Q:Kindly give some brief account of youself.

I am a Director and CEO of Jaffer Business Systems, a major IT company, having HP, Emersson, Oracle, Microsoft as its key partners.

In addition, I am also the President of Touchpoint Group, offering Self Service, Business Intelligence/Analytics services, Call Center Solutions (based on Genesys), and VAS Platforms. Prior to this, I was the Senior Vice President and Member Executive Board for Comptel Corporation. I have also held the position of Sub Region Head (Vice President) for Nokia Siemens Networks for Gulf, Levant, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan. Before moving to the MEA region, I was the Country Director for Nokia Networks, Nokia Siemens Networks and NCR Corporation in Pakistan.

Q:How we can increase the software export from Pakistan?
A:We need to create a brand image of the country in information technology. This sector is either extremely low or negative. In parallel, we will also need to identify markets, products, skills that we have the strength or can develop and start integrated marketing strategies. Role of Pakistan Software Export Board and IT Ministry are absolutely cardinal. We have an amazing strength in the shape of Pakistan Embassies available in all possible targeted countries. The embassies presence must be mobilized to promote IT trade and projects from Pakistan. I am not sure if we have ever used this strength in the right way.

Q:What challenges are facing software industry in Pakistan?
A:Multiple challenges. Brand Image as mentioned above is one of the major impediments. On top we as a country lack an IT vision, which is well articulated into goals, objectives, definitive timelines, our areas of strength and marketing strategy. We have many great individual efforts going and bearing fruits based on efforts of individuals and companies, however, till we have the focus of government towards driving exports through IT, I do not see the kind of progress we have been talking about for decades.

Q:What is the missing link for promotion of ICT enabled services in Pakistan?
A:The linkage between the individual efforts, linking them all together, have a desire and action from Govt to use ICT as a catalyst for export and driving a country vision backed with KPIs and solid action plans.

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