“The government should lower the FDI minimum threshold.” Santosh Pandey, Co-founder of Offering Happiness

Santosh Pandey is the Co-founder of Offering Happiness and the co-founder and director at Oho Cake.  At the age of 16, he co-founded the Change Bhaktapur campaign. He has since worked as the Program Director of We Inspire Nepal, Project Coordinator of US Embassy Youth Council Nepal and for various other campaigns and projects related to youth empowerment. He is the winner of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) – Nepal 2018 and has represented Nepal in its global competition in Macau. He also won the Seedstars Kathmandu 2019 as the best startup in Kathmandu and was selected from Asia Summit in Cambodia to compete in its Global Summit in Switzerland. His expertise lies in social entrepreneurship, digital marketing, campaign management, and storytelling.

About Offering Happiness 

Offering Happiness, established in 2017, is a gifting platform, offering experiential gifting, surprise planning, and corporate gifting. The company provides curated collections of gifts, cakes, flowers, plants, festival merchandise, personalized products, and experiences for all occasions & festivals. Moving away from traditional gifting ideas, Offering happiness provides its customers a personalized touch. Offering Happiness understands that everyone has their definition of happiness and they hold no bars to provide people with the best of moments.

Santosh Pandey shares his views on promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal:

What do you think is one of the most required policy changes in Nepal from the perspective of promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal?

We always think of scaling up as a startup, and in order to scale our business, we need access to funds, network, and mentorship. Founders seek investment and frequently receive interest from foreign investors, however on May 23, 2019, the government raised the minimum foreign investment threshold from NRs 5 million to NRs 50 million. This minimum threshold has limited startups’ ability to raise funds to scale their businesses, as a value of Rs. 50 million is not required, and a startup’s valuation will not be in the millions in a few years. This policy not only makes it difficult for companies to raise funds, but also limits their growth because foreign investments bring with them systems, networks, and know-how. Thus, the government should lower the FDI minimum threshold.

What impact will such policy change yield for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal?

Lowering the FDI threshold will increase entrepreneurs’ access to funds, systems, networks, and mentorship. As a result, Nepalese startups will grow and more jobs will be created within the country.

As a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021, Samriddhi Foundation asked Nepali entrepreneurs what they think is the most pressing policy change to promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal. In this series, Samriddhi Foundation will feature two entrepreneurs a day through the #GEW2021 week, starting from November 8 to November 14, 2021.