. .






Information Technology 


Nov 27 - Dec 03 2000

Ateeq M. Khan is the CEO of Gem Internet Services (Pvt.) Ltd., popularly known as Gem Net. He is an MBA from IBA-Karachi and also holds the degree of BE Computer System Engineering from NED University, Karachi. He has participated in various computer / IT related courses and seminars around the world as well as in Pakistan.

In 1998 he founded Gem Net to provide internet and IT services and currently working on developing E.Commerce in Pakistan. Ateeq M. Khan has conducted university level IT courses in different institutions like ICMAP, CBM and AMI Karachi. His future plans are to develop E.Com, software exports and IT training centres in Pakistan.

PAGE: What is the current scenario of IT in Pakistan?

AMK: Certainly there is an air of enthusiasm in this area. Businessmen, entrepreneurs, financial institutions and common men all seem to be interested in this topic. But until now every thing is on paper and under discussion. Implementation and results will take some time. It requires real hard work and coordinated effort from all corners of the society.

PAGE: Is future bright in IT for Pakistan?

AMK: Certainly. As far as quality and skills are concerned, we are comparable to our next door neighbour in this field. Its just the coordinated effort that was missing. Nowadays government especially Minister for S&T is providing full support to IT industry of Pakistan. This is now or never and do or die situation for the Pakistani IT industry. If we miss the bus now we are dead forever.

PAGE: What are the immediate steps required?

AMK: Infrastructure facilities should be provided on top urgent basis on minimum cost. PTCL is reducing the prices but its delivery and implementation is snail paced. This is the slow poison for the IT industry. You have to be fast and on time. Six months or year later there will be new technology and new challenges. So speed of implementation should be improved. Quality of training and education in IT shall be the other area of concern. We need quality instructors and state of the art training centres within next three months to start producing some results within next year. The only way to stop brain drain is to offer good packages and incentives to the professionals with some off shore trainings and assignments.

PAGE: What is the concept of New Economy?

AMK: New Economy thrives on ideas and its implementation in very short time. Time is the essence in this model. If you capture the market on right time with right mix, the competition would be negligible. It's a cut throat market out there. The pie or share is decreasing day by day. So be there first means survival. Internet is the catalyst in this process. You are now a round the clock global village in real sense.

PAGE: Will Dubai Internet City (DIC) help Pakistan in IT?

AMK: Certainly. Dubai will be the next hub of IT in our region. With global acceptance and presence of all the major IT players in DIC, we will be fool to take this opportunity for granted. I think Pakistan should seriously start taking part in the development of DIC at all levels.

PAGE: What are you future plans?

AMK: We are looking forward to software development and other IT services. Software house is under planning stages and will start functioning in first quarter of next year. We will concentrate on USA and UK markets because we have good connections there in the form of ex pats. We will put emphasis on low volume and high quality stuff to establish our brand name in potential market. Once name and confidence is established in developed countries repeat business is not difficult. Like Pakistan, reference counts a lot in USA. But we will not totally ignore local market and will support local industry as well. In fact experience gained through local industry will help us a lot in International markets. IT training on specific areas will be undertaken through our Executive Training Centre. This centre will be equipped with state of the art facilities to impart training on selected topic to a group of selected professionals. This centre will be available to other companies and organizations for their in house trainings. Details will be made public pretty soon.