Hi everyone. Thank you for being here for this new episode of Nepal Now, the podcast where we highlight different ideas and actions to move the country forward. I’m Marty Logan. A quick reminder that you can back the work that goes into creating this show, by clicking on the white ‘support’ button at the middle left of our homepage and making a contribution. If you have any questions or suggestions about this, or about the show in general — feedback on what you hear, an idea for an episode, or anything at all — you can write to me at email@example.com.
If you’re at least in your 20s you’ve probably heard of Tootle. It was the first ride-sharing app to operate in Nepal, starting in 2016. Today there is a multitude of competitors, from Pathao to InDriver, Bolt and more. In this episode, Tootle’s founder, Sixit Bhatta, tells us that he’s happy to see how the marketplace has developed since his project to track a bus on its route evolved into one of the country’s earliest forays into the so-called sharing economy. And he adds that he’s moving onto new things. Hint: They’re about as far away from Kathmandu’s traffic jams as he can get, both literally and figuratively.
But you have to wonder how things might have turned out if the government hadn’t delivered a ‘knockout blow’ to his new, local business via a tax bill that today’s ride-sharing ventures, backed by international resources, do not have to face. Sixit is surprisingly philosophical about this, preferring to focus on the ground that Tootle broke. That includes getting customers used to taking a lift from a motorcycle-riding stranger and — for the drivers — losing the ‘shame’ of accepting money for their work.
I think you’ll be surprised at his answer when I ask Sixit for one piece of advice he would give to entrepreneurs just starting out... I was.
Please listen now to my chat with Sixit Bhatta.
Book mentioned by Sixit – Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Tootle Facebook page (not updated)
Nepal Now social links
Thanks as always to Nikunja Nepal for advice and inspiration.
Music: amaretto needs ice ... by urmymuse (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/urmymuse/57996 Ft: Apoxode
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