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The Inability To Adapt

After reading several of the most popular books on business, I can confidently conclude one thing. Even though all books are unique to the author and the message they try to convey, there are always some topics that remain a common thread. Fact is that change is the only constant and people and businesses can only succeed as they adapt to the roadblocks they face: a very important quality!

The only constant in our reality however most always originate from a concentrated area, the United States and some states in Europe. They have managed to become ‘market leaders’ at revolutionary, progressive and technological changes, a trait common to several generations in the past.

The only difference? The information and influence of these used to take decades to bear fruition during that time. Now interconnectivity with access to internet makes any event or idea worthy of attention anywhere in the world become a worldwide phenomenon in a matter of hours.

The problem is that despite nations wanting to be progressive, they fear the disruption that technology will bring and will create roadblocks with the unchanging systems. Consider this: the advent of online shopping for the West began in mid 2000. Nepal began implementation from mid 2010. Despite the delay of more than a decade, our system was not ready to adapt to this change. There are many reasons but one that comes to the fore is the unplanned, haphazard urbanisation which leaves the country with lack of identifiable addresses for delivery. Online businesses have thus been forced to take on a disproportionate risk of accepting cash-on-delivery as opposed to implementing online money transfer. Fast forward to 2020 and e-commerce still faces the obstructions of poor infrastructure, bad planning, corrupt and incapable leadership and in general, the system’s inability to adapt.

Another example is the government’s decision to ban advertising on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube for companies in Nepal. The mass-proliferation of social media has proven to be a life-force for new, small businesses globally because of the explosive and highly profitable output provided by marketing through these platforms. Not only is it more financially accessible for local or small businesses but also has better options for reaching the target segment of the business. Some internet sleuths point fingers at the lobbying of traditional media companies for the ban and their inability to adapt to online mediums. Additionally, the government was not able to tax these industries, and sought answer in a ban.

Not using advanced targeting options that allow you to reach your ideal customer, not using sales funnels to encourage the customer to buy your product, and with no brand image focus, Nepali businesses tend to implement without adequate knowledge and skill. As the world moves into ClickFunnels and Shopify era, Nepali businesses are still sitting on the fence of whether or not they need a website or a social brand presence.

The inability to adapt to the times was the downfall of a global brand like Nokia, and it is definitely going to hold back businesses in our nation. Whether you are holding on to traditional beliefs, regressive policies or holding back from opening up international transactions, the inability to adapt to the changing times will affect the economy adversely in the long run. The global pandemic has forced the nation to adapt to technology in education, governance and development but it needs to make progress in all sectors to ensure Nepal is not on a different calendar in time.

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