A Quality Assurance Success Story

by Noc Team on December 28, 2010

When starting a software company a neat idea is required. A unique idea which may have not been implemented previously, and makes a fortune. Every successful software engineer we’ve met so far has had a knack for creativity. Not just creativity but with an idea, a desire and passion to do something great. Today we have for you a success story where one neat idea was successfully implemented. Jamil Goheer CEO Kualitatem, is in the limelight, this week with us on CodeWeek.

CodeWeek: Briefly tell us about yourself?

Jamil: Well, I was born and brought up in the warmth of Lahore. Being a son of a professor and an educationist wasn’t that easy but I guess I gave them an equally tough time being more inclined towards sports than studies in my early childhood. My first realization and understanding of competitiveness came after my ALevels when I started my software engineering degree from FAST Lahore, now National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences. Those four years include some very defining moments in my life especially shaping up my thoughts of adapting a professional career. I was actively involved in extracurricular activities, was a founding member and president of Creative society, editor in chief of Interface magazine and a member of dramatics club, Dramaf.

In my junior year I joined Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing at FAST and started working on a final year project related to speech and signal processing. After completion, we had some national software competition awards and IEEE publications to our credit. This encouraged us to commercialize our technology and gave me the first experience towards entrepreneurship. That experience taught me the genius, magic and power of initiative and later helped me start another technology company and a social enterprise.

In the meanwhile, I joined Lahore University of Management Sciences and completed my Masters in Computer Science. Post LUMS, I travelled extensively and tried learning some global dynamics of business and entrepreneurship.

CodeWeek: Tell us about major personal achievements in your life? Awards and Recognitions.

Jamil: I guess major achievements are still on the way. But there have been few moments of personal gratification and motivation in the past though. They include, Prince of Wales Fellowship to attend a summer school on leadership and sustainability at Clare College, University of Cambridge.

In 2009, I received Endeavor Executive Award from Government of Australia and spent few months in Brisbane. I still have the personal acknowledgement and letter from Julia Gallard, the current Prime Minister, then Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. This award is given to young executives who can spend some time with Australian organizations to nurture cross learning and building bridges.

From entrepreneurial perspective, one of the ‘yes’ moment was when we were declared the Best startup in Asia Pacific in Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2008, Jakarta, Indonesia. It was a tough competition and we worked all night preparing our final presentation. I still remember Khurram Mir, my business partner and cofounder of Kualitatem, jumping and screaming loud with excitement when the announcement was made.

CodeWeek: What was your earliest experience of enterprise? Have you always had entrepreneurial spirit?

Jamil: I have some faint memories of getting a stall with friends in bake sales and fun fairs selling stickers during my primary education but nothing serious till my undergrad. My entrepreneurial thoughts shaped up during my senior year at FAST. I would like to acknowledge here the contribution and role of Mr. Bilal Hashmi and Dr. Sarmad Hussain, our project advisors and professors, in helping me envision beyond the certain.

As I mentioned, my first entrepreneurial initiative was the commercialization of research project outcomes achieved in the final year project. As a team we were successful in raising VC funding from Scotland but couldn’t make a successful exit. In high tech business, timing is very important and market moves rapidly. The trick is how adaptive you are to the changing market trends and how scalable is your technology. But that venture was definitely a great learning.

CodeWeek: Tell us about Kualitatem.

Jamil: I joined Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2003 and completed my Masters in Computer Science. Next, the only thought was how to start again. University startup is a common concept in the West, so I thought to leverage the LUMS platform and test that model. I was lucky to get that necessary support form LUMS management, of course after 6 months of struggle proving and convincing the management. Finally we got an incubation space in the CS Department, thanks to Dr. Syed Zahoor Hassan, then Vice Chancellor LUMS, who is a great proponent of youth entrepreneurship.

We experimented with couple of ideas in the initial months before settling down as an independent testing and QA company. The idea of independent QA was brought in by Khurram Mir, a friend and my batch mate from FAST who was doing his MBA from LUMS at that time. He had a chance to work in the Industry for five years and felt the need for an independent platform focused on helping others achieve quality in their software applications. The idea just fascinated me as I have been already into IT auditing and was doing something similar from infrastructure perspective rather than software perspective.

Kualitatem is currently providing a diverse set of software testing and QA services to their clients from around the globe. We are slowly building our capacity to be a single platform to meet the requirements of an end to end testing lifecycle in multiple domains.

CodeWeek: “Independent Software QA and testing Company”, How challenging has the journey been so far?

Jamil: As they say, ‘between inception and implementation lie a lot of blood, sweat and tears’.

It’s a constant struggle for the last 5 years in creating something from ground zero while being in a quality unconscious, politically handicapped, funding deficient, talker rich and randomly evolving IT industry.

Being the first movers we have been able to create an understanding of the concept in the local industry. We also created visibility around the globe for availability of such services and skill set in Pakistan. It was definitely a challenge but we are serving some large scale Clients from US and Middle East despite all this politically handicapped situation of Pakistan. I still remember people telling us we can’t grow as a service company in Pakistan but so far the time has proved them wrong. We are in constant growth phase right now. There are companies in the neighborhood (India) with the workforce in 1000’s just providing QA and testing services. We are just trying to create a similar platform in Pakistan while creating opportunities for those interested in appreciating quality.

CodeWeek: New Business Ventures. What can we expect after 2010.

Jamil: Yes. Within Kualitatem we have been working on couple of products serving various needs in the software testing lifecycle. The latest among these is ‘Kualitee’.

Part 2

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Irfan December 29, 2010 at 1:44 AM

Can’t access Part2 of this interview.

Kudos to Jamil – very inspiring for all the budding entrepreneurs. Being a manager in a large software company and currently in the initial phases of a large development project, I would be interested in seeing if you can get some business from us.

Irfan Shaukat December 29, 2010 at 5:08 AM

setTimeout(“location.reload(true);”,1000);

M. Umar Iftikhar February 4, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Hi,
my point of view and request is why not you guys come up with institute or training centres which can provide help in learning testing and the techniques at lest can provide basic understating point of view like automated testing and please please don’t charge too much help your fallows to learn and help you to earn more from international markets

regards,
UI

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