NCR Pakistan, unit of US based NCR Corporation, pledged a $
12 million investment in the next three years, as part of its expansion
programme in Pakistan's IT sector.
Celebrating its completion of 50 years in Pakistan the
country manager of NCR Pakistan Veqar-ul-Islam told newsmen in Islamabad on
Wednesday that the company was launching its Internet Service Provider (ISP),
setting up university programme and establishing a centre of expertise, in
Pakistan, for data warehouse for Middle East and Africa. He said with Rs. 70
million investment in past 6 months, NCR was looking forward to setting up ISP
with a local partner and an announcement was expected in April. The company
would ensure quality and customer-focus service.
He said NCR would be the first company to establish 'centre
for data warehouse' in Pakistan and the regional hub would serve as resource
centre for Middle East and Africa. In the third quarter of the year NCR would
start its university programme with data warehousing labs in 6 universities. He
said the company would launch training programme including 'train the trainer'
programmes. Under this programme, he said, foreign experts would train the local
trainers, teaching them the techniques.
The company would hold a seminar in Islamabad and Karachi on
data warehousing, e-business and e-CRM featuring. The chief technology officer
of NCR, Stephen Brobst said in May, NCR would launch 'Teradata' certification
which would produce trained manpower for global market of data ware-housing, he
said. The company is also working on developing a curriculum along international
standard, he added.
Replying to a question, Mr. Veqar-ul-Islam disclosed that as
a public service to promote IT education in Pakistan, NCR had decided to impart
training in data warehouse to 200 deserving students free of charge. The
relection of these students will however, be made by the universities. He said
in the last one year, NCR established two data warehousing projects which were
nearing completion with overall nine 'teradata' installations on country-wide
He said NCR would take initiative to introduce relationship
technologies in Pakistan through strong and sustained data warehouse and
customer relationship management programmes.
About brain-drain, particularly in IT sector, he said there
was no strategy to stop IT professionals who were seeking job opportunities
abroad but Pakistan required to keep on producing enough professionals in the
hope that some percentage would stay back.
In the last one year, NCR has two data warehousing projects
near completion with overall 9 Teradata installations on a countrywide basis.
NCR will continue to play a very aggressive role in taking IT forward and
promoting Pakistan's image in the international community. In this regard he
announced the setting up of a Center of Expertise in Pakistan for Data warehouse
for NCR Middle East, Africa set up. This implies that NCR Pakistan will become a
resource centre in Data warehousing for Middle East and Africa region, a unique
feat by any standard, besides being the only multinational in Pakistan to be
successful in establishing a regional hub.
Inaugurating the first seminar by the NCR in Islamabad on
March 20, the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Attaur Rehman said that
his Ministry and NCR should jointly work to promote the national cause of
information technology in Pakistan.
The Minister disclosed that a high speed internet fibre would
be laid around all major cities of Pakistan and linked together by early next
year. "These high speed internet fibre-links will be our "Information
highways" he observed claiming that India took years to accomplish what
Pakistan has achieved in months in the field of Information Technology despite
the fact that "we entered very late in this field". He said that
internet connectivity had been extended to 350 cities just in four months. In
August last internet was available in only 29 cities and its rapid spread was
unprecedented in the world. India, he said, has a 10-year plan to spread
internet, while Pakistan has already covered more than 80 per cent of its
About 1,800 internet kiosks are being set up by the PSO at
its petrol pumps and in the next phase every post office will have internet
facilities, he said.
The minister said about 65 to 70 per cent of the S&T
allocation was being spent on education and human resource development because
it was the key to development. He said government aims at producing 100,000 high
quality graduates every year as of today only 10,000 graduates of varied quality
are being prepared.
He said three television channels will be used as the virtual
universities. A full-fledged new channel is being planned for the virtual
university besides PTV-2 and Shaheen TV, he said. Seven new IT universities are
coming up in Lahore, Karachi, Abbottabad, while two, COM-SATS and FAST, have
already been granted charter.
The Minister asked the NCR corporation to join in virtual
university project or any of the seven universities or set up a series of NCR
academies in Pakistan.