THE IMPORTANCE OF IT AND CONTRIBUTION OF KALIA GROUP
"IT is the language of 21st Century and without
learning it no progress and prosperity is possible. "
By Hanif S. Kalia (FCMA)
Nov 13 - 19, 2000
The world today has changed so much so that the
traditional way of learning and earning will not help individuals or
even the nations way longer towards the way to progress and prosperity.
Kalia Group is a fast emerging group with diversified
business activities with a number of companies to its fold such as Kalia
Corporation, Kalia Sons, Kalia Computer Services, Kalsoft, KalTimes
etc., working in the fields of money, finance, export and of course,
information technology. Kalia Group is striving hard for bringing about
awareness toward this phenomenon. It particularly encourages the youth
as well as the elders of the society toward this newly born but fast
growing technology dominating almost the whole human society.
Role of "it" in economic salvation of
Because of ever changing human behaviour and needs it
is very necessary that the progressive approach should be adopted by all
means and in all spheres of communities, business enterprises and the
impacts on micro-macro economies aspects of the country.
Nowadays prosperity of a country largely examines by
the altitudes of economic stability and not the stagnancy. Where the
survival in the cutthroat competition becoming difficult and new avenue
for revenues generation are in search than the traditional one.
Therefore in present circumstances, Pakistan left
with no alternative for its stagnant economy but effectively promote and
properly project the Information Technology as a key to success for its
economic revival and the stability of its sovereignty and to break the
shackles of poverty and of debt.
"The economic salvation of Pakistan lies in
developing the field of Information Technology. "
This opinion is not just a belief but it is based on
certain solid arguments, hard facts and real figures, which are
elaborated as under:
It is a bare fact that India has become a major IT
player and has recently increased its defence budget by whopping 27 per
cent at the time when its software exports are around $5 billion. At
this juncture, a question arises that 'what shall happen when its
exports would increase to around $50 billion a year by 2008 or so? And
what alternate we would have been left with except to accept Indian
bully over our souls?"
Pakistan's economy which is faced with the worst
economic crisis of its history as our foreign exchange reserves do not
even touch the $2 billion level despite foreign debts and grants.
Unemployment is rampant and rising inflation is making life unbearable
for the common man. In such a scenario, the only ray of hope remains
with this technology.
To diagnosis this economic lacuna, I suggest that
close coordination & cooperation of the following four key sectors
can bring about a tremendous change of the Information Technology in our
country. These four sectors are.
1) Government Sector
2) Private Sector
3) Non-Government Organizations
Role of four key factors
(1) Government sector:
We believe the role of the government is essential
and multi-dimensional in nature that only they can perform by using
their missionary, vast resources and by using magic wind of policy
making if been implemented — a dream may come true. These proposed
suggestion, which are as follows:
(a) Need for a Full-fledged Federal IT Ministry:
We must remember that IT is a multi-dimensions
subject. Councils, committees, or task forces would not work in this
matter. If we really want to go ahead in this field we must have a
proper planning, infrastructure, far-reaching policies. All that is
possible only if we have a full-fledged and independent IT Ministry at
Federal and Provincial levels on the lines similar to that of India. In
India, such ministry is working with all the necessary powers vested in
it, which keeps vigilant eye on all the dimensions of this technology.
While formulating a separate ministry on federal and
on provincial level along with separate secretariat are to be formed.
These departments will remain in touch with related business houses,
manufacturers, suppliers, exporters & other vendors who can gather
any information, register any complaints or any activity — which
should be directly coordinated with the related Minister of the said
department. This will narrow down into One-window operation.
b) Formulation of IT Policy & Action Plan:
The government must draft out a consistent and
feasible IT policy keeping in view the present circumstances and future
needs and also to ensure its implementation. Like the sector of economy,
government should also formulate a policy considering these aspects for
achieving high results. These policies must contain:
The policy should of such nature that could withstand
any pressure and contingency if arise in future. For this we suggest the
appointed personnel should have related background.
Consistent & Transparent Policy:
The policy should be clear un-bias and favourable for
all concern regardless of the magnitude, so that nobody feels any
disadvantage of any sort and every little efforts in this direction
Span for Plan of Action:
The government plan of action should be of such that
they contain various duration of plan of action like.
Short term plan of action of one to two years
duration for immediate action.
Medium term plan of action that spread over 5 to 7
years of span for controlling contingencies.
Long term plan of action that could be spanning over
15 to 25 years duration for permanent solution.
