(IT Business Focus in Pakistan)
- Freelance Projects Prime Income Source
Recent research on IT industry has reported that, Pakistan ranks at no. 4 in the Freelance project execution. Freelance projects are not wide scope projects but small scale assignments that include, graphic designing, website development, software development, game development, content writing, report writings, financial analysis, business development of product and services, surveys, etc. There are numerous online platforms such as Upwork, that facilitates freelancers to acquire projects individually or as an agency with multiple resources. Bidding on large scale projects demand; expertise, the experience of similar projects, security of intangible assets, valid certifications and scalability of companies to operate such projects. So, in Pakistan mostly IT companies are engaged in Freelance projects, they fall short to meet the certain requirements of foreign clients to acquire large scale projects.
- Narrow Scope of Local Projects
Locally people are not aware of the IT industry and the value it can add to their daily life chores and businesses. IT has integrated business processes and it serves as a one-stop solution to all activities. You may review and contribute to any business process on just one click. In Pakistan, education pertaining to IT is not widely taught and often students get familiar with IT-related developments in high school and universities; but not everyone avail quality high school or university education. Training and development programs are run by the government to promote IT practices but its effectiveness and sustainability have always been a big Question. Generally, people seek project related to small scale software development such as employee’s attendance software, school management software, etc.
- Unsustainable Projects Due to Resource Constraints
IT companies in Pakistan are normally run by IT graduates, startups, Tech entrepreneurs, etc. Large majority is of IT graduates who after spending some time with IT companies start their own IT companies and take on Freelance projects. Insufficient funds, lack of IT awareness hinder the sustainability of Customized it projects designed and run by IT companies. For instance, IT companies have identified some areas such as tourism, education, etc. and they have created user friendly apps, software’s to facilitate people but owing to shortage of funds and awareness they are unable to market their product and services or sustain its maintenance.
- Unavailability of Government Projects
IT projects tendered by the government are considered to be large scale and lucrative in terms of revenue. Also, Government projects are good for rapport building and profile of companies to attract similar other large scale projects in the future. Government assigns their projects such as office automation, software development, IT training and development, etc. to companies who possess similar expertise.
But the biggest reservation by IT companies pertaining to Government projects is inaccessibility to projects. To explore this narrative, it implies that government does not maintain merit selection for procuring vender for carrying out its services. Most of the times, the stakeholders involved in the project are also bidding for the project. And they attract projects by offering a certain commission to the evaluators bypassing merits of assessment. In other cases, big IT giants secure government projects and others never get a chance to remain anywhere close to the selection criteria. Similarly, IT boards constituted by Government are procuring projects for themselves instead of facilitating other IT companies to grab the opportunity.
- IT Activities Amassed in Few Main Cities
Few cities as discussed above are the hub of the IT Industry in Pakistan. These cities have IT companies, IT parks, incubations centers, and numerous IT activities are carried out in their respective premises. But this limits the exposure to only these cities and others remain oblivion of the fact that IT has reached new dimensions. Also, with no awareness, this also squeeze the market for IT companies to cater and from such a big population only a small percentage remains updated about IT changes. This is also evident from the fact that some of the good universities in Pakistan are also located in these cities and this ultimately serves as the barrier for people from far-flung areas to get benefited from changes in the education paradigm that includes IT as well.
Next Episode of IT Industry Guide will contain information on the Challenges Faced by IT industry in Pakistan