Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) conducted a successful seminar with a large number of C-level executives from the IT industry at PC Karachi on November 13th.
The event started with a welcome address by PSEB’s Director Marketing, Mr. Sulman Hassan. Then Mr. Zia Banday from Pak China Investment Company talked about the IT outsourcing opportunities for Pakistani companies in China, which is the 2nd biggest outsourcing market after USA.
Mr. Zia also mentioned that Pakistan’s Consul General in China is planning a Pak China Software forum in Shenzhen from December 15th to 16th which will be attended by many Chinese companies. He urged the Pakistani companies to attend this forum to take advantage of the outsourcing opportunities in China.
This was followed by a speech by Ms. Jehan Ara, President Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) who highlighted the IT industry’s achievements and success stories. She recommended that small IT companies need to partner with each other to win big outsourcing projects because one company cannot fulfill all requirements of the client.
This was followed by a comprehensive presentation by PSEB’s new Managing Director, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, who talked about PSEB’s contribution to the IT industry over the last decade as well as PSEB’s plans for future. He mentioned that PSEB has supported the IT industry through different programs including Software Technology Parks (STPs), ISO and CMMI certifications, international marketing through events and delegations, IT internships, IT trainings, and many other programs.Over the last decade, PSEB has spent more than Rs. 0.5 billion on these industry support programs. However, IT exports as reported by State Bank for 2013-14 were only $370 million.
Mr. Asim emphasized that IT exporters should use one of 6 state bank codes when reporting foreign remittances received. Otherwise, those remittances will not be recorded under IT exports. He also mentioned that PSEB is planning new initiatives for the IT industry in future including new research studies on outsourcing market, IT incubators, ISO consultancies, new IT events, and new STPs. He also mentioned that PSEB is going to acknowledge and reward the top IT exporters for 2014-15 at next year’s event.
Mr. Asim hoped that these new initiatives and better reporting will take IT exports as reported by State Bank to at least $500 million by 2016 and $1 billion by 2020.
This was followed by an interactive panel discussion with CEOs of different IT companies which was moderated by Mr. Ali Hasani, Director Operations PSEB.
The audience suggested new markets for Pakistani companies including Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa and that Pakistani companies should hire salespersons in these regions to grow their outsourcing business. Some CEOs also suggested that the new tax of 17% on IT services which has been imposed since July 2014 by provinces of Sind, Punjab, and KPK has stunted the growth of the IT industry and that these provinces should abolish this new tax in 2015’s budget. MD PSEB assured the industry that PSEB would share their feedback with Ministry of IT.
The industry appreciated the MD’s plan and assured their full support to PSEB for increasing Pakistan’s IT exports. PSEB will conduct similar industry seminars in Islamabad and Lahore also.
It’s, however, not all bad news for Pakistan assures Asim Shahryar Husain, the current managing director for PSEB, adding that certain measures have been taken to promote the industry. In 2011, PSEB developed the first portal for IT companies in Pakistan (it.org.pk) — a repository of IT companies to connect local/international clients with developers. This year it plans to exhibit at relevant international IT exhibitions and organize delegations to strategically important markets such as the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America. “Companies have done well in emerging areas like mobile phone software, gaming and animation,” says Husain. He adds that compared to 2004, when there were only a handful of IT companies doing annual business worth $10 million, currently there are two companies that have exceeded the $30 million mark.
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Herndon, VA October 31st, 2014 – Game PIan8 is proud to announce the release of an exciting new sci-fi space game, Battle of Galaxies – Space Conquest. Now available for iPad and iPhone in the Apple App Store.
Battle of Galaxies- Space Conquest is an exciting 3D space battle game for both children and adults. The game provides a thrilling experience of space voyage fighting enemy battleships and protecting galaxies from enemy invasions. This tactical conquest lets you develop your own space battle strategies to fight off enemy powers.
"With the availability of powerful devices and new gaming engines, motion graphics has opened up a whole new world of 3D Gaming experience"commented Zeeshan Aftab, Managing Director, Game Plan8. “We selected the space theme to unwind our imagination and emulate the thrill of a real space conquest. Our team of Gamo-Sapiens worked really hard to produce this game in a span of 3 months, making Battle of Galaxies an exciting and much awaited release of Game Plan8".
The Battle of Galaxies – Space Conquest features include:
Payment processor i2c enables Shift debit cardholders to seamlessly spend alternative currencies, including loyalty points, airline miles, precious metals and bitcoin
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Nov. 3, 2014 – i2c, Inc., a global provider of card processing and emerging financial services solutions, today announced that it is providing the payment processing infrastructure behind Shift Payments' debit card, which allows consumers to make payments in fiat, digital and alternative currencies. The companies have already collaborated to get test cards to market and are working on a global roll out.
Shift Payments taps i2c inc. to provide payments platform for debit card that uses bitcoin, loyalty pts, air miles, gold money2020 i2c's global processing platform, used by organizations worldwide to offer customized financial products, is the bridge that connects Shift to the existing payments ecosystem. i2c, as a next generation payment processor, allows Shift to integrate into the authorization stream and existing settlement process with the issuing bank and card network.
“Today, money exists in a variety of different forms, not just traditional fiat currency, but there is no easy or convenient way for consumers to pay for everyday goods and services with these alternative stores of value. Shift is solving this problem with the support of i2c,” says Meg Nakamura, co-founder and chief executive of Shift Payments. “By working with i2c, Shift gains access to a global payments technology platform that offers end users the benefits of best execution and greatest acceptance,” says Nakamura.
Stephan Koukis, senior vice president, Business Advisory Group at i2c, comments, “We are at a point in time when consumers are driving the evolution of financial services. By giving consumers more choice and control in spending their money, Shift is delivering exactly what the market is requesting right now. We are excited to be partnering with Shift to establish a blueprint for enabling consumers to p]ay using alternative funding sources, such as loyalty points, airline miles, gold and other precious metals, bitcoin, and any alternatives that may exist in the future.”
Recovering global economy has improved worldwide IT spending. The Middle East in particular is expected to grow at a fast clip with region’s IT spending estimated in excess of USD 211 billion in 2015 and expected to reach USD 243 billion by 2018. The drivers for this growth include mobility, smart government, big data and Internet of Things (IoT0, communications, media and services, banking and securities, government, manufacturing and natural resources.
Taking into account the above mentioned growth, it would be worthwhile to enhance focus on the Middle East to enhance exports and thus expand the footprint of Pakistan’s IT industry. In this context it is worthwhile to note that during recent participation in GITEX Dubai 2014, A2Z Creatorz signed an MOU with a Bahrain based company that would market and sell A2Z Creatorz services in Bahrain.
The potential for Pakistan’s IT industry is significant in the Middle East due to cultural synergies, favorable country perception as well as geographical proximity. Aggressive efforts by Pakistani IT companies can therefore pay significant dividends of the local IT Industry.