Investing in IT
LOS ANGELES: This is with reference to your story of August 7 titled “Pakistan to establish its first laptop assembly plant”. I used to be a professor of business at a university. I left teaching and started three different companies and also did sub-contracting. My company went public and was acquired by IBM. I have also invested in at least eight different start-ups in Silicon Valley and have experience of being involved in this type of business.
For the benefit of your readers, I am investing my own money with a partner in Pakistan to introduce the latest solar technology (not a factory to produce laptops) in Pakistan. Not even Chinese or Indians have this technology. Not only will we create many new jobs, we will also not be importing materials from abroad. For the information of your readers it must be noted that Pakistan has one of the best solar density rates in the world.
My question is that why did a private firm in Pakistan not invest money and effort and start producing laptops. Why is the government doing this, given that politicians and the government bureaucracy only know how to waste public funds? Even in the case of India, out of around $60 billion in annual IT exports, a miniscule percentage is hardware related. The Chinese model is that they attract companies from abroad, which bring with them knowledge, funds, equipment and marketing skills to the host country. Pakistan should try and replicate this model.