Biswas Dhakal – Man Behind Esewa

DWAIPAYAN REGMI

Introduction to Esewa

Esewa needs no introduction at all. It is a digital wallet through which customers can make entire money-based transactions. Started back in 2009, Esewa is licensed by Nepal Rastra Bank as a Payment Service Provider. Customers can make an entire range of transactions from paying their utility bills, recharging their mobile, paying their EMI, paying internet bills, buying airline tickets and a lot of other things. Available in web and mobile application format (iOS and Android format), Esewa is one of the wings of F1Soft. Biswas Dhakal the name that comes right after Esewa. It was him, who began this entire story.

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Beginning of Esewa and Story of Struggle

Story of Esewa dates a decade back. After finishing his SLC from Janakpur, Dhakal went Chennai for his studies. Coming back, he joined Kantipur Engineering College – from where he could not pass out. Despite his huge interest in electronics, it took him a long time to realize that electronics is not his cup of tea. Later, he applied for the Colorado State University of the United States to study software engineering. Nothing hurts more than rejection – there US Embassy rejected his visa! His struggle stories began right from there. Questioned by society about his career, he got that level of frustration that he stopped going in any social events. With the belief that the future would be written in his hand, Dhakal also cut his hand to change his future. That level of depression made him rethink his decision to join NCIT for software engineering. However, he did join promising to pay the fee himself.

He first started working for Plan International where his task was data entry. He earned Rs 14000 there. Later, he registered F1 soft for the sole purpose of domain registration and web hosting back in 2004. At that time, the concept of building a website was simply gaining hype. Later after 18 months, Dhakal was able to buy 4 computers and hire 4 staff for the operation. This kept on growing, however, he faced the difficulties where collecting the payment was a tough task. He had to pay his staff late. Gradually, two years later in 2006, he developed the concept of Esewa. But, he was never trusted. Young and dynamic, Dhakal was neither trusted by any banks nor any big firms for his concept over online payment gateway.

Again two years later, when he took over the same concept, the CEO of Laxmi Bank turned out to be a boom for him. CEO not only accepted his proposal but also assured the working capital of 25 lakhs to him. There he went – with the formal introduction of Esewa and then!

Opportunities and Challenges of Esewa

Esewa is a Nepali firm, and they’re certainly lying huge challenges for them. The primary challenge that they have to face is competition. The competition has grown this hype that they still require a firm stand. Connect IPS is gaining hype and is less costly than Esewa. This could be their possible trouble. Apart, other emerging apps have been evolving from Khalti to other digital wallets. People still hesitate to load funds in their Esewa Account – because of their thirst over interest. They find bank better place in comparison to loading funds.  There are cases of banking frauds, ATM thefts, SWIFT hacks happening in Nepal. This should be taken as a serious challenge by Esewa in the meantime. Security over their system is a prime concern.

There is a large space of opportunities for Esewa in the meantime. Fewer internet users seem to be growing up. In the meantime, the users of banks are rising as well. People are gradually getting literate and hence they have been moving upward from every angle. Esewa already has six million users, and at the time of youth bulge, it seems that they have been moving up rapidly with huge youth-based opportunities. The penetration of the market is yet to be done. Nepal is heading towards a cashless economy anyway and the use of Esewa will certainly rise.

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Popularity and Coverage

Biswas Dhakal is already an inspiration in the entrepreneur world of Nepal. He is a lesson in the course of Entrepreneurship within classes. There are not any media that have not covered his story. His story is kept on YouTube as well. Apart, his profile has been mentioned in Wikipedia as well. He is widely recognized in the financial world of Nepal. He also grabbed the Global Entrepreneur 2011 Award.

Future of Esewa

Digital Banking, Payment Gateway, Cashless Economy has been the primary concern of any nation as of now. Esewa acts as the bridge among all. It is a keyspace from where digital banking can be practiced. With an impressive bunch of merchants around, Esewa has been in the lead and one of the must install the app on any mobile. People have been preferring to make payment through Esewa – be that for airlines ticket booking or other mobile top-ups. The team of Esewa is in the lead for any sort of progressive mark and has been accessible among all the 77 districts. They surely have a bright future.

Takeaways

Biswas Dhakal has clearly explained that he has not always been into the peak of success. There are ups and downs that anyone will have to face at any phase of time. Entrepreneurship does not always bring a smile, but will also fail. Esewa is his successful campaign, but CashOnAd is something that failed too. Grabbing a visa is not a huge thing, because he was the same person who got rejected prior and was again selected by the US Department of States for International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and Global Entrepreneurship 2016 from Nepal.

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