IT Exports Growing – $175M worth exported in FY07-08

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So far, a very good indicator for the industry. Pakistani IT exports have been growing steadily for the last five years at 50% and even this year has not been behind in any aspect, growing from $116M to $175M (66%) this year.

I’ve been quite involved in the software industry here and the figures do justice to what i’ve been seeing. Last month, i was giving a course to SQA engineers from three organizations. Participants from two of those companies couldn’t give me their contact addresses after the course, promising to deliver them later. Why? Because both of them were moving to bigger premises that week! One to their own campus, a three story building they had acquired, while the other to their own ‘towers’. The fact that these companies were relatively new entities, except for one, and already had dedicated SQA departments was another positive sign.

What are your thoughts? Why are we growing and which areas should we be growing in the future?

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  • Obi Wan Kenobi

    Can you please share the course outline of SQA course. I always wonder what is taught in these classes and are they worth it of one’s money or are they just pep talk ?

  • @mansoor, actually there are a few local trends

    a. depreciation of rupee against dollar (71 right now) or against euro (almost 108+). Also companies have been able to charge their clients more – while staying as competitive as rest of the world. This effectively means that for an 80 person company, you would see a jump in almost Rs. 500k – 1.0 million in revenues per month – depending on their rates,no additional effort involved. You should discount for the rise in fuel prices but then outsourcing businesses aren’t really dependent on traveling too much. This jump has translated into bigger offices, more hiring, and better salaries.

    b. increase in demand all over the world

    c. local power crises

    d. expats getting involved in their own setups

    Because of (a), the earnings have increased so companies have a lot more cash now, i.e., companies that are doing good.

    Since demand has overall increased, primarily because India has gotten expensive (depreciation of dollar against indian rupee) without the corresponding increase in quality so people are looking for alternative destinations.

    Because of local power crises, the smaller software houses that would be ready to work at really low rates can no longer afford to stay in business or are finding it really hard to stay in business as they have to get UPS, generators etc. which is not easy for every bootstrap shop. This should have a relative less impact on the overall situation though.

    Expats are investing locally, opening up small shops to earn some extra cash – which in some cases start to do well to replace their day jobs. Some are also starting work on their small little ideas, to see how it goes.

    Also there has been another episode of the 2000-bubble, more commonly known as “web 2.0”. There are a lot of new products being built and most of it is outsourced.

    Regarding which areas should we grow into – I am not sure. Right now our exports are so tiny that it doesn’t really matter if we choose a specialty or not. I guess, the aim right now is “growing” companies on the momentum and making sure that the companies are big and stable enough to handle the slowdown whenever it might come (though I don’t see any signs of any slow-down).

    My 2 cents…

  • obi: you can take a look at for a course outline we offer. however, i’d also like to add that for effective training, these topics have to be augmented by a lot of hands on discussions+workshops otherwise its just a one-way transfer of knowledge which doesn’t benefit anyone.

    ali: beautifully summed up the current scenario. that’s my perspective as well. For quite a few companies here, revenue’s have taken a giant upwards leap and i’m also happy to see that quite a few companies are also investing the same back into their people instead of just pocketing it. We need such forward thinkers and institution builders to make the industry a viable one.

  • Hi,

    I agree with both of you? Even though the conditions are worse then before in case of power and telecommunication( internet disorders ) but still some companies are generating more money. Like the company I work in as Software Engineer is also genrating a much more mone then a year or two before.

    And this year we are in the process of converting our salary into dollars beacuse company do all his business in dollars so is the profit. We get a percentage of the amount paid by our client which now will be converted to dollars so our salary will falucuate according to rupees state but also there is a lowest value cap in case dollar drops very low which seems impossible :)

    In this senerio an average employee with salary 30K per month will have atleast 35 to 4K advantage per month if dollar is at 70 Rs.

    It is just an example that companies feels much secure now and are willing to share this with there employee.

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