So, I met another brilliant person who previously had no plans to go abroad, but is now planning to follow the band wagon because of the current country situation and career growth.
This is real hard time for our industry, and I feel that the situation is getting worse every day. We have good professionals going out and are being accepted happily because of global shortage of talented resources. As a result, our nation and industry are losing. This comes at a crucial time when Pakistan is finally beginning to get recognized in the world as a business destination to consider.
The irony here is that after so many years when we finaly get the recognition to atleast stand next to our competitors because of a large untapped talent pool and desire to beat the odds, we start losing our key talents.
Read on for background and more thoughts of the future impact of this to our industry.
Going abroad has always been a dream of majority of our nation from as long as i can remember. Each section of society thinks that the ultimate achievement of life is you get out of the country and go to either gulf or uk/usa.
Previously, the main flux was nontech people. With the advent of Internet and technology, the work you do here can be done abroad without any difference except that there you get dollars or dirhams — people find this hard to resist, even if the life is tough and the surroundings alien. This change has been taking our experienced talent away from us on regular basis.
There was a brief pause in this out flow after 9/11 which saw a stop of people going out due to problems in Visa specially for Pakistanis, which can be seen as a blessing in disguise for the industry. Even though it also slowed down the outsourcing business heavily. but it transformed our industry into a self reliant one in which most companies started looking in-house for projects or places besides the US and also starting working on Products and development of proper sales channels.
It also provided the industry the much needed stability in the employee base, and we saw people staying back and gaining experience for multiple years benefiting the organizations alot — all of which has finally begun to make this industry something to be noticed.
However it seems that the good times are gone again and the gates are opening again — this time specifically targeting our tech workers. The policies they have designed are so easy that a person with 4-5 years of experience gets a fair chance of getting a visa and landing in foreign land in a matter of 6 months to 1 year. with talks of US raising the cap for H-1 visas and UK already capitalizing on HSMP visa (which if you have the right skill and experience you can get in matter of days and not even weeks) we can expect the things to get worse.
The timing couldn’t be worse – because of the recognition our industry is getting because of Scrybe and others, there is an increase in the inflow of work, and I fear we will soon be seeing a time when we wont be accepting projects just due to the fact that we don’t have talent available to tackle this, and thus practically handing opportunities to our competitors on silver platters.
There are much bigger, critical and disastrous implications of this.
As the talent begins to move out again, the ones who remain back become scarce resources — even though they may have no skills or talent to justify their work, the scarcity would drive pays upward, making it even more difficult for a company to get projects on competitive pricing. Organizations get expensive resources which do not always perform optimally.
The academics side of the industry seems to be bent on only on producing PhDs, but this wouldn’t help because these guys never enter the industry but instead go for teaching jobs. We will soon be in a place where we will have a lot of Phds teaching and no real hardcore talent to handle the work which is coming in. For the immediate term, the situation is only going to get worse.
I always try to advise young people to stay home and reap the benefits of being near the family and still earn good pays as things are getting rosy for workers here, but still the ratio who realizes this is very small, so sometimes I cant help feeling helpless and think that I might be wrong in my thinking and maybe going abroad is the right thing to do.
What can be a practical and achievable strategy and put a stop to it? Do we need to start an internal branding campaign that educate parents who still dont realize that software pays are so well? Do we need to get people like Osama, Jawwad Farid or Jehan Ara etc, to give out nationwide motivational speeches on the future of this Industry? There are still confused students who think going out will solve all the problems in the world and Pakistan is the worst place to have a career.