The Danish IT-company, LogPoint, is experiencing significant growth in Nepal, which is benefitting local engineers in several ways.
--By Maja Kaalund Bygvrå
Nepal is struggling to keep young well-educated people in the country, since a great number decides to travel abroad in pursuit of better opportunities and salaries. However, a Danish software company called LogPoint, which has offices in Kathmandu, has become an attractive workplace for highly skilled young Nepali engineers. Most of the staff is younger than 30, and many of them are hand-picked from the Institute of Engineering (IOE) at Tribhuvan University, when they were still students.
The managers of LogPoint believe that the staff becomes more creative and productive if they thrive at the office. For this reason, work-hours are flexible, breakfast, lunch and snacks are free, and there is a room dedicated toactivities such as cricket and ping-pong, which is actively used during breaks.
The Story Behind the Success
Founded in Copenhagen in 2001, LogPoint offers an innovative Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution that enables enterprises to proactively monitor their networks and identify security threats to prevent cyber-attacks. Today, LogPoint serves a wide range of customers across the public and the private sector, with particular strongholds in the health care sector, law enforcement, security services, and the financial industry.
In 2008, LogPoint opened an office in Nepal, which has experienced double-digit growth. Today, the company has around 50 employees in Kathmandu, and has recently invested in a larger office space in Jawalakhel to meet the rising staff number. Christian Simmelkiær, who is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LogPoint in Nepal, explains the reason behind the company’s success, “In Nepal, there is an unusual amount of talent in our particular technology field - the engineers are highly skilled and the emerging IT sector is buzzing.” Moreover, Simmelkiær underlines that the company also has another motivation to do business in Nepal. “It is also important for us that we can make a difference in Nepal; we can create jobs where it is much needed.”
Danish Business Strategy and Nepali Influence
When working for LogPoint, it is important to have a solid educational background, high-quality English skills, and willingness to be a team player. The company has recently employed an experienced female Nepali IT-engineer, Mona Nyachhyon, as chief executive officer (CEO) to run the development of the company in Kathmandu.
It is a key priority for LogPoint to employ local management and promote equal opportunities for women and men – also in the information technology world, which is often dominated by men. Nyachhyon is 29 years old, but she does not see her age as a disadvantage. “We are like a Nepali family – we help each other, we have a very flat hierarchical structure, and everyone listens and contributes,”she says. Nyachhyon believes that the success of LogPoint is closely linked to the company’s ability to attract the best people within the industry: “Participating in events arranged by colleges is important for us to ensure we have a strong brand and can keep attracting the best candidates,” explains the company’s CEO.
It is a necessity for an IT-company to have access to the Internet, but unfortunately, Nepal is struggling to provide fast and reliable connections. “We are part of a network of IT companies that meet every month to talk about the challenges of running business in Nepal, and we all agree that the Internet should be faster and more reliable than what we are experiencing,” says COO Simmelkiær. Nevertheless, LogPoint still manages to meet demands from clients and provide the support the business partners require.
The Embassy of Denmark in Nepal has facilitated a number of meetings which LogPoint has attended in order to acquire information about how to make profitable business in Nepal, and how to get in contact with Nepali companies and collaborators. Simmelkiær highlights the importance of these meetings to prepare LogPoint for some of the challenges that the company faced while opening its Kathmandu office.
Working with young and talented people can prove a challenge as some of these valuable employees go abroad to finish their Master’s degrees. Consequently, LogPoint is now considering offering financial support to their employees in order for them to finish their degrees in Nepal and continue working for LogPoint. “We do our best to develop our employees with the hope of employing them as long as possible,” says Simmelkiær. While hiring new employees, LogPoint receives a large number of applications from young talented engineers. Simmelkiær believes the combination of Danish and Nepali work styles is the reason behind the popularity and growth of LogPoint.
Embassy Doing Its Bit
Starting business in a new country can be a difficult task. For this reason, the Embassy of Denmark in Nepal is promoting meetings and collaborations between Danish and Nepali companies. It also creates new opportunities and profit for both countries.
This year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark launched a new programme called ‘Danida Business Explorer’, which provides financial support to Danish companies t interested in examining business opportunities in Nepal and other developing countries.
The writer is Public Diplomacy and communication Intern at Embassy of Denmark, Kathmandu. For more information on the programme, readers can log on to: http://um.dk/en/danida-en/activities/business/danida-business-explorer/