IT firms' registration hit record in second quarter: PASHA -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

IT firms’ registration hit record in second quarter: PASHA

By Khurram Bari Khan

KARACHI: Pakistan Software House Association (PASHA) has registered 20 new Information Technology (IT) firms in the second quarter of 2010, depicting a significant growth over last year, when it enrolled the same number of companies in 12 months, Yusuf Jan, Chairman, PASHA, told The News on Wednesday.

“There has been a focus on entrepreneurship in the local IT industry for the last three years,” said Jan, adding “There’s a tremendous growth in new companies entering the business, especially in the second quarter.”

Jan is also the Co-founder and Executive Vice President of Mixit Technologies, a company providing trading platform to Nasdaq and 250 brokerage houses. Pakistani IT companies such as Sofizar, Mindstorm, Jadu, Chopal, TPS, etc. have won accolades by preparing unique software, games, and Internet-based solutions for global companies.

Over 400 IT firms in the country are PASHA members, which employ around 150,000 professionals, leaving a small number of companies outside its domain. PASHA, formed some 10 years ago, estimates the size of the local IT industry at more than $2 billion per annum with yearly exports of around $1 billion.

Jehan Ara, President, PASHA, said in a presentation that the IT sector had become one of the most innovative and vibrant industries, advancing at a pace of 30 to 50 percent per annum. The local IT firms caters, in a variety of ways, to the financial, textile and telecom sectors’ needs. It also provides software and services to various government departments, while the defence sector is also a major user of IT products.

“The financial sector is leading the way (in terms of IT use) on the back of growth in the online and mobile banking services and ATM usage,” Jehan Ara added.

In order to get the current snapshot of the industry, PASHA and Pakistan Software Export Board are conducting a joint study to analyse future challenges. “The last two-year experience has shown that the global challenges are there, so the study will be a bit different from the previous ones,” said Jan.

“Unlike other parts of the world, Pakistan is unique as half of the companies here belong to the product development side and half to the IT services area,” Jan said, adding that in many countries this ratio is lopsided.

There are more than 100 companies in the country and over 400,000 graduates are enrolled with them through various programmes and courses. Speaking on the educational and training side, Jan said that 25 percent of the graduates are highly skilled and getting a job has never been a problem for them.

“After three-year slump, enrollment in the universities, offering IT subjects, has gone up considerably this year,” said Jan.

“Pay scale in the IT sector is the healthiest among the rest of the professions and every other firm is now looking for people.” A skilled IT graduate can easily earn a salary of Rs100,000 per month within the first four years of his career, he added.
Source: The News
Date:7/29/2010