Thimphu TechPark – Bhutan’s First IT Park
Thimphu TechPark (TTP) is the flagship IT development in the Kingdom of Bhutan, a kingdom located on the lap of the Eastern Himalayas, known for its strong environmental conservation policies and the unique development philosophy of Gross National Happiness.
It is the country’s first IT Park – promoted by the Department of Information Technology & Telecom, Ministry of Information & Communications, Royal Government of Bhutan, supported by the World Bank and developed jointly by Assetz Property Group of Singapore and Druk Holdings & Investments, the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The groundbreaking ceremony for the IT Park was held on 18th May 2010 (see press release) and the construction was finally completed on 30th April 2012.
The operations of Thimphu TechPark started on 7th May 2012. Currently, we have a data centre, few domestic companies and seven international IT/ITES companies (Scan Cafe from the USA, ZOOP from Canada, SELISE from Switzerland, MultiRational from Australia, Southtech from Bangladesh, Bid Ocean from Canada and Data Scientists from Australia) employing more than 700 people at the IT Park. We also have an incubation centre where Bhutanese entrepreneurs can avail furnished workstation or foreign companies can run a pilot operation to test the opportunities offered by Bhutan.
For detailed background and the role of Thimphu TechPark, please refer the article “The Role of Thimphu TechPark in Bhutan’s Technological and Socio-economic Advancement” at this link.
The article may be referenced as follows:
Dorji, T.C., 2020, “The Role of Thimphu TechPark in Bhutan’s Technological and Socio-economic Advancement”, The Druk Journal, Spring 2020 issue on the theme ‘Bhutan in the Age of Technology’, Vol: 6, No. 1, pp. 28-38.
Background of Thimphu TechPark Ltd., the company that owns and operates the IT Park
Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), Bhutan, and Assetz Property Group (APG), Singapore, signed a joint venture agreement and submitted a Joint Venture bid to Design, Build, Finance, Own, Operate and Transfer (DBFOOT) the IT Park in Babesa, Thimphu under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for the Department of IT and Telecom, MoIC. Subsequently, DHI and APG were awarded the contract vide letter No. DIT/35(12)/2009-10/07 dated 17 July 2009.
Thimphu TechPark Pvt. Ltd (TTPL) was duly incorporated under the Companies Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2000 on 24 August 2009 to undertake the IT Park Project as a developer, and the Sharedholders Agreement was signed on 29th August 2009 with DHI holding 26% and APG holding 74% of TTPL. DHI assumed full ownership of TTPL and changed its name to Thimphu TechPark Limited retaining the same acronym ‘TTPL’ after APG decided to exit from the partnership and transferred its shares to DHI on 29th October 2014.
TTPL’s focus, since the start of operations in 2012, has been on two core services: attracting and facilitating FDI companies to lease commercial space within the 58,000 sq ft building and managing Bhutan Innovation and Technology Centre which contains Bhutan’s first incubation centre and a Tier-2 Data Centre. The company did well in meeting the objectives in these two areas and the IT Park has been employing over 600 Bhutanese youths since 2016.
However, going forward, in line with the DHI Roadmap 2019 – 2030, the company is taking steps to evolve as an IT services provider – catering to companies within DHI Group as well as other clients. The company will focus on becoming the Centre of Excellence for IT, and will consolidate the Group’s IT services and resources (including the data centers), and replace all legacy systems and applications with up-to-date applications. It will provide IT and IT enabled services (system development) to all local agencies and then function as IT Manager to the Group, government agencies, and other independent agencies.
In the Picture: The PPP Contract Signing Ceremony between Mr Mike Holland (CEO of Assetz Property Group and Thimphu TechPark Private Ltd) and Mr Tenzin Choeda, Director of DITT, on 4th September 2009.