COVID and the impact on Multimedia sector in Nepal

May 09, 2022

As from Wikipedia, Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations or video into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which featured little to no interaction from users, such as printed material or audio recordings. Popular examples of multimedia include video podcasts, audio slideshows and animated videos.

The multimedia sector around the globe is a booming industry. As in Nepal too, it’s growing as always. It has different genres and names inside its branch. Nepal too adopted multimedia in early days through digital prints like hoarding boards, letter head, banners, and visiting cards etc. which are still in use, more than ever. Not only print but the rise of social media, visual advertisements, and film industry also contributed to its hike. Despite of being a very low populated country (as compared to the globe), Nepal’s multimedia industry rose very quickly. As per the lifestyle changes, new business growing, technology enhancement, IT sector growth, this industry now like never before, is pressurized by high demand of manpower inside the country.

Most of us (if not all) have bad experiences with COVID and still suffering. But COVID has played a contribution to the Multimedia sector.

BEFORE COVID

Before the Pandemic, we all were in a pace. Everything was going just fine (as we compare the lockdown times and before that). If you have noticed or compared now, multimedia sector was also doing fine. People were printing, advertising, YouTube, social media, events, films, cinema halls, schools and colleges, news and channels etc.. Everything with multimedia was a perfect 100% GO. Printing houses were doing great (rush works), advertising companies were doing OK (enough works to run a business), colleges and schools were fine too (enough students and started branding and printing). YouTube or the internet world (world wide web) was doing somehow OK in Nepal. New startups were opening day by day and seek advertising houses or designers/ motion artist/ visual effects artist/ animation artist. As per the demand and supply chain, even new skill based training houses were started to a quantitative number. If I have to sum-up, there were around 7-9 good invested animation training institutions, loads of graphic design training institutions, 5-10 good invested branding advertising companies and around 400+ local registered advertising companies and don’t know how many printing houses inside the country. These figures by itself shows a huge market inside Nepal and most of the chunk resides inside Kathmandu too. Hence one can assume it is a good market to invest or students can say this can be a good career to start, apart from the regular education.

AFTER COVID

Slowly lockdown happened in Nepal. Everything was in a halt. Multimedia sector was also affected by this event. Against all odds, social media was in a hype, as most of us were in-house and started spending loads of time on internet. This boom affected YouTube along loads of other web platforms. You tubers started being famous, tik-tok got viral etc. Now internet is all over the place. We have more information in front of us as per our need like news portal and etc. via internet (new startups). Now we don’t have to depend just upon newspaper and television for news and stuff (which was going anyway but the pandemic speeded the process). Almost everybody I see nowadays (if not all) has moved towards technology. Even though the pandemic took away some companies and startups, but the demand grew more intensively. But new startups have started too with technology as their in-house automatized tool and marketing tool. Digital marketing was an option before COVID, but now it looks as if any company who wants to grow needs digital marketing, seo etc. I assume after this pandemic, we as people are more aggressive and trying to move faster than ever. We can sum-up this by saying that, unlike Lodging, food and clothing, multimedia and IT has become a part of Nepalese now..

ABOUT MYSELF

For me, we run a multimedia institution inside Kathmandu valley, and have seen this industry grow slowly from the past 17 years. I have watched different industries grow and fall but not multimedia. This pandemic scared the hell out of me too, but again it grew even stronger to my surprise.

Now, things has changed. I see students are more interested to learn multimedia especially graphic design but on the other hand, advertising companies and startups are seeking either motion graphic designers or senior level graphic designers. Companies are seeking in-house designers rather than depending upon the advertising companies. Hence, there’s a change in nature from all over the place from students till business. That means, there is a huge shift in demand vs. supply again.

Recently I saw some interesting changes in the type of students visiting my institution. Before the pandemic, mostly +2 students and graduates visited for counseling. They wanted to learn multimedia and start a career. Sometimes business owners would also come just to get idea of this industry so that they could know how things are done, which would help them decide, lead and instruct better with designers or artists. Now new startup owners like Restaurant owners, mobile shop owners, department store owners etc are coming too to learn. When I talk to them, they mostly want to create and maintain their own social media pages, rather than hiring someone, which also makes sense in the current scenario.

Yet another change or achievement for me, along with our business is that, before COVID our focus was on quantity of students (as we were a startup and needed to show our brand to as much people as possible). This pandemic gave us the halt or time frame to think again and now, we solely focus on Quality over Quantity which we are proud of, and which again, was the main vision of our company from day 1.

Dipendra Dhakal (Center Head), neosphere

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