Fujitsu fast gaining ground in Pakistan

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Fujitsu is Japans leading ICT company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. The Company reported consolidated revenues of US$55 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. With its dynamic infrastructures approach, the Company offers a full portfolio of IT products, solutions and services, ranging from clients to datacentre solutions, Managed Infrastructure and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Syed Sajjad Abbas, Channel Manager UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan and Afghanistan; in an exclusive interview with Technology Times, says, we use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers.

When did Fujitsu enter Pakistan?
Sajjad Abbas: Fujitsu is a Japan based company which was established in 1935. Basically, it is a technology-oriented company having manufacturing facilities in Japan and Germany. At a later stage, we evaluated Pakistan as a potential market with reference to our companys products. The company started its business in Pakistan in 1999 with a joint venture with Siemens. Before that both the companies were marketing their products independently, however, they decided to join hands to offer a common portfolio to their clients. The joint venture agreement was signed for 10 years and in 2009 the companys shares were acquired hundred per cent by Fujitsu Ltd Japan. And now today the company is under the ownership of Fujitsu. The company has a complete product range starting from entry level desktops to most modern technologies of Datacenter. As I have already said that Fujitsu is basically a technology company that has more than 99,000 patents for technology. Pakistan has a wide potential for our products and we are jointly involved to market our products in the country.
Tell us about your product range?
We are having a huge product portfolio starting from entry level desktops to complete technology based solutions for largeorganizations. You may have heard of people offering convertible tablet PC. Fujitsu is a pioneer of this technology and today we are in 12th generation of this technology. We have both conventional slate type and convertible models available in our product portfolio of touch screen technology. When Microsoft launched its first edition of Tablet PC OS, it was tested on Fujitsu machines. Our company is having 40 years of experience in storage products, which we are marketing with the name of Eternus, we have setted up many world records for the fastest IOPS on our Eternus. Today the consumers the world over, who are now experiencing financial crunch, preferably are looking for high end solutions at a comparatively low costs. It is where the technology companies fit in especially those that have specialization in providing tailor made solutions at affordable costs to their clients.
What are your plans for Pakistan?
Today the organizational challenges have multiplied, from a single one or two 20 years back. The change of role demands dynamic decision making to avoid delays and losses. But in Pakistan especially in the public sector technology is seen as a problem creator instead of solution provider. We need to change this perception and media needs to play an important role in this regard as it has emerged as a very important tool to develop opinions of policy makers and the general public as well. It has been strongly observed that technology takes away no jobs, rather creates high end employments and improves governance, accountability and performance. Such features are now considered essential in the public sector organizations. We are doing multiple projects with public and private sector organizations. Pakistan has a very strong financial market as more than 40 commercial banks operating in the country. These banks are looking for the technological solutions for many of their services and we have expertise in that regard and are delivering our services up to their expectation level. A year back we won a big project from China Mobile. Fujitsu has a strategic future plan for Pakistan. We are collaborating with some very prestigious organizations of the country and are hectically working with them to improve their performance by employing sophistictechnology. We hope that our strength would grow constantly in Pakistan.
What do you think is it the impact of 2nd hand technology in the country, especially the computers?
Actually the price factor plays an import role in the promotion of technology in any country. The prices should be in the reach of average salaried people as it would play a significant role in promoting the technology especially amongst the middle class segment of the society. If you look at the graph of prices of computers during the last five years, you will see that the prices of new computers have gradually declined significantly. Second-hand products have created a potential market for new machines especially in Pakistan. We have seen that the trend has shifted to professional and branded machines as the people want proper guarantee and back-up services for peace of mind. Today in Pakistan a normal buyer of upto Rs 35,000 prefers to buy a branded machine instead of buying a cheap second hand notebook, as it did not carry any backup after sales services. People in the country are looking for branded machines as the technology is making inroads in the country. There is no doubt that the old machines, were built on non-green technology, could harm environment. Fujitsu had started a journey for a green PC way back in 1983 and today we can claim that Fujitsu PC is completely green PC.
Is language a problem in the promotion of technology?
No, language is not a barrier, you can find this out very easily that even our illiterate labor who doesnt know how to write his/her name in Urdu but they know how to operate a mobile, just like this IT technology itself is coming to address this shortcoming. I see immense growth of internet usage in the country and it will certainly address multiple issues in the years to come. Many leading software companies are already offering courses to the people in the country that will keep them abreast of the latest knowledge and trends in the developed world.
Are you satisfied with the investment climate in Pakistan?
If we better our taxation rules as done by other developed countries, then no doubt we could attract far more foreign investments in the country. Presently, the taxation system carries some flaws that lead to promotion of many negative attitudes like tax evasion and malpractices. Just a simple upgrade of tax system to automation will help many investors to the country. The developed states have successfully adopted this option and now they are fully benefiting this system as almost all malpractices in the tax system have eliminated there. Let me give you an example of Middle East countries, they dont have any duty or taxes on computers or other technology related products. Its absolutely duty and tax free. If the same practice is adopted by Pakistan, it will help technological transformation of the country in a shorter period of time. The inflow oftechnology will automatically literate the users as evident from the influx of mobile phones and ATM machines penetration in the country. It all depends upon the government whether it wants to keep abreast with the technology or wants to avoid it by keeping import restrictions, through heavy import duty and taxes.
Do you think that technology is gaining ground in Pakistan?
About a 20 years back, the IT technology had not gained ground in Pakistan. This trend had got penetrated especially with the introduction of telecom industry (cell phone industry). This has not only created awareness about the use of technologyequipments but also created benefits for the people. The paper work culture has entirely converted into paperless office environment; e-commerce, e-banking, e-communication and other countless developments especially cell phone penetration have changed the working environment in Pakistan. The awareness about technology has significantly increased as the population especially in rural and far flung areas are also becoming aware of the technology equipments especially Notebooks,cell phone and other telecommunication products.
Do you think that your products would secure more share in Pakistani market in future?
Yes, of course, it will happens so, as the company is vigorously in a phase of introducing more and more progress and innovations in deliverance of services. As I have already mentioned that the corporate sector executives as well as general public have increasingly taking interest in the usage of branded technology equipments. These trends would definitely create more space for our equipments, and we are hopeful of it.


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