-- Ujjwal Tiwari (Essay Competition Winner)
Investment generally refers to spending capital or money in productive sectors with the sole purpose of earning profits and wealth. It is the collective fund that is often collected by private sectors or firms like financial institutions in specific industry/s to generate profit. Especially in a country like Nepal, investment from financial organisations or even an individual has a great impact on the overall economy of the country.
For the past few decades, the major investment opportunities have emerged sure to give us a proper financial result (i.e, collection of the investment and generation of profit from the invested capital) are Hydro-electricity generation, Tourism and Agriculture. Even though there are other sectors and opportunities to invest time, capital and labour in, these three are the most effective and productive in the long run.
Hydro-electricity generation is one of the easiest, cheapest and most environmentally friendly ways to produce electricity. It requires very little capital to start and since it is based on a resource which is freely available in our country in the form of streams, rivers and other water sources, it decreases the cost of raw material. In a country that is the second richest in in-land water resources, we can easily start our investment in it and be sure of getting a proper output.
Also, with our government providing subsidies to new hydro-power companies, there has never been a better time to invest in the hydroelectric sector. Based on an easily available raw material, this industry will always be in profit. And after the initial investment, there is rarely any further operational cost expect in labour and repair charges. Hence, this is a perfect business investment opportunity. And this is evident from various new hydropower projects that are in development currently.
Similarly, agriculture can be another important sector for development and investment activities. Nepal is an agricultural country. Our country’s ecosystem and diverse environment gives us an edge while the previously mentioned abundant water resources further simplifies the whole debate of whether agricultural investments will yield profits. There is no lack of labour or any other resources that hinder the investment in this sector, other than proper knowledge.
Agriculture, like water, is self-sustaining. For example, investing in animal farming can yield other business outlets like meat processing, wool, dairy products, fat-based chemicals, etc. Even the waste obtained from the animals can be used in fields to improve the plants, vegetables, herbs, etc. This can increase the investment’s yield as well as generate employment to people. Agriculture will always flourish; people will always need food and medicine. So, in a country like ours, there is a better chance of generating money by investing in the agricultural sector. This sector will yield more profit, improve our country’s economic condition and is more effective to invest in, in the long-run.
Tourism is one of the most promising and trending business industries in this 21st century. Bringing in foreign currency through means of tourism has been one of the economic backbones of our country. Nepal is one of the richest countries in terms of natural beauty and multi-cultural society.
There is a huge investment opportunity in the tourism industry because people, by nature, are curious beings and they will always try and visit places throughout the world. In this era of globalization, people are always travelling. Being home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest, people come to Nepal to enjoy the majestic views of our scenery, our culture, traditions and splendid natural beauty.
Investing in tourism can include hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfast lodges, trekking, etc. Investment in the tourism sector can never go wrong. We can attract tourists and provide them with better services to give them an optimum level of satisfaction. As the saying goes, ‘once a customer, always a customer,’ so tourists will return if they are happy.
So, investing in tourism could be an easy profit-making undertaking. But such investments should be done carefully and calculated risks need to be taken. It is evident when we look at our annual net income from the tourism sector that it is quite productive and a suitable industry to invest in.
In conclusion, investment opportunities are very much available in Nepal but the major sectors that will generate output more effectively and efficiently in the current context are the agriculture industry, hydro-electricity sector and tourism industry. Investment in these sectors is sure to yield better results.
(This is the edited version of an essay which was ranked 1st in an essay competition organized by New Business Age Pvt Ltd for college level students. - Ed)