The IT park’s most successful tenant, ScanCafe, will employ up to 300 interns for six months 

Employment: A possible solution to the current unemployment scenario could come from introducing and empowering more information technology (IT) based industries in the country.

The IT Park’s most successful company, ScanCafe, which  employs more than 500 Bhutanese at the park, recently announced vacancies for some 300 interns for a period of six months starting next month.

ScanCafe CEO Naren Dubey said that the company is expanding. “We hired 50 new trainees earlier this month and now we are running a new internship programme from July to December this year,” he said.

Thimphu TechPark CEO (Dr) Tshering Cigay Dorji said that the main objective of the IT Park project is to create much needed employment opportunities for the youth.

“As proven by our modest success so far, the IT/ITES industry holds the best promise for creating employment opportunities  for the growing number of unemployment issues in the country,” said Tshering Cigay Dorji.

He added that besides employing youth, development of IT based industries will help in earning foreign exchange since the money made through these companies are in USD.

He highlighted that persuading youth to go back to the farms or take up construction jobs will not be easy. But youth are willing to embrace “wholeheartedly” jobs in the IT/ITES sector, based on experience, said Tshering Cigay Dorji.

He cited a recent incident where ScanCafe received over 400 applications for 100 vacancies at the company.

Space at the Park has been an issue while expansions were considered. However, Naren Dubey said that the company still has space for expansion and it was not a short-term concern.

“We are already engaged on a long term plan with Druk Holding and Investments (DHI),” said Naren Dubey. He added that for the internship programme, the company is likely to run a night shift for a short period of time due to some internal infrastructural constraints.

The transportation issue that has troubled the company previously is currently under control according to Naren Dubey. “We may provide our own transport for the interns when they do the night shifts,” he said.

Tshering Cigay Dorji said that despite a request to Bhutan Post for allocation of more city buses along the Thimphu-Babesa route, the number has remained the same.

“However, the new director of city bus services has assured us full support and cooperation to resolve the issue once they get the new fleet of buses which are expected to arrive soon,” he said.

Currently the transportation problem at the park has eased compared to before because of two private buses operating on the Thimphu-IT Park route twice everyday.

Tshering Cigay Dorji said that the expansion of ScanCafe and success of the company indicates that Bhutan is ready for IT based industries. “It shows that Bhutan has the required talent pool for IT companies. So the question is, what are we waiting for?”

He added that while more foreign companies are expected to come and set up offices in the country, opportunities for the big businesses to venture into the industry are always open.

Younten Tshedup