be solved even in the implementation phase.
State policy making plays a big role in this area. What do you think would have been easier if the government had done this?
It is better for the government to regulate the technology sector through one-door system. By giving some facilities and tax exemptions to new companies, the employment opportunities in the country are increasing.
It is necessary to make the law in time and amend the existing ones. In the speech, announcing the loan facility should not be available while taking it. There is a lot of work for the government to do.
After all, most of the family members from your father are working in the field of technology. How much has the family environment helped you?
No one can climb the ladder of success without the contribution of the family. My father advised me to pursue higher studies in the IT field only after doing core engineering.
My father Dr. Bimal Kumar Sharma is the founding president of the current CAN Federation and Binit Kumar Sharma is the founding president of the USA.
Later, electronics and communication became the first priority. The wife had a bigger hand in arranging all the arrangements for the masters.
After that, while working in Nepal, I got to work and learn with friends like Dautari, Dai Bishwas Dhakal, Asghar Ali and Shubhas Sharma. My gurus living in Nepal and my father’s friends and well-wishers have always been affectionate towards me.
My youngest father and other family members also work in this technology field. His support and inspiration continues to motivate me to work in this field.