While pursuing for promotion of IT & software
Industry, the government should provide such infrastructure where every
citizen can access at the lowest possible efforts & cost. It has
noted that whenever these policies or infrastructure are established
they create more inconvenience for the people. So far the development of
Indus Technology Park & Cyber City at Karachi where 90% of IT
manpower lies awaits its implementation through which frustration can be
d) Mode of Communications:
Communication and Computer Technology are integral
parts of IT and without proper communication, the desired development is
not possible. Therefore, PTCL should be pressed upon to provide
necessary communication facilities on nominal rates. It has become the
general tendency of some government departments to think in terms of
revenue only and social aspect of given facilities is not taken into
consideration at all. This attitude should now be changed.
A nominal profit with certain economic rates should
be introduced which may prove beneficial for the development of this
technology in the country. It is felt beneficial that PTCL should be
privatizing at the earliest and allow private sector to operate and
establish new ventures for healthy competition.
Moreover, some world-renowned high tech companies
like Microsoft and Oracle are active in our country under certain
agreements. They seem to be much keen in providing our masses necessary
training in all the areas relating to this technology. These companies
can be assigned the task of training our educators /teachers/
instructors and this will go a long way in contributing and accelerating
the pace of development in this line of trade.
(e) Credit facilities:
Finance is the essential ingredient for achieving
overall progress. A large number of persons having creative and
productive ideas cannot capitalize because of the lack of liquid
resources. If they are given a helping hand through scheduled banks and
DFIs, they may contribute much towards national prosperity. In this
connection, the example of Pak Libya Holding can be cited. They are
inviting talented IT related personnel to come forward with their ideas
along with feasibility. Needless to mention that Pak-Libya is a
financing company, which has diverted its certain funds for this
(f) Copyright Infringement & Related Laws:
Only few multinationals IT companies have implemented
their copyrights in Pakistan. Microsoft is an instant example. However,
pirated CDs and software of other IT companies are freely manufactured
and sold in Pakistan. This is a total violation of Word Trade
Organization's intellectual property rights and this is only because of
lack of copyright laws, which allows the fake software manufacturers to
go scot-free. The government should implement strict copyright laws into
its IT policy to apprehend the people indulging in this practice. Other
IT related laws and rules like checking of cyber crimes extra should be
enforced as early as possible.
(2) Private sector:
Private sector is very keenly looking forward to
revolutionary developments through this technology and a number of
ventures belonging to local entrepreneurs are in the field. It is
estimated that some 300 companies have either started their operation or
are in the process of starting the business solely or in collaboration
with certain world-renowned high-tech companies. The main role of the
private sector includes striving for the development of this technology,
attract foreign investments and arrange to train the manpower in this
But the question is: how far the private ventures can
go in the absence of infrastructure or financing by the government. A
good number of individuals are also trying their luck on the strength of
their intelligent assets. They also require helping hand from the
(3) Non-government organizations
Certain projects, which can not be initiated by the
government because of its scarce means such as establishment of computer
centres, computer institutes, universities in abundance while the
private sector does not find any profit incentive in such projects.
Under such circumstances the NGOs come forward and play their role in
providing such institutions on large and small scales supported by the
government as well as the philanthropists of the society. Such NGOs and
other private sector organizations should be encouraged through
financial support such as scholarships and donations.
The NGOs are already playing their role and they have
gone much far in this direction. However, the main handicaps is the
infrastructure, which hinders their pace of progress. For example, Memon
Community have done a lot in this field. The Memon NGOs have also
contributed constructive role in the areas of (1 ) Computer Education
Improvement Programme (CEIP) at school level and (2) Urdu Tutorial for
computer Applications etc.
(4) The media:
What is most lacking in our society is the awareness
towards the importance of this technology. This calls for a
comprehensive campaign through electronic as well as print media,
effectiveness of which can not be denied. It can go a long way in
bringing about awareness among the masses by giving prominent coverage
to all the activities being carried out in the field of Information
Technology. It can inspire the youth for adopting this technology as
career and publish/ broadcast/ telecast various informative articles and
write-ups. It can provide guidance to the masses, advice solutions to
the problems they face in their day to day course of business. It can
keep update the knowledge of the students and professionals by
publishing the new breakthroughs in this field. Exclusive Radio/TV
channels should be established or used for this purpose.
I firmly believes that coordination of all the four
key players i.e. the Government Sector, Private Sector, NGOs and Media
is essential to bring out the desired results.
Role of Kalia Group in promotion of it:
The Kalia group has strongly vouch and supported the
government call in popularizing of Information Technology in Pakistan
and in this regard we have activated all our resources.
Kalia Group is fighting on four fronts i.e. Social,
Socio-Commercial, Commercial Front and in Media.
