CAN Infotech 2018 Review: New Year, New Exhibitors, Same Old Disappointment

can infotech 2018 review
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It was only last year that I got to experience CAN Infotech to the fullest as GadgetByte itself was a part of the event. The hustle of tech enthusiasts was a sight to see as a huge number of people thronged into the event area every day. However, people who had been to CAN Infotech over the years shared that the event was distasteful. And they were somewhat true. Last year there were only a few stalls that actually caught my eye and intrigued me with their innovative products. So, this year, I was all excited to see how officials would rectify their errors that have prevailed over the years and conduct an event that would be innovative, to say the least.

The technology sector in Nepal is booming like never before, and people from every nook and corner of the country are being attracted towards this field. And CAN Infotech, being the holy grail of displaying some amazing tech-related ideas or gadgets, attracts a lot of audiences. I got to visit CAN Infotech 2018 yesterday, and I have to say I wasn’t impressed with what I saw. Now please note that I am not in anyway against CAN or the event it organizes, and I have the utmost respect for all the exhibitioners who put in a lot of effort to make the event a success. However, the Infotech I visited yesterday was boring and looked more like a business expo with only a few stalls with interesting products and innovations.

Let’s start with the positives. I got to see a lot of startup companies at CAN Infotech this year. These startups have turned over a lot of heads with their new ideas and inventions. The visitors seemed interested in these companies and their aims. Companies like BeeCreative, Foodmario, Sarathi Cab, Sagoon, Khalti, Sajilo Marmat Sewa, etc. are using the event’s platform to pitch their product to the audience, so, make sure you visit their respective stalls.

Huawei finally launched the Mate 10 Pro here in Nepal making use of the CAN platform. The company has priced the device at Rs. 103,900 which means that it will directly go up against the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The company is also advertising the Huawei Nova 2i in the event. There was no Matebook X in their stall, though.

Sony is offering discounts on its products at the CAN Infotech. The Xperia XA, Xperia L1 Dual, and Xperia X are my pick of the bunch. Also, be sure to check the discounts on the company’s TVs.

There are also some notable products like My Lockey which is a USB dongle that encrypts data via a fingerprint scanner, and Texas College’s e-library. The organizers of Locus 2018 were also at the CAN, advertising their event which is starting from February 2. Also, companies like Growth Sellers and PUM are pitching their ideas to the visitors in the event.

Last year’s CAN Infotech included lots of multinational companies and some of the heavy hitters of the Nepali tech industry. However, this year, lots of popular brands didn’t invest on CAN Infotech, and that’s probably due to the decreasing quality of the event. Companies like Samsung, Vianet, and Oppo, are not present and that’s probably because they think their investment isn’t bearing fruits. And personally, I think other companies should follow. CAN Infotech is meant to showcase the on-going technological advancement in the country. But these days, it is turning out to be a business expo. If companies just want to sell their products, why don’t they do it in New Road? And why is a leather bag manufacturer exhibiting its products at CAN Infotech? I don’t see the connection between a leather bag and a tech event.

I was also disappointed with the mobile companies as they only showed off their older products. Ocean Computers (Importer of MSI in Nepal) and Nagmani International (Importer of ASUS in Nepal) are selling their products with a huge margin in the event.

Now let’s talk about ISPs. Worldlink and Subisu are luring consumers with discounts on annual packages. That’s great for the new customers but what about the old ones? Shouldn’t they also be focusing on the customers who are already there?

There are lots of exhibitioners at CAN Infotech this year. And from what I saw, there are only a few stalls that are actually interesting. Even though some products that have caught the visitors’ eyes, there is not one single stall with a ‘wow’ factor.

Three years ago, we had written an article on CAN Infotech 2015. Fast-forward three years, the shortcomings that were mentioned in the article still prevail. Even though it was the second day of the event yesterday, the stalls were still under construction. Likewise, the loud blaring speakers are distracting as ever. I had a hard time figuring out where the respective stalls were located at. It would have been much better if the stalls were organized according to their category. For example stalls that showcase smartphones can be placed at one end of the venue while stalls related to computers and laptops can be placed at the other end. This will certainly help the visitors and make the event more managed.

So, all-in-all, CAN Infotech 2018 was a disappointing event for me. CAN has yet to rectify the mistakes it has been making for the last few years. The event had made a name for itself due to the tech it showcased, not because of leather bags or by selling laptops from unauthorized sellers. CAN Infotech these days is like a business expo more than an event regarding technological advancement in Nepal. Hopefully, next year when the 2019 edition starts, the association will focus more on what it actually stands for rather than how much it can earn!