PSEB extends special Gitex offer to young companies

September 7, 2010 at 11:00 am 16 comments

The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), in line with its charter to promote small enterprising entrepreneurial companies has, in consultation with the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA),  decided to provide young entrepreneurial ventures the opportunity to exhibit at Gitex Dubai 2010 at a nominal cost. Companies that are less then 24 months old have been invited to participate under this scheme.

The total cost of the trip for one person representing a member company, is less than Rs. 100,000 and includes all associated costs, such as exhibition space, visa cost, airfare,  lodging/boarding etc. Selected companies will be provided with a  counter and a bar stool at the Pakistan Pavilion at Gitex. Whereas Rs. 100,000 is nothing to sneeze at, usually participation at an exhibition like Gitex costs a whole lot more so those young companies that can afford it should certainly grab hold of this opportunity.

This cost can be reduced to Rs. 30 – 35K if you can find someone to put you up in Dubai, feed you and take you to the exhibition every day. It has been suggested that this may be a wasted exercise for young companies. My take is that for 35K if you can get the exposure, work the show, see what is happening in the IT space regionally, then it is money well spent even if you don’t generate direct business benefits from it. Usually participating at an exhibition is not meant to generate immediate business. It is a long term exercise but some small companies have actually been able to sign contracts at Gitex so who knows?

According to a PSEB email shot that has been sent out:

GITEX Dubai (OCTOBER 17 – 21, 2010) is one of the top information technology events in the world and is considered to be the most critical and important platform for buyers and sellers in the Middle East as well as the African Continent. The IT sector in the Middle East is booming despite the global slowdown. Middle East based companies are expected to spend approximately US$50 Billion on IT related products and the region is forecast to show highest year-on-year IT spending growth in the world. At 11 %. Dubai alone is expected to spend US$ 4.79 Billion on ICT investments in 2010, an increase of 12.4%. Furthermore, Pakistani IT companies report that the probability of securing projects are higher in the Middle East as compared to the North American/European Markets.

Interested member companies of PSEB and P@SHA are invited to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) along with the following:

* Duly filled-in Application Form
* Company Profile
* Objectives Statement and associated Strategy to attain results from participation in the exhibition
* Signed TORs and Payment of Rs.5,000 in the form of Demand Draft.

Application forms and TORs are available at:
http://www.pseb.org.pk/UserFiles/documents/Application_Form_exhibition.pdf. All documents must be submitted before September 10, 2010.

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16 Comments Add your own

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  • 2. Irfan Suleman  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    awesome

    Reply
  • 3. Ali Rashid  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Really Commendable effort by the PSEB. Best Regards.

    Reply
  • 4. Kashif Hameed  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    The offer does not attract us much, if PSEB really want to give benefit to talented Pakistani IT professionals, it should present them on its own expense at International Exhibitions. However something better than nothing scenario works for PSEB and we welcome this offer of reduced payments.

    Reply
  • 5. Aqeel Syed  |  September 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    This extended offer of reduced rates by PSEB for young entrepreneurial ventures is awesome!

    Thanks for letting us know Jehan Ara, possibly I will be visiting Gitex Dubai.

    Reply
  • 6. Ali R. Khan  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I wonder whats the normal entry fee for visitors?? and whats the normal participation fee for this exhibition??

    Reply
    • 7. Jehan  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm

      @Ali I do know that exhibitors are given free passes to attend the exhibition. The space that PSEB is paying for – for the small businesses is probably in the range of around Rs. 650K – 700K

      Reply
  • 8. Atif  |  September 7, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks for info..I will try to be there at my best…

    Reply
  • 9. Farzal  |  September 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    People – require feedback on how “software houses” – who develop product for other companies and not their own products – can benefit from this experience / exercise?

    Reply
    • 10. Jehan  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      @Farzal, I know some service companies (large and small) who have got business through their interactions at Gitex – stuff like website development, portal development,etc. Customers have been from Abu Dhabi/Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar. Not everyone does of course and follow up is required.

      Reply
      • 11. Munir  |  September 8, 2010 at 11:20 am

        I’m having similar concerns and I think deadline is too short to take the decision. Can they extended the deadline for few more days?

        I’m also concerned about restriction of registered company. Most of the small companies are not registered yet and if they are targeting startups, I think they should waive this restriction.

