Birth: 27 January 1976, Mahottari
Death: 13 May 2021, Lalitpur
It was late September 2019 when Manavsewa Ashram—a social organization dedicated to rescuing homeless people—was managing logistics to start its new branch in Bhaktapur. A large sum of money was needed. But no one knew where it would come from.
Bijay Jalan, executive director and co-founder of Worldlink Communications, heard about it and donated a million rupees to the charity. Manavsewa Ashram has since considered him its advisor and guardian.
Jalan didn’t hesitate to get actively involved in a good cause. He also didn’t hesitate when he had the idea of launching an internet service provider company in the country—even when the internet was in its nascent stage.
In 1995, Jalan, along with one of his cousins, started Worldlink—one of the pioneer internet service providers in Nepal. In the early days, the duo used to visit customers’ houses and install the service. More and more people subscribed to Worldlink in the years to come.
But in 2008, the ISP business in Nepal witnessed a slump, and Worldlink was no exception. Nepal Telecom started its ADSL service, which provided better internet connectivity compared to other companies. The situation worsened so much that Jalan and the team almost shut down the company.
But Jalan didn’t give up. His company invested heavily in new technology and ensuring faster connectivity. Things improved gradually with the introduction of optical fiber networks and NTC’s ADSL would be no match against the new services.
Worldlink is now the largest ISP in the country as well as the largest taxpayer from the ICT sector. Almost 45 percent of internet traffic in Nepal passes through Worldlink.
Jalan recently showed mild symptoms of Covid-19. When he got himself tested, he was immediately admitted to a hospital in Lalitpur and kept on a ventilator for a week. The 45-year-old passed away on May 13.
He is survived by his wife Anupa Jalan and son Ashwin.