India: A Role Model for Pakistan’s Software Industry?

by Noc Team on September 1, 2009

pak-indiaDo We Have a Silicon Valley in Pakistan?

Pakistan still stands at the 20th position and India enjoys the first as far as software exports are concerned. Do we need help from world`s IT giant, India? Should India act as a role model for our Software Industry? What is your opinion?

Most of the IT companies in Pakistan and India belong to expatriates. Some of these companies are run by foreigners and still others have investments from the West. But in case of India, IT firms, whose managers have worked in the West, are generally more expensive than those working in Indian firms, which creates problem as they demand high wages. The willingness of Pakistanis to return home, from the West, is in complete contrast to most Indians who attend schools or work in the West and never look back. But we wonder how India has top IT Industry than any other country in Asia.

Indian city Bangalore is known as The Silicon Valley of India as it is a major hub for IT companies. Do we have a Silicon Valley in Pakistan as well?

And then the question arises “Do we need India’s Help?”

Waqas Khaleeq, from Smart Logics said,

“Undoubtedly India is the Asian tiger when it comes to Software market. Firstly, Indians are more saturated in international software houses. As a matter of face 34% of employees in Microsoft are from India. Secondly, the strength of software professionals inside software houses is a measure of market capture. The largest software house in Pakistan has almost 250 – 300 employees while India’s largest software company (Tata Consultancy Services) has 140,000 employees.
Thirdly, Total revenue earned by software development, technical consultancy and software outsourcing of India is way far above that of Pakistan. India aims for 60 billion USD. And Pakistan touches 4-5 Billion.”

Bilal Ahmed, a Software Architect said,

“It is because in Pakistan multinational companies are afraid of investing due to the growing political instability. On the other hand, almost every software market leader has its office in India. We, Pakistanis are far behind in research as well. We are only concerned with the immediate money making things while research is a long term payback and we are neglecting it. India’s education system is focused mainly in what is new and innovative in the Software market and we Pakistanis are still following the same old syllabus. Which is not even practical any more.

But on the other hand, Pakistani Software professionals are better than Indian Software Professionals. I have personally worked with some of the Indians and therefore have an idea. (This should not be taken as true in all the scenarios). Pakistani Professionals are more focused on quality, while Indian’s are more focused on the quantity. When it comes to Ethical issues, we are much better than Indians. (Not all the fingers are equal, so leaving a few). They will easily sell you the ideas of other client and even the whole project with a little makeup.”

Waseem Hassan, a Software Engineer, said that, “Questions arise in our mind that whether the IT entrepreneur, investors, policy makers and also dynamic IT Industry in Pakistan and India are similar or not.

When we compare IT industry, it is clear to us that Pakistan’s Software Industry is relatively small in terms of manpower and employment. One study on this comparison shows the total employment at 60 of the most prominent firms, is around 5000 people. Last year alone, Indian exported over $17 billion worth of IT services to the world.

There are several significant differences which explain why Pakistan’s Software Industry is half the size of India’s Software Industry. First, the degree of concentration in the Pakistani Software Industry is much less than that of India’s. There are no Tatas or Wipros in Pakistan. The ratio of revenues between the most successful and the median firms in Pakistan is around 1:100 and in India it is 1:2000.  Second, Pakistan has seriously suffered (and continues to do so) from a weak human resource, both in terms of quality and quantity of its product. This, to our mind, is the single most important hindrance in the development of Pakistan’s software industry and the key differentiator between where it stands today vs. where India’s software industry stood a decade from now.

As we know we are lacking in IT industry so from my point of view it can be improved. Most importantly government should take interest in it and should draw an elaborate and long term plan. And for most of the organization IT should be on the top of agenda of CEO.  We should deploy IT in core industry to achieve competitiveness and for business promotion. IT should be used for solutions not for record keeping only. Awareness about IT in public sector should be enhanced and public sector spending on IT should be increased.”

But then again, the question arises, how long will it take? Do we have time for implementation of above mentioned options. Such solutions have been given by many, repeatedly. But still we face major problems. The greatest dilemma lies with the fact that the

Government of Pakistan has failed to appoint a suitable minister for IT and Telecom. IT and Telecom sector has been playing a major role in our countries economy for the past seven years and has contributed over Rs300 billion to the national exchequer from 2005-06 to 2007-08. Various operators have invested over $8.8 billion in telecom infrastructure during the same period. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecommunications stood at around $5.6 billion, which on average was over 30 per cent of the total FDI between fiscal year 2005-06 and 2007-08.” The News

Farhan Khalid, a Web Specialist and Software Lead, said,

“A good website developer will get up to Rs. 25k for a beautiful website in Pakistan. The same developer can get up to $2000 dollars from the States! The choice is obvious, go where there’s more money. Organizations that are not computerized are mostly small and medium enterprises. Due to the declining economy these small companies do not have resources to purchase their own Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and ERPs.
The market is huge, there is competition everywhere. Pakistanis face competition from India (one of the biggest outsourcing engines in the world, if not the biggest) and several other countries. The sea is huge and even though we are capable to a considerable extent, there are a few sharks and we can’t always get all them.”

