Himal Shrestha is the type of youth one expects at software competitions. The 17-year-old student wants to master the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel®, is excited about getting certification for his MS Office® skills and dreams of becoming a data scientist.
While his counterparts at the 2013 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship are mostly from developed countries, Himal is from one of the world’s least developed economies, Nepal. Despite vast economic improvements in the last seven years, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world, and where the mainstay of the economy is agriculture — that’s why Himal became known as the boy who “brings tech glory” to Nepal, after his win on 6 August.
With a perfect score of 1000/1000 at the Nepal national championship, Himal secured a trip sponsored by the Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) Nepal to compete in Washington, DC, where he bagged a gold in the Microsoft Excel® 2010 category, and walked awaywith a US$5,000 scholarship.
Conscious about the difficulties he had to traverse, and the wider significance of his win, Himal noted, “It was a great honour representing Nepal in the competition, especially since this is the first time my country is participating in this worldwide championship. I hope this win will help inspire more students in Nepal to dream big and do really great in future events.”
Since 2002, the MOS Championship has been providing students with the platform to showcase their mastery of Microsoft Office products. More than 344,000 candidates from 90 countries participated in this year’s competition.
“Nepal does not have a Silicon Valley – yet. It is among the least developed countries in the world, and three-fourths of the people rely on agriculture for a livelihood. Yet, Himal managed to perform brilliantly and put Nepal on the map at the MOS Championship,” said Allen Tuladhar, Country Director of MIC Nepal. “We are proud of Himal’s efforts, and we hope Nepali students like him will become the rule rather than the exception.”
“This [win] will set an example to my country, to the world. Nepal can do better and send more participants in the future, and do really great!” Himal concluded.
Watch an interview with Himal after his gold medal win.