Karvika Thapa was living the American dream in Boston with a promising career in the Information Technology sector. But after 14 years she decided to head back home to Nepal with her husband and two young daughters.
During the three years since, she has worked hard to establish a successful international software company, Kimbu Tech, one of the very few women-led IT startups in Nepal.
“At first, it was nerve-wracking, but I was excited to give back what I owed to my country where I grew up,” says the 40-year-old Karvika. “I also wanted my daughters to learn Nepali culture.”
Starting a company was not at the top of her mind when she returned to Kathmandu, but when she found that there were so few women in Nepal’s IT sector, Karvika decided to take the risk and work to create quality jobs, especially for women in a male-dominated industry.
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Karvika had been one of the handful of female students in the first year of Kathmandu College of Management’s bachelor’s program in information systems. She then went to the US for her MBA and stayed on to work, over the course of her years there, in IT solutions, data management, database marketing and campaigns in education, healthcare, and retail.
Today, she leads a quality team of Nepali women and men who provide software development and maintenance for companies in Israel and the US. Karvika hopes that their work will help create a home for qualified and talented programmers in Nepal and that that in turn will build recognition globally for Nepali programmers.
There are a few other companies working in IT and Artificial Intelligence in Nepal, and the sector has great potential as an employment generator. But Nepal’s talent pool of skilled programmers is still a well-kept secret in the IT world.