The Pakistan Software Export Board grew into a mature professional organization under the leadership of Dr. Aamir Matin. A quick thank you from the nation to the former MD (who is now heading up Cisco Pakistan).
Recently, however, Mr Yusuf Hussain took helm of the organization, and I couldn’t feel more comfortable in the choice.
Mr. Hussain is the former head of Cressoft, one of the highlights of the Glory Days of the Pakistani IT Industry 1.0.
Although I was not in Pakistan at that time, everything I have heard about Cressoft tells me that it was perhaps the one company in the history of IT companies in Pakistan that was getting it right. Unfortunately, it collapsed in the dot bust.
As an example of the quality of the leadership from Cressoft: When Cressoft collapsed, the leadership all created their own companies which are now Streaming Networks, Care, (and perhaps also LMKR and Netsol? Someone correct me here) — all of which are strong companies in their own merits.
As another example, every average engineer that got out of the Cressoft experience is still considered one of the most valuable managers at any company they are working for. The most important value seen in those engineers is that ‘they understand business operations’.
Cressoft is still the only company that I have heard of in PK (not counting CDF) that actually had the following (these are just the basics, but you’d be surprised how many companies do not do these):
- Constant recruitment of fresh graduates regardless of demand — and the placement of the recruits into a training boot camp to shape them into final professionals by the time demand ramps up
- 6 months extensive training on well-planned training tracks within the company — with intensive training on culture, ethics and professionalism
- An appraisal process that was fair and considered employee ambition and potential in addition to achievements.
- Project Lifecycles that were created as gated pipelines — strictly disallowing the project to move into another stage until all “advancement criteria” were met
- High-level research, and design work on Computer Architecture (processor design), Embedded Systems, Video Alogirthms etc. outsourced to a team of about 600 engineers.
I have been evangelising similar internal environments for a good while now. So, why can’t the rest of the firms just learn from Cressoft? Is it a case of ‘ lack of vision in management’ ? Tell me your thoughts.
I can already see some positive changes on PSEB — the most useful one being the bulletin. It is always great to see good corporate social responsibility, and most appreciated when seeing it from the facilitator to the IT industry.
Welcome, Mr. Hussain. Good luck, and looking forward to another good leadership term at PSEB