On social front, Kalia Group is doing a lot for the
promotion of this technology through its own registered social welfare
organization named KO-ORDINATION GROUP - KG. This organization, headed
by myself was brought into existence a few years ago to attain unique
objectives in the fields of education, housing and other welfare
activities scheduled in phases. The first objective is to educate and
train the citizens, in general and Memon Community, in particular so
that they become successful IT professionals. IT, being the panacea for
all social, economic and political problems, has been selected for the
1st phase. IT education and training is our first priority for obvious
reasons. Simultaneously, emphasis is greatly on job orientation.
The committee of Information Technology of KG has
been formulated. Leading IT professional Mr. Abdul Ghaffar with 35 years
experience is the Vice Chairman. Mr. Iqbal Kasbati, a senior Chartered
Accountant and Director Khurram H. Kalia, a Gold Medallist from renowned
IT Institute of Pakistan, besides many others well known experts and
professionals of this field are the members of this committee.
The role of KG is well appreciated in following
• The establishment of Sir Adamjee Institutes of
Technology (SAIT) of Pakistan Memon Educational and Welfare Society
• The Ladies wing of KO- Ordination Group under the
chairperson-ship of Mrs. Mumtaz H. Kalia is striving hard while visiting
in the girls schools and colleges in increasing awareness among women.
• A Scholarship Committee has also been formed
under the chairmanship of Mr. Owais S. Kalia to provide scholarship,
grants and computers to the needy and deserving students of Memon
Community on Karze Hasna basis on the principle "Charity begins
• KO- Ordination Group has planned to bring out a
BI- Monthly newsletter, "KALTIMES" in Urdu and English to
update the people in general and youth, in particular regarding IT,
career guidance and training. The same has already been on the website
of"Kalpoint.com". Kalpoint.com has already been providing
various free public services since 23rd March, 2000.
• KO- Ordination Group has formed an
"Employment Committee" headed by Mr. Sikandar S. Kalia as its
Chairman. This free service is also being put on the website "Kalpoint.com"
particularly to attract foreign employers.
On Socio-Commercial front Kalia Group has established
a socio-commercial organization named Kalpoint.com. It is a unique
project in a sense that it provides free services in various categories
from prize bonds, estates and property, hotel reservations, ticket
reservations, air-flight inquiry, matrimony and a lot of other topics.
When most of the ecommerce transactions are done B2B and B2C,
kalpoint.com has introduced the concept of C2C. Its objective is to
create awareness about developing concepts of IT.
Kaltime, a part of Kalpoint.com, is Pakistan's first
IT e-zine and a continuation of the vision of Kalpoint. It is not just a
comprehensive guide on IT-related events and topics but a forum for
people's expressions of this field.
The Kalia Group accepted the 21st century challenge
and extended the frontier in Information Technology. Therefore, keeping
vision focused the Kalia Group has now entered into a new era engaging
in all spheres of Information Technology by the name of KALSOFT (PVT)
On commercial front, KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd., is a
software house developing quality softwares both for the local and
foreign market. KalSoft's main concentration is towards exporting
quality software that not only earns precious foreign exchange for the
country but also promotes Pakistan as an emerging software market.
KalSoft is a company managed on progressive lines. It
is rapidly growing and cultivating clientele on national as well as
international level. It has already signed one MoU?????. with a
Info-tech Company of international repute based in Singapore as well as
a company in USA. Some negotiations are in progress with other clients.
Some government departments are also approaching the Subject Company for
certain software required by them including Police Department and Sindh
Apart from creating IT awareness in the country,
Kalsoft provides employment to young and qualified professionals.
Presently Kalsoft has an excellent team of professionals who are keen to
learn new technology and attain cutting-edge performance in software
Kalsoft offers in Business Software Development and
Web development. Kalsoft believes in flexibility and adaptability. The
prominent features from some of the software tools and technology being
used at Kalsoft are:
• Java using JDK 1.2,
• Microsoft SQL Server
• Microsoft Access
• IIS and Microsoft Transaction Server
• Cold Fusion 4.1
• WML for WAP
• Java Script
• RMI (Remote Method Invocation)
• COM / DCOM
• Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual C + + 6.0
Kalia Group once again have taken an initiative in
this regard while publishing a weekly column. INFOWATCH is a bilingual
column (Urdu and Gujrati) being regularly published in the leading
newspapers and Magazines of the Community. It encompasses latest news
and views regarding IT. Mr. Munaf S. Kalia is heading INFOWATCH
COMMITTEE and is very ably supported by Mr. Ashraf A. Latif, a leading
Results of the above mentioned efforts are very
promising and encouraging and we are accelerating our activities with
the due co-operation of the enterprising philanthropists of the
Community. We expect the similar role to be played by the Government,
other Private Sector and other NGOs as well.