Enterprising for purpose

My business partner, Sonam Rinchen, and I have been nurturing the iBEST and our colleagues for more than eight years. We hope to build a long-lasting institution that will benefit Bhutan, Bhutanese, and beyond.

In these eight years, and still today, as we hustle every day and make sure that the company survives
and that our colleagues do well personally and professionally, I have witnessed an entrepreneurship transformation in the country.

A decade ago, the words ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ were just a concept at all levels, but today, it’s the idea in action. Many opportunities such as access to financing, support for marketing, and other enabling policies and regulatory frameworks have been made possible. Yet, the benefits and impacts on the larger socio-economic scale are minimal.

Due to the pandemic for more than two years, the overall economic growth in the country is a significant concern. Bhutanese entrepreneurs and business sectors find it more challenging to stand on their feet. Moreover, the global economic scenario of constantly changing geo-political does not look promising either.

To add fuel the fire, many productive Bhutanese are leaving abroad for better economic opportunities, losing an experienced talent pool and a productive workforce. If the trend continues, the country’s economic growth and wellbeing will be dire unless the overall national direction for creating better and
enabling socio-economic conditions and prospects does not happen sooner.

That’s why the entrepreneurship journey is always a ‘catch-22.’ Often, one must figure out strategies, and you do it based on your ‘gut feeling’, and the cause you believe is worthwhile working for. Despite all these emerging challenges, I found hope in the words and actions of His Majesty The King. A team of more than 75 colleagues and I at iBEST are motivated that our work today will benefit our country and people by our intentions and actions, which are honestly driven by the purpose.

That’s why, this year, coinciding with the 8th foundation day of iBEST, we launched an online learning platform called Educare Skill. We envision transforming education and making skilling and learning accessible for every Bhutanese and beyond. For the country and people to do well and create
better livelihoods, avenues for enhancing competencies and learning are a necessity. Therefore, I believe that ‘enterprising is a public asset’.

At the national level, we have to strike a balance in equally prioritizing the current need and starting to work and fund emerging economies, like ITESenabled sectors, which will drive the economy in the future.
Entrepreneurs and their enterprises need to consider beyond the profit and monetary gain. Creating and promoting values such as a sense of belonging and ownership and the timeless human values of commitment, respect, compassion, love, integrity, and generosity will be worthwhile.

The entrepreneur and enterprise must institute a dynamic system, provide mentoring for their employees and promote a learning culture to keep abreast of times and change. Doing so will help achieve our national goals and aspirations and contribute to the overall well-being of people and beyond.

The writer is Tharchen, Founder of iBEST & Project Director of Educare Skill