IT SECTOR has been amazingly widespread in recent years around the world, and has seen a prolific growth in its industry in Pakistan. No doubt that IT sector is in its early years in Pakistan and has yet not reached its full maturity, however a closer scrutiny will expose the benefits this sector has and can ripe for the bright future of Pakistan. The Ministry of Information Technology under the Government of Pakistan is in command of managing and regulating this industry. Recently published Global Information technology report of the year 2012 by the World Economic Forum ranked Pakistan information technology as 102nd in the race of 144 competing countries. Despite the fact that this industry is still paving its path in the country the government has immense belief in the sector which has resulted in a lot of potential investments towards the growth of this industry by both public and private investors.
According to a report published in the local media in May last that it is believed that this industry saw a boost even when the rest of the industrial sectors were gripped with the financial lurch effect. Estimation shows that with over 20 million internet users and yet a growing rate in internet access, Pakistan becomes the 15th largest population using internet in comparison to the rest of the world.
The year 2011 has been in particular a year of growth for this specific industry and hence been termed as the golden year. Establishing its milestone in the year 2011, IT in Pakistan has entered the fierce competition from around the world and is expected to reach new heights in the next 5 years. According to Central Banks budgets annual export of software and IT related services has earned over $200 million, though the software developers are sure that the earnings from actual exports are actually close to $1 billion. Cheaper labour coupled with tax exemption on IT related export facility makes Pakistan an attractive choice over its competitors. IT sector secures approximately 80% jobs in the country however a need for more qualified manpower continues to be a pressing issue.
Some of the highlights for the year 2011 are worth mentioning. The Pakistan Fast growth25, a ranking committee which lists the 25 fastest growing companies in the country listed 10 IT industries on its list. A joint venture between the Pakistani and Indian IT sectors was agreed with a mutual aim of securing $5 billion in IT trade, ventures, investments and exchanging expertise. The Pakistan Software Houses Association bagged $250,000 by Google as an appreciation for the launch of Pasha Fund that distributed funds to endowed innovators. The very same year Pakistans IT firm called Ten Pearls won the second position at the Nokia ATandT Innovators 2011 contest and received $50,000 cash as the winning prize, whereas Pakistan managed to win 2 gold and 5 silver awards at the 11th annual Asia Pacific ICT awards. These all became the much talked news in Pakistan for the year.
Such efforts have not been left behind and news about Pakistan in IT sector has only been more promising. According to the CEO and Chairman of the NetSOL Technologies Ltd. Salim Ghauri, as of present over 1000 IT industries are operating in Pakistan are employing about 100,000 employees and generating more than a billion dollars annually through IT export. According to him, Pakistan is currently ranked 2nd for its IT sector in the world and progress has been achieved and is being achieved in areas closely related to the masses utilization such as mobile phones, telephony and internet. To achieve this target, the committed people forming about 1500 teams are working on the project in the pipeline. Despite the fact that this industry is growing silently it is vital for government to give it a prioritized attention. Especially the next 5 years are thought to be increasingly crucial for IT sector in the country as IT services and software exemption is due to expire in 2016. Ensuring that the 20 years effort does not go in vain is highly necessary not only for the protection of this industrys name established over the world but for the economic boost and growth of Pakistan as well.