“Information Technology can help the ailing national economy get back on track by not only directly contributing to the inflows and job creation, but also by supporting local organisations in improving their efficiency and profitability, which will generate more revenues for the government.” This was stated by Umair Azam, Founder and CEO of Integration Xperts, one of the leading technology firms in Pakistan.
Speaking to journalists, he stated that the IT sector has continually contributed more to the GDP over the past 10 years, which currently stands at 1 percent, with the potential to significantly increase both GDP contribution and exports in the next few years.
Umair thinks that by utilising technology, Pakistan’s manufacturing and services sector could accomplish great things and aid in the country’s return to the international stage, especially given the rupee’s current exchange rate with other currencies. “Though it is difficult for manufacturers to invest in business transformation during these challenging times, cloud-based solutions can help them only pay for the services they actually utilise for various user groups. And all of that for a little fraction of the price of purchasing an on-premises system,” he added. Umair further mentioned that the money saved may be put to use in other business ventures to increase productivity.
He recommended that businesses look beyond the cloud and investigate IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, which have the potential to fundamentally alter how business is conducted. For instance, SenseR, a cutting-edge retail demographics solution created by IX, helps organisations better understand customer in-store behaviour using CCTV cameras to aid in sales forecasting, customer segmentation, and assessing the effect of marketing campaigns on footfall generation. “A leading fashion retail outlet has been utilising the solution at their 100+ stores for a number of years now and has considerably enhanced their customer experience,” said Umair.
He further emphasised that IT companies in Pakistan should invest in creating their intellectual property (IP), recognising its paramount importance in today’s digital landscape. By strategically aligning their product development efforts with a global market, particularly leveraging a SaaS model, Pakistani companies can not only generate valuable foreign exchange but also repatriate those funds to strengthen the economy. By embracing the transformative potential of cutting-edge technologies like AI/ML and Blockchain, they can unlock new opportunities, enhance efficiency, and establish a sustainable, globally competitive presence in the ever-evolving tech industry.
Talking about Integration Xperts (Pvt.) Ltd. (IX), he said that it is a leading cloud implementation and professional services provider that has played its part in earning foreign exchange for the country since its inception by partnering with global giants like Oracle, SAP, Salesforce, AWS, and other key industry players. “Our highly skilled and experienced professionals have delivered successful projects not only in Pakistan but in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and the USA. Moreover, we are expanding our operations and offices in Pakistan by adding more skilled professionals to our team,” he added.
Umair said that IX has been striving to bring innovative solutions to the market to play its part in revenue generation for the country, as we should do everything possible to increase our exports to show double-digit growth, bringing in much-needed foreign exchange.
Umair did, however, emphasise that the crucial element will be the availability of qualified staff. “The need for trained professionals has grown over the past several years, which is why Team IX launched the “Future Leadership Program” (FLP) to hire recent local graduates and train in a variety of cloud applications for finance, enterprise resource planning, human resource management, customer relationship management, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital commerce, and mobile application development. The successful ones will then be offered a placement in the company,” said Umair.
He expressed hope that this initiative could contribute to the development of a talent pool of a few hundred highly skilled individuals over the coming years. These future leaders will be given exposure and practical experience in their respective fields.