In my duration as a tech person in the local industry. i have according to my limited intelligence identified three main categories of companies working and producing technology here in our country, these are as follows
1. The ‘Seth’ Companies
2. Multinational Corporations
I will be discussing these not on their business models but mainly on the employees perception and experiences in these organizations.
The ‘Seth’ Companies.
Companies found by industrialists or rich businessmen to tap on the profits offered by different technologies from time to time(like telecoms now days and software some time back) I like to call these companies as ‘Seth’ companies. for our foreign friends reading, ‘Seth’ is a term used in Urdu language to refer to rich person in general some times specifically used to mention people who have ancestor’s businesses and wealth.
Usually what happens is that these businessmen who are sharp and on the lookout for new places to earn money when see the trend of market start to invest in technology business, most of the times they don’t actually have the in-depth knowledge of the technology or the work they are indulging. they will usually hire some one to monitor the organization they setup. the success of these organizations depend on two basic things, first that the person they hired is some one who knows what he is doing, if he is a relative of the seth thing are bound to crash, second how much of an autonomy this person is given if he is given full independence to run the business things are ok if the ‘seth’ intervenes in every aspect of the organization things turn ugly.
contrary to some beliefs these organizations not always end up in doom, some are pretty successful, because all in all these owners are sharp business men and know what they are doing.
From an employees point of view these are the organizations to avoid(this is not my own statement but derived from a majority of people in the technology field i know), reasons given by people is first the owner does not know the domain he makes wrong decisions, second as their sole motto is to make money they benefits besides salary and the job security are pretty much limited. The owners coming from different back ground not always understand the complexities of handling tech workers and they would always think that putting 2 people on a task should reduce the time to half. so the end result is employee dis satisfactions are highest in these organizations.
However the good part is because life is tough in these organizations you learn very fast and you are made to learn very fast, trend seen in the market is any body having experience in these organization is welcomed with open arms in other type of organizations for the sole reason that if he survived and performed in that tight environment he will do wonders in a better one. Also as their sole motto is to earn money they will do any kind of project so the employee gets to have his hands on different types of technologies and work in different roles, which is not always a possibility in other organizations.
Second category are multinationals, these are the companies with global presence (please take into account i am referring to companies who have roots out side of Pakistan this does not include companies who are based locally and have offices for sales and support out side the country)
These are moving in to the country because of growing business Pakistan is offering them and also because India is becoming saturated as a country to offer tech workers pays are rising there. Pakistani people are available at a cheaper rate, thus allowing these companies to cut down their running costs.
From and employees eyes these have very well defined structures and policies in place, they have good training opportunities and travelling too. because they have offices in different countries employees get more exposure than other type of organizations. Job are pretty much secure and no stability issues. career paths are well defined and you can see where you will be in x number of years in the hierarchy.
The issues with such organizations is that every thing is defined through corporate policies, its impossible to make changes, so even if you are a brilliant employee the raise you will get will be according to the budget. the focus of these organizations is to a specific technology and you can’t explore other possibilities or work type while working there. you can’t change any thing and because you are a tiny part of a global organization the amount of influence you can exercise on the over all organization is limited. similarly your growth in these organization is through a set pattern unlike other organizations where you can move more quickly up the ladder.
Third category and my favourite (I might be biased when comparing the pros and cons ) are the entrepreneurs who have either come back with experience or with funding with a love for the technology they work on and have started to work for them selves some gaining great successes other forgotten in the tides of time.
Recently there are a lot of start-up showing up in the local scene due to a lot of people coming back home and having professions in the technology related industries. these people have scene the world and came back to start their own setup so they can further nurture their passion plus make some money. Also there are some veterans who started all this early on and have grown into size-able organizations with good size employee base, some time they can rival the size and kind of work of multinationals in the country
From an employees perspective you can learn a lot in these organizations. the management is a technical one who knows what is going around in the industry they have exposure either foreign or local to handle every thing, they respect the technical people because they are also part of the same breed. the policies and procedures in these organizations are mostly employee friendly and can be flexible.
However the other side of the picture is if a start-up there is high risk in these organizations they can be closed after few months and employee jobless. for smaller firms as the sources of income are not too many the benefits are also limited. and for start-ups that have morphed into giant organizations over successful years the situation is some what similar to the multinational ones.