Picture Courtesy: TechLekh Website
TechLekh is a technology news portal. It was co-founded by DWIT’s very own Subigya Kumar Nepal and Abhishek Gupta. The website features numerous Nepali startups along with the latest Nepali applications and services. It also consists of interesting features like job listings and much more. With an interesting start and high hopes for the future, here is DWIT's news interview with the co-founders of TechLekh:
What is the main idea behind TechLekh and what is it all about?
TechLekh is a platform that caters to the tech audiences of Nepal. It features several Nepali startups. It reviews various Nepali applications and services that are creating an impact to change the face of the communities in Nepal. TechLekh is where we cover all things technology in Nepal. We aim to provide our audience a fruitful medium to know about the techno-sphere of Nepal.
Tell us briefly about the current TechLekh team, or anyone else of significance?
The current team consists of Deerwalkers only. We're the two co-founders, Abhishek Gupta and Subigya Kumar Nepal. We have three editors – Utkrista KC, Prabina Neupane and Kundan Rana and we have 7 excellent writers – Ankit Pradhan, Navraj Kharel, Sanjeev Mainali, Sanjeev Budha, Ashish Chettri and the recent two, Prajjwal Sthapit and Iris Pokhrel. So, overall, we are a team of 12 and growing.
What was your main inspiration for starting TechLekh?
The main inspiration, we think, was the lack of platform that covered tech news and happenings of our society. We do not have TechCrunch, Mashable, or YourStory. We wanted to make something of similar nature. We thought we should primarily cover the startup stories of Nepal. That was the gap we wanted to fill with our website.
What were the difficulties that you had to face at the beginning of TechLekh’s establishment?
A difficulty that we have been facing since the beginning is the time constraint. As all of us are students, and have many things going around, the articles often don't get posted when they ought to be. We are not full-time workers and we are working without any monetary incentive as such, so it gets rather daunting at times to manage the schedule of posts. The other thing is the quality of articles that do get written. We lacked editors, and for the first few days, when it was just the two of us (the co-founders), we managed by checking each other's articles for any grammatical errors. We now have a few editors, but we feel that we still need some improvement on that are. By the way, we think we're still in the beginning; it has only been four months. But, within that four months we have progressed a lot.
How much has your work load increased since starting TechLekh?
Getting the jobs done takes time and effort. These are the two factors that define work. After starting TechLekh, our work load has increased, but it has never been a load to us. A load that starts crunching our mind and serves a stinging pain to the whole body.
How hard is it being a student with a company of your own?
Well, technically, we are not a company yet. We are a team of tech enthusiasts / writers working for something that we believe in. It gets quite difficult sometimes to manage time but well, it’s doable.
How much support did you get from the college administration? Has the college responded or interacted with the company in any way?
Frankly, we have not asked for any support from the college administration; we never felt a need to.
Finding passionate writers is a difficult task. How do you find and hire writers for the website?
As mentioned earlier, all of our regular writers are from DWIT. We also get guest posts written by event attendees, or organizers. And we also take interviews from interesting people. Well, when we started, we had to reach out to some of the students to have them join us. But, now, we share the opening via Facebook, and the DWIT students who are interested come talk to us, and we approve them. I don't think we've rejected any interested writers till now. If someone comes and talks to us about his or her interest, then we have a feeling that they're really passionate about doing it, you know. Since we do not offer an incentive of any kind (just yet), they must have really seen something in us so that they made the effort to talk to us.
How does your website differ from popular competitors like Gadgetbyte Nepal and techsansar.com?
GadgetByte, by its name, primarily caters to gadget enthusiasts. We do not feel like its our competitor since our content is quite broad. But, TechSansar, to some extent, is similar to us. What is different however, is that our content is more tech events, startup & entrepreneurship friendly than TechSansar's. If you look at our homepage right now, we have covered about events such as meetups, panel discussions, and we have interviews with different techies as well. We had also started something called Startup Series where we planned to take video interviews with several (local) startup founders – the first one being our very own DWIT fellow Bidish Acharya, the co-founder of MeroHostel.com. So, you see, we cover what's current – what's happening around us, what events have taken place, what events are taking place, interesting local apps, local techies that have achieved something and much more.
What are your future plans for the website?
We have received a lot of positive feedbacks from people, especially because we primarily post on startup stories. In fact, we have been so popular that we've already been approached by people to merge our team with their already existing products of similar nature (i.e. tech websites). So, for one, we'll continue doing what we do best i.e. cover the stories and feature interesting people. We have a plan to expand the site and add a few new things. You can see a Job Listing on the site, which is one of those expansions that we had planned. Some others are on their way – let’s keep them a secret for now. Only thing we'd say right now is that a mobile application is in the working.
Where do you see TechLekh 5 years down the line?
TechLekh will be the go-to resource for all things technology in Nepal.
What do you think about the current Tech industry in Nepal?
Tech Industry in Nepal is growing. Increasing numbers of tech companies and startups clearly signal that tech industry in Nepal is flourishing. There was a time when no tech events, seminars, meetups, hackathons etc. used to happen. But, the scenario is different now. Every month many tech events are being organized by several tech communities and organizations. People are showing their interests to be part of these events. People are coming up with their ideas and pitching VCs and Angel Investors on how their idea can crack a problem.
Can the students of Deerwalk help the TechLekh team in any way?
Sure. If you want to write something, hit us up. If you like an article, share it with your friends. If you like what we're doing in general, share our story on social media. What we need right now is as many tech readers as we can find. And finally, if you have any complaints, grievances, or any feedback at all, please reach out to us.
Do you have any advice for any students who might be thinking about starting a company of their own?
If you are up to something that means a lot to you then don’t think too much, just do it.
It’s obvious that you would fail, as we have failed many times within this short span. But, learn from your failures. Just remember this, FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning. So, attempt more, grab opportunities, take chances, and FAIL first.
Anything else you might want to say to the readers of dwitnews.com?
Like and share us on social media, will you? (Shameless plug)
If you want to, you may subscribe to our email subscription as well (on the website).