TDAP meets with IT & ITES companies

March 6, 2009 at 11:27 am 5 comments

A good number of company representatives met up with the representatives of the newly formed Services Export Development Cell at the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan’s office in Karachi yesterday to explore the possibilities of growing the IT and ITES exports of Pakistan.

part-of-the-groupthe-other-corner

Mr. Mujeeb Khan, Advsior to the SEDC and the Head of the WTO Cell at  TDAP welcomed the visitors and explained what the objectives of TDAP were.

Mr. Talib Baloch, Acting MD of PSEB, brought in the role that PSEB expected to play and how they viewed this partnership between TDAP, PSEB and P@SHA.

Since I was given an opportunity to state my views, they had to listen to me as well😉. Here is what I said:

After the three of us had said our piece, those present were asked to jump in, state their pain points and solutions, hilighting a couple that could be addressed right away. It was a highly energized and very open discourse and, as expected, some of the participants came up with ideas that can be implemented in the short term.

While availability of quality human resource to scale up was still considered a high priority, the number one priority for companies appeared to be market access. The issue with VoIP was also discussed and TDAP has promised to take it up at the highest level. This is their first test😉. Let us see how they do.

A couple of other things that we collectively felt TDAP could do immediately were:

1. Set up a technology pavilion at all domestic exhibitions that TDAP organizes for different industry sectors. Here companies who have solutions for that sector can showcase their products and services and be available to answer questions.

2. Similarly for international exhibitions that TDAP participates in, the technology corner should be an integral part of the Pakistan presence.

These two actions on the part of TDAP create more opportunities in the domestic and the international market for local IT and ITES companies.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TDAP meets with IT & ITES companies / LiveFromPakistan  |  March 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    TDAP meets with IT & ITES companies…

    A good number of company representatives met up with the repr …

    Reply
  • 2. TDAP meets with IT & ITES companies | Tea Break  |  March 6, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

    Reply
  • 3. Anthony Mitchell  |  March 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    The points raised by Jehan Ara on market access are spot on. So too are the ideas on domain cross-overs. Textile, finished garments and bedding manufactures could, for example, benefit greatly from the expertise and technology of Pakistan’s IT/ITeS leaders.

    The lack of previous global coverage of Pakistan’s IT/ITeS sector can be used as an advantage, in that it allows the industry to present a clean, concise image to the world. This image could emphasize:

    • Technical sophistication and domain expertise
    • Reliability and dedication
    • High value for money
    • Accountability, security and good ethics (post-Satyam)

    How to make that image a reality? Through policy changes, technical and management assistance, and in-service training.

    Challenges faced by competitors to PK companies have created a window of perhaps two years during which a make-over or coming out of the industry’s image (distinguished from the political image of the nation) can be used to promote export growth.

    After two years, expect dramatically increased competition from other destinations. I’ve been advising the BPO industry association in Kenya on strategic positioning and global marketing, set to accelerate after Kenya’s new submarine cable goes live this July. Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and other Commonwealth countries are committing significant resources to export promotion for their technology and service sectors.

    The market will become very crowded in two years. Best to build new marketing capabilities and grow fast now.

    Last but not least, with the recent cricket tragedy, some delicate issues need to be confronted directly or buyers will take them into account anyway—in a negative way. In the event of disturbances, clients and potential clients respond best to prompt, frank communication. Honest communication favors Pakistan’s IT/ITeS companies.

    In political campaigns in my country, political adversaries attempt to brand their opponents negatively early in every campaign. Unless a candidate can brand themselves positively, early on, it becomes extremely difficult to escape from the effects of negative branding by opponents.

    Better efforts must be made to define strong, positive brands for the country’s private sector and individual companies. You want clients to be able to say: “Yes, the country may have some problems, but we really like this Pakistani company.” Or, “we really like the financial services software we use from Pakistan.”

    Reply
  • 4. Sha  |  March 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    How about the TDAP arranging a piece of land (5000 acres) outside Karachi…organized under PASHA/PSEB…call it Karachi Technology University…build barebones warehouse style structures and offer:

    1. Physical space for early stage startups for free (upto 500 sq ft). Also provide high-speed internet and uninterrupted electricity (windmills?). Free of cost.

    2. Tech schools can be given land according to the number of students. Free of cost.

    3. IT companies get space according to number of employees and can be charged a fee: 5% of total revenue.

    4. Zero taxes. Since these companies will be bringing in FX and make a high-tech Pakistan possible in a tech-intensive future. So why not?

    I think SZABIST was given 5000 acres outside Karachi and it’s still unused. It’s in the ‘wind corridor’ so some wind-energy company can be allowed to setup wind turbines in the area and provide free or low-cost electricity to University members.

    Physical proximity to each other and being next to Stanford University was essential in the development of Silicon Valley. We can do the same here.

    And it’ll cost less than building all these bridges in Karachi (which will only lead to more cars and more traffic jams – not less), and it’ll be the best investment for the immediate present and future.

    (Goal: to create an ecosystem of tech companies that raises Pakistan’s IT exports to above $10 billion in less than 5 years).

    Reply
  • 5. Anthony Mitchell  |  March 8, 2009 at 8:29 am

    New educational facilities may be most helpful in the area of skill retraining and improvement, which is needed for tech skills, financial management, and last but not least: soft skills such as business communication.

    This is based on the premise that educational resources need to be accessed throughout our careers, whereby many of the courses could be short courses. They could include one-hour or one-day courses and seminars, and intensive MBA-in-a-box events of one or two weeks in length.

    I’d like to see government-supported scholarships for employees of government agencies and government-owned enterprises.

    Existing educational institutions offer tremendous resources that need to be supported and kept fresh with teacher training and other initiatives.

    Rather than merely addressing training as a top-down activity, educating mid-career and pre-career students so that they themselves can subsequently provide training would further the goal of creating a culture of excellence and technical sophistication.

    Reply

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