        Reply
  • 12. Farzal  |  September 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Jehan, 2 requests

    1) the deadline allow no time to discuss and get feedback on this. with last 2 days of Ramazan and 10th possibly falling on Eid and Bank holiday, they must allow till till 2-3 days after Eid

    2) The terms say 2 people must go. What is the incremental cost companies will to pay for second person

    Reply
  • 13. Ahmed Muzammil  |  September 10, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Exactly same requests as Farzal.

    Reply
  • 14. Zia Imran  |  September 14, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Here is an “official” response from PSEB on queries and comments posed.

    1. The deadline for applying has been extended till Friday the 17th of September.

    2. Those who apply do need to register with PSEB as members. This is simple procedure which takes less than a few hours to fill out the form that can be dropped at local PSEB office in Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad and takes less than a day to complete. As long as the membership is applied for before Friday we will be fine. In case of extreme hardship we will be happy to reduce the registration fee, please contact me at md @ pseb.org.pk if need be.

    3. Please note that the actual subsidy that each company is receiving in real terms is between 90,000 (more like 125,000 if you include the cost of pavilion and facilities provided) per company from PSEB. The 100,000 expense that we advertise is strictly to meet your travel, lodging and transportation expenses that can be easily reduced to 35,000 if you can find a place to stay with a relative or friend in Dubai who is willing to do pickup/drop off for a few days too (we don’t get any part of it, this is simply your own expense money and we simply mention the maximum amount that you should budget). Alternatively we will encourage companies to share accommodations and even help find apartment type living that can reduce the travel cost of 100,000 considerably. So in essence PSEB is paying at least half of your cost to exhibit at GITEX if nothing else.

    4. We will be happy to conduct a workshop on how to effectively use your presence at GITEX but all companies whether product or services will benefit from GITEX. GITEX is a fee only event for all visitors, which means, only people who have something to do with technology will be visiting. This is beneficial traffic. How do you make the most of it, you will need to be creative and outreaching to people. As a marketer said, only half of my advertising dollars work, the issue is I don’t know which half. I say that to encourage you to think out of the box and find ways to maximize benefit of your presence at GITEX. Again you will have interested foot traffic who wants to deal and dabble in technology, rest is up to you to make the most of it; strike up a conversation, convince a potential buyer, get the word out about your product, make a friend out a visitor who may connect you with someone who has a need for your product etc. etc. Interesting things have happened in the past for young companies, you might just get that one key contact to close your first deal, to sell your first item in middle east. Think positive and think possibilities.

    5. We don’t have a problem with a second person going. Note that it would be additional travel cost for you. Also note that we will only provide seating space for one person. Having said that there will be space to hand out in other company pavilions (you will need to become entrepreneurial to develop relationships with other Pakistani companies so they let you use their space) !! Would be good relationship building !!

    6. All exhibitors are not given free passes. There is a limited quantity available but we will make sure that we at least give one free pass to smaller companies included in this offer. Note that the pass for entry alone is about 1,000 rupees per day for every day of the conference.

    I think I have answered most of the queries posed on this forum. Again please free to contact me at md @ pseb.org.p or Sulman Hassan in marketing, shassan @ pseb.org.pk for more details and feedback.

    Reply
  • 15. SEO Services Pakistan  |  September 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    This is wonderful initiative, since I think the cost of participating in ITCN in Pakistan is Rs.400,000 and 35K is just peanut price to participate in a event like this.

    Reply
  • 16. Subhan Gillani  |  September 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    We have participated in Gitex a few times, and take it from us, if you can gain exposure for spending such a small amount then it IS money well spent. Don’t think you can just show up and sit around and learn something. Make sure to mingle, print 1000 business cards, 1000 company profiles or at least fliers that will incite someone to conduct business with you. The follow up is hard, try to align yourself with companies that have a presence in Dubai. Our MENA office was able to followup with leads from Gitex 2009 and closed a couple of small projects. You will only get back what you put into it.

    Our initial visit to gitex: we invested heavily and had a zero monetary return.

    Last year we made a mediocre investment and plenty of post and pre work, which showed us results.

    Talk to the great folks at PASHA and PSEB, they are always quite friendly and helpful.

    T

    Reply

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