A multi-million-dollar venture

The cofounder of DrukSmart, Pema Tshering (left) and Avinash Sanap (right).    ( Pic: DrukSmart)

DrukSmart’s target for the next five years is to generate USD 17 million


Their desire to become one of the biggest information and technology (IT) companies in the country has driven DrukSmart to work towards a thriving multi-million-dollar company.

To take into figurative accounts, in 2022 alone, they generated around Nu 31 million in sales.

DrukSmart is an information technology enabled services (ITES) based foreign direct investment (FDI) firm providing a range of services including enterprise applications, data services, management consulting, technology roadmap development, solution implementation, and manpower augmentation and training.

The FDI company based in ITES was cofounded by Pema Tshering and Avinash Sanap from India in December, 2017.

The company’s logo

The company is mainly focused on providing systems, applications and products in data processing (SAP) services.

“Like any other business, the company had to struggle for one and half years. But due to our perseverance and hard work there was a breakthrough,” said Pema Tshering.

Their failure of “Oie drive” in 2019 was a bitter sweet experience for the company leading to their aspiration and their milestone achievement till date.

From their initial application of “Oie drive”, it has evolved into “Oie wheels for meals” which was later transitioned to “Oie Wheels”, focusing on kids merchandise and other household items which was delivered through an online App as well as through physical outlets in Thimphu.

Avinash claimed that there were concerns about the viability and acceptability of an IT-based company in the small market of Bhutan during the company’s initial stages.

DrukSmart’s goal was never to focus on Bhutan, instead, it was to leverage Bhutanese manpower to serve the rest of the globe, and no one ever looked at that perspective. Avinash said with excitement, “Everything was risky at first, but I’m glad it turned out for the best.”

Bhutan, according to Avinash, has a large domestic labor force but limited access to the global market. As a result, the company’s goal is to use its labor force to provide services to the rest of the world in order to generate revenue, foster the company’s expansion and development, and advance the welfare of the entire country.

In his assertion, the business has allegedly been headed in that direction for the past five years.

He further emphasized the need for Bhutan’s workforce to have training and exposure to the workings of the global economy and halt the youth exodus to foreign countries, especially Australia.

“We have been floating vacancies and opportunities for the youths, and will continue to do so in the future,” he said.

DrukSmart’s current strength stands at 17 young talented individuals from within the country with additional 40 subcontracted international consultants.

During its five years of service, the firm claims that they had a total revenue generation of Nu 60 million and an export market share of 65% particularly in the Middle East.

The Middle East needs IT services, according to Pema Tshering. “Since they need excellent SAP services and SAP is also our core area of focus, our work and their needs are very closely aligned,” he said, adding they also have plans to expand their services in other parts of the world.

In addition to training their personnel to upgrade their skills and to prepare them for the global market, they offer customer training for every project they initiate.

In order to export their services to the international market, the firm is committed to developing IT engineers in Bhutan.

Pema Tshering said that it would be wise for the government to provide incentive in terms of the financial limits that can be paid to local IT consultants that are sent overseas at various international locations.

He also highlighted that sending local consultants overseas would boost their morale and give encouragement to more young IT engineers to join them.

He opined that even though there will be some expenses, but on a bigger picture, they will be bringing in more remittances than what they spend. The company is hoping that, in the coming years, their revenue generation grows exponentially.

They have signed contracts with international companies like Alfanar and Aliblad based in Saudi Arabia in providing their assistance and services. The company has also provided services to DHI-owned companies in collaboration with Thimphu Tech Park Limited (TTPL).

A partnership alliance has also been drawn between TTPL and DrukSmart, whereby DrukSmart will be providing business opportunities in the international market for employees of TTPL.

Partnership alliance with TTPL. (Pic: DrukSmart)

In terms of challenges, the founders say that banking facilities have always been an issue.

“As a company focused on the internal market, we do require banking facilities that are of international standards. Besides, there have been issues related to work permit, payment and remittances,” Pema said.

The ongoing Australian exodus and youths leaving the country is one of the biggest challenges and the loss of human resources and expertise worries the company whereby, it can affect their target and vision.

Their overall target for the next five years is to generate USD 17 million. As a company, they are targeting to employ more than 100 people in the next ten years and for some of them to be posted in the international arena.

DrukSmart has also been working on the local and international front and has completed more than 58 projects till date.

Out of the 58 projects, 60 percent was local and 40 percent in the international market but their average revenue share is 65 percent from export and 35 percent from the local markets in the last five years.

The company has signed strategic alliances with DCG DataCore India Pvt. Ltd, an IT firm based in Kolkata, to explore and deliver projects to international clients in the Middle East.

“Our achievement can be that our 50 plus projects have been successfully delivered and our customers are happy with the services,” Avinash said, further adding they have crossed more than hundred million worth of business.

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