November 26: Startups can be pioneers in bringing change due to the flexibility, willingness and courage they have to do something new, shared Lino Ahlering, managing director of Daraz.
Speaking at the NewBiz Startup Summit and Awards 2021 on Thursday, Ahlering said that disruptions and achieving change is often facilitated by startups.
“I truly believe that startups can change the world,” said Ahlering, adding, “I have experienced it from my own country in Germany, where Berlin is probably the most vibrant startup capitals in the entire world. But they obviously need supporters to enable to do this.”
He shared that Daraz is not a startup anymore, but “we as a company had a humble beginning”.
“We started in 2014 as a very very small company, pretty much from scratch with a local team but with some foreign investment driven by a company called Rocket Internet. In 2018, Ddaraz got sold to Alibaba. And that was a change that we made during the transition from being a startup to a corporate, but still with the startup character.”
He added that Daraz is just not a company builder but an ecosystem builder. It is not just Daraz growing that matters but the entire ecosystem, said Ahlering.
But the big question, according to Ahlering, is why the startup scene is growing but not picking up pace as much as expected in Nepal?
According to him, lack of easier and favorable FDI regulations is the major hurdle in attracting new investment.
“There are smart entrepreneurs with excellent ideas and a huge market for execution of ideas but the investment is missing. So, investors should be provided with that favorable environment and FDI regulations,” he said.
Ahlering argued that FDI is crucial but at the same time local investment is also important. The investors should be less interested in the immediate return and come up with the long-term vision for the development of the startup scene, he added.
“Meanwhile, events like Newbiz Startup Summit awards is what we need to bring investors, startups and the stakeholders together and facilitate the discussion for the growth of the startup scene.”