Thimphu TechPark Gears Up For Industry 4.0 In Bhutan
Conceived in Germany, Industry 4.0 is internationally hailed as the latest, or Fourth Industrial Revolution.
By Staff Reporter | The Bhutanese
Thimphu TechPark will soon build its own IT team to cater to the needs of the people. This is in a long list of developments at the TechPark, gearing Bhutan for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Conceived in Germany, Industry 4.0 is being internationally hailed as the latest, or Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Thimphu TechPark, Tshering C. Dorji (PhD) said that the focus is on starting a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology with a team of competent IT professionals in software development.
Experts in the following: ERP solutions, email and collaboration tools, data centre services, cloud computing, cyber security, as well as emerging technologies such as AI, data science, block-chain and IoT will also contribute to this IT centre.
Source: Forbes/Bernard Marr
“The work has already started with the help and guidance from Druk Holdings and Investments (DHI), our shareholder. Initially, we will partner with companies outside and bring in experts, but the long term vision is to build our own capacity and help the existing private IT companies grow,’’ said the CEO.
Two main mandates of the Thimphu TechPark
Since its inception, Thimphu TechPark Ltd. has been focusing mainly on two important mandates.
Firstly, it supports entrepreneurship and innovation through Bhutan’s first business incubation centre, known as the Bhutan Innovation and Technology Centre (BITC).
Located at the TechPark, the BITC became operational since 7 May 2012 and is a government owned company.
Source: Saphana Tutorial
Its second mandate is to attract foreign investors to create jobs for Bhutanese youth by starting new companies or subsidiaries at the IT Park.
Examples of start-ups based in Thimphu TechPark
The TechPark has also been able to provide direct employment opportunities to around 500 -700 youth so far through the companies based at there.
Some examples of these innovative start-ups are:
- Thunder Motors in the electric vehicle sector,
- Bhutan Professional Services in the construction sector,
- bt in the real estate sector,
- MyDrukRide in the transportation sector,
- INOHOME for smart homes,
- SungJab (electric scarecrow) to help farmers protect their crops from wildlife,
- NANO in internet and IT services,
- Mountain Mist for soap and sanitary products,
- Eco-waste solution in waste management
- Dr Toilet for toilet maintenance and management services and
- a few businesses in the food and agriculture sector.
Challenges faced by Thimphu TechPark
Despite having achieved these milestones, a few challenges still remain, one of which being the reliability of Internet connectivity.
Source:Youtube/Thimphu TechPark - Entrepreneurs Hub
According to Tshering C. Dorji (PhD), the ‘international backbones’ going towards Siliguri (over physical fiber) through the Indian territories get disrupted sometimes. He is hoping that bilateral relations would be strengthened in the technology and space sector.
“We hope India would support our endeavour to get faster, more reliable and affordable internet backbone bandwidth for Bhutan, since all our international backbone links pass through India.”
Another challenge faced is the difficulty in attracting foreign companies to invest in Bhutan. It takes a long time for them to make the decision to move part of their operations to Bhutan, on top of the inability to do proper targeted marketing.
Foreign companies setting up operations at Thimphu TechPark
Nevertheless, three new international IT/ITES companies – two US companies and one Japanese company have just recently started their operations at the Tech Park, employing around 150 people in total.
Looking forward, Thimphu TechPark will also be responsible for the consolidation and optimisation of DHI groups with IT services, in line with DHI’s Roadmap 2030.
The company will play a very important role in ushering the DHI groups and Bhutan as a whole into the new era of the fourth industrial revolution.
The IT Park is supported by the World Bank and jointly developed by Assetz Property Group of Singapore, as well as DHI, the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan.
This article first appeared in The Bhutanese and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.