Breaking Isolation – Why Pakistan’s IT Sector Needs Greater Collaboration

Written by Usman Asif

Apr 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Amidst economic challenges, Pakistan’s IT sector emerges as a beacon of hope. In FY23, we exported $2.59B worth of tech services, making up 35% of all services exports. But here’s the thing: We’re only scratching the surface of a $1.2 Trillion global market.

If we aim for 10x growth, working in silos won’t cut it. Our industry is fragmented, and this is evident when you see that 65% of computer services and 80% of software consultancy firms export less than $100k annually. As industry leaders, it’s on us to lead the way, not just wait for the policymakers.

Did you know 55% of our IT exports go to the U.S. alone? It’s high time we diversify. Small IT firms often lack the resources to explore markets beyond the usual suspects like the U.S., UK, and UAE.

Industry bodies like P@SHA and PSEB need to step up. Their efforts have been commendable but, compare it to what India’s NASSCOM has achieved, and you’ll realize how much more we can do. Government aid in the form of matching grant schemes and international development initiatives can further amplify our reach.

Skill Development and Talent Poaching
Talent poaching post-funding rounds has become commonplace. Companies invest in training only to see talent jump ship. We need centralized training centers that can nurture talent in high-demand domains like software engineering and digital marketing.

The Policy Gap
Although industry bodies like P@SHA have advocated reforms, it’s a slow process. It’s high time we get a seat at the table for long-term policy formulation, considering how rapidly the digital economy is evolving globally.

The Way Forward
It’s time to shift from fragmentation to collaboration. The era of working in isolation is over. We must unite for synergies in policy, marketing, talent development, and market access. Let’s rise above competing interests to enable meaningful progress. The payoff from such cooperation is too monumental to ignore any longer.

The clock is ticking, and the opportunity is massive. It’s time to collaborate and elevate Pakistan’s IT industry to its deserved global stature.

 

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