Many strategies have been implemented by the government over and over again, but ‘have we succeeded’? Yes we have (to some extent), but the credit of this success goes directly to the people of Pakistan and to the Pakistanis who are living abroad and providing employment opportunities for the people in Pakistan. With the growing cross-border competition one wonders about the future of Pakistan’s Software Industry.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Muhammad Asad, ACA September 2, 2009 at 12:46 AM

No doubt India has remarkable progress in IT industry due to foreign collaboration and heavy investments in IT industry over the year. But i dont agree with the writer as the figures gathered does not match with recent figures.

India has never been at top in software industry. In top ten list of software companies ist seven are of US then how can India be at TOP. Us and china are holding top positions in this erra.

As far Pakistani software industry is concered please update your research. Attached herewith a link for your consideration which will give you an idea where pakistan is standing in past three years with a remarkable software exports.34% growth has been made in this sector in one year.

Article is lacking reserach….regards

Kaleem Ullah, Senior Software Engineer September 2, 2009 at 2:18 AM

Well its pleasing to hear this all, no doubt India is big country and has 1,147,995,904 population
where we Pakistanis are just 172,800,048 with a ration of 1: 6 and same is the case with resources. so fi we are 600% less than India than i think we must not be ashamed of.

As far as work of India is concerned i happen to work on a project that was initiated by Indian developers, the code was pathetic and the company was exporting the work. Even i worked as a free lance with experience of 3 years i had to change several basic things. Why India is going fast? according to me we don’t have stronger roots in outer world to get work and make space for us. India works cheaper and Pakistanis don’t bid lower.
Bigger projects are not awarded to Pakistan as Pakistan is in state of war and has threat of getting bombarded with addition of electricity failure so that project will linger on. Govt. can play a crucial role by getting us out of this. And as far as the question is concerned that “A Role Model for Pakistan’s Software Industry” i don’t think so because we can do everything but resources are less and YES education level matters.


Kaleem Ullah, Senior Software Engineer September 2, 2009 at 2:23 AM

And well Muhammad Asad, i have visited the link and it shows the calculation of 2007 2008, yes its calculation of a year back but it still supports your arguments.

Kaleem Ullah, Senior Software Engineer September 2, 2009 at 2:24 AM

As the website says
Export targets for the current fiscal year 2007-2008 US$ 240 million

Muhammad Asad, ACA September 2, 2009 at 3:15 AM

As far as growth prospects are concerned , a country is always known with its basic infrastructure. I had visited india so many times believe me they are totally dependant on the foreign support. All top companies of US & europe are there and India does not have too much IT infrastructure as compared with pakistan. As pakistan has developed its own irrespective of limited reqources.

India cant be role model for pakistan coz internatiolly they are known for piracy and IPR violations.

Muhammad Asad, ACA September 2, 2009 at 3:18 AM for more statistics Mr Kaleem plz visit

Fahad Majeed September 2, 2009 at 6:28 AM

Pakistan has it’s own stature when it comes to IT industry and outsourcing. Reasons are many:
Many of Pakistanies have studied in the western schools and know their business secrets. After getting grasp on their respective fields, these Pakistani entrepreneurs/managers tend to come back to Pakistan to get more business from foreign countries through their liaisons. This way they create more job opportunities for their country-fellows.

Indians on the other side don’t want to lose the sight of perks given to them in foreign countries. They stay their instead of going back to India for more ventures. Indian managers are also expensive for western countries.

Pakistani engineers have better accents in english than Indians.

Higher availability of Pakistani engineers gives them an extra edge over Indians as they have less holidays then Indians.

Pakistani engineers are known for the professionalism and integrity by westerners.

There are so many other reasons too. Aforesaid points are not only my perception but these are excerpts from an article written by an American E-commerce specialist who is with Indian IT industry since 1987.
If you want to read more refer to link:

Bushra Omer September 3, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Interesting…….ery welll formulated……especially the comparison….Nice Informative article posted by CODEWEEK…..keep up the good effort

Khan September 9, 2009 at 6:12 PM

Good one !!! its really a role model for us !!!

Qasim Zeeshan July 28, 2010 at 5:03 AM

I will appreciate the progress of India in IT industry but it can not at all a role model for Pakistan. The clients of indian markets are now moving to Pakistan as we have more mature infrastructure here than India.

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