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Forging new partnerships to enhance the solar journey

“A journey towards self-confidence and new discoveries”

Arya Manandhar, Intern


With the goal to help organize an interactive survey app competition, I set out on a mission to challenge my abilities and gather participants from various colleges across the valley. The key goal of the competition was to create a mobile application for the purpose of data collection from rural farmers of Nepal. Recently out of high school, I was just starting my journey as an intern at Gham Power in my gap year. This event was completely out of my comfort zone given that I had always been in the shell of my parents and had never ventured into the business world on my own. I was uncertain and nervous; I didn’t know how to formally interact with officials, let alone persuade them in building collaboration. However, I was excited to learn the art of organizing and managing events and was really looking forward to seeing how much I could push myself out of the box.

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Image: Flyer for the Mobile App Development Challenge we conducted

The competition was meant for students pursuing their bachelor’s degree in engineering. So, my role as the event organizer started with contacting various engineering colleges of the valley. Being an introvert and hardly speaking to anyone unless prompted, initiating and engaging in conversations with new people was just not my cup of tea. Communicating with school officials and formally presenting them with our proposed competition was a real challenge. Every time I dialed up the phone, I constantly had to reassure myself for the interaction that was going to take place. Gradually I realized that with each phone call, I learned something new and gained confidence for the next one.

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Image: First version of the app for data collection from rural farmers

We were invited to some colleges where I learned how to present concepts and requirements in formal surroundings. We were able to gather a total of 13 teams. Although the competition was a success and we received impressive apps from each of the final teams, the process was not a smooth sail. We experienced several difficulties which led to unexpected and lengthy delays in the timeline of the competition. With great patience, dedication, hard-work, and numerous feedback sessions with the participants, we finally announced the winning team and wrapped up the 3 months long competition on 15th November 2019. 

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Image: Winning Team “Celestial Interface” of Prime College with their certification and Rs. 50,000 cheque prize.

Throughout the process of the competition, I learned that the differences between educational institutions and business enterprises in the society were pretty apparent. I realized that the competition was more than merely the development of a mobile application – it was a process of bridging the gap and closing the disconnectedness between the two institutions through partnerships, a pioneer initiative in the business sector of Nepal. This was a chance of exploring new possibilities and working with the younger generation, to see what they had to offer. I came to an understanding that strategic partnership is one of the key elements of business that strengthens the team and accelerates growth. Moreover, it helps us take a holistic approach to achieve our goals and provide value to end customers more efficiently. Learning from past experiences and realizing the importance of partnerships through our collaboration with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Multilateral agencies (UNCDF, GIZ), and installation agents, this competition was a step that initiated our partnership with colleges across the valley.

I personally have gained a lot through this event. It has molded me into a more confident and independent individual. It has prepared me for the many formal interactions that are yet to come and has helped me grow professionally.