Open your eyes!
Over seven hundred people viewed my blog yesterday. I was totally overwhelmed. A couple of hundred a day was normal. As time has gone by, the number has increased but this was absolutely unexpected. Some of you have written separately to say that my optimism appeals to you. Others have told me in person that I appear to see some good in everything. Well, all I can say is if you dig deep enough, there is some good in everyone. I am sure there are a few exceptions, but generally I have found this to be true.
In one of my previous posts, I focused on the good things that are happening in Pakistan. Tonight I thought I would focus on the good things that are happening in the IT industry in Pakistan to which I belong.
I meet a number of people over the course of each day and sometimes some of them who are unaware of what is happening in the Pakistan IT sector, say things like there is no growth, the IT sector has made no impact, we are working in silos, we are not connecting/networking with each other or with academia. There are some who undermine the work that is being done and the kind of innovation that is taking place across the country. To these people I have only one thing to say: Open your eyes mate.:-)
Ours is a thriving industry growing at the rate of 50% per year for the past 6 years. We are being recognized across the world for the quality of work that we deliver and the kind of products that we develop. Whether we look at maturer companies like Systems Ltd, Netsol, Techlogix, LMKR, TRG, Innovative, Ultimus, Kalsoft and Ovex Technologies or younger companies like Mixit, Alchemy Technologies, PixSense, CureMD, Etilize, Scrybe, TPS, Avanza, Palmchip, Trivor, Five Rivers, Naseeb Networks, Amaana, Comcept, Jin Technologies, Folio 3, Post Amazers and Sharp Image, to mention just a few, we will see for ourselves that we have an industry that all of us should be proud of.
Universities like FAST, GIK, LUMS, IBA, Szabist, NUST, NED, MAJU, Karachi University, Punjab University, Bahria, Sir Syed etc are producing very good human resource that are helping our industry to grow. Companies from within the sector are on the Advisory Boards of most of these universities and are working with them at industry level and at an individual level to ensure that the gap between industry and academia is reduced. Many of our industry professionals are attached to these Universities as visiting faculty.
In addition to the efforts that P@SHA is making, there are other groups like Ponder Alliance that are trying to bridge the industry-academia divide. The Startup Insiders sessions have brought new energy into the sector by providing mentoring and guidance to technology graduates aspiring to be entrepreneurs. Newer setups like MITCEF, with the help of MIT Entrepreneurship Centre MD Ken Morse and members of OPEN, are assisting companies to accelerate their growth by providing a 6 month program to mid-sized companies. TiE is starting to work with renewed vigour to promote entrepreneurship in the country.
Magazines like CIO have started publishing Pakistan editions. Almost all international software and hardware organizations have a presence in Pakistan. Google, that had never really taken a serious look at Pakistan before, has starting showing interest. As the number of internet users have increased, and the blogging community has become more active, and Web 2.0 and mobile applications have increasingly surfaced from our corner of the world, naturally people from outside have taken notice of us. Our companies have started attracting VC funding from outside the country.
The Pakistan IT industry is responsible for improving the processes of many other industry sectors as well as improving government services. ICT for Development is another segment that the industry has now started to venture into so that our rural sector, and the young talent that resides there, is not left behind.
All these are positive signs of growth and development, and it will continue – anyone who thinks otherwise is either ignorant or just too stubborn to see what is happening all around us. The resilience of this sector despite all the knocks it takes over and over again, is something we should all acknowledge and be proud of. I for one continue to be amazed at the talent and brilliance of the people I meet in this industry. We may have started late, and there might have been a few hiccups along the way, but we are a dynamic sector that will continue to grow and make its mark on the world stage.
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