FARRUKH AFZAL MUNIF
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Nov 12 - 18, 2001
Farrukh Afzal Munif was born in 1975. He is a
Chartered Management Accountant from Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants (CIMA), UK. He got his early education at Habib Public
School, Karachi and completed O and A levels from St. Davis College,
Wales, UK. He did his B.A. (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from
Manchester Metropolitan University. After working for Askari Commercial
Bank in Treasury Department, he has joined Sir Syed University of
Engineering and Technology. Currently he is working as Resource Manager
at Software Technology Innovators of the University. The STI established
in 1999 has clients which include some of Fortune 50 companies. The
others are Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Iqra Education Foundation,
Al-Ghurair Group of UAE and Madni Welfare. The STI is involved in
multimedia development, websites development and solutions for
e-commerce. Some of the affiliated institutions are Dr. A. Q. Khan
Institute of Technology and Management, OPSTEC and Sir Syed College of
Medical Sciences for Girls.
PAGE: Why did you decide to come back to
Farrukh Munif: This is a question often being
asked to my generation. Elders expect that any one who goes abroad for
studies would never come back. My submission is that our generation is
willing to work in Pakistan, even at a lesser salary, provided jobs are
given on merit. If my generation is able to work efficiently in an alien
country, it is a clear demonstration that we are not inferior to others.
Saying this much I would still say that the country needs improvement in
education, better job opportunities and consistency in government
PAGE: You have chosen a career in Information
Technology. In your opinion what are the prospects for future growth?
Farrukh: I am a Chartered Management Accountant
by profession and currently working at Sir Syed University of
Engineering and Technology (SSUET) as Resource Manager for Software
Technology Innovators. I divide my job responsibilities into three key
areas: 1) looking after existing clients and soliciting new business, 2)
providing on going support for employees for on the job training and 3)
developing methodology for software development. This offers me enormous
potential for growth. Being associated with SSUET, which serves some of
the world technology leaders, helps me in keeping myself fully aware
with the latest developments in the Information Technology.
PAGE: How do you try to overcome the possible
Farrukh: My association with SSUET also envisages
helping students. SSUET offer a conducive environment for learning and
its fees is lower than any public or private university. SSUET not only
help graduates in seeking good job opportunities but the University is
always in touch with its graduates. SSUET is also supported by some of
the leading charitable institutions. With their help SSUET has been able
to get computers free of cost which in turn help it in keeping the fees
low. SSUET has the largest number of computers, all branded. Working for
the world leaders also help in learning about new technologies, which in
turn help us serve other clients in a better manner.
PAGE: A large number of SSUET graduates are
working for world leaders in technology. What are your suggestions for
improving their skills?
Farrukh: You know that the government has
assigned highest priority to Information Technology. Various departments
are involved but they lack coordination. In my humble opinion all the
concerned departments should be put under one grand umbrella. Software
developers should be encouraged to open their offices abroad because the
overseas clients desire this. Another factor which has been highlighted
again and again is the PTCL charges. These charges are prohibitive and a
major hurdle in transfer of data between clients and software
developers. This issue must be resolved at the earliest. Software
developers should also seek to introduce CMM and ISO standards into
their development process.
PAGE: Will you please explain the term CMM you
have just used?
Farrukh: It is a certification provided by
Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of USA and stands for Capability
Maturity Model for software development standards. This certification
helps software developers in soliciting business from reputed clients.
Allow me to explain this by referring to ISO certification. If any
company acquires this certification, it is a testimony that they follow
a documented process which also ensures quality standards.
PAGE: What are your suggestions in the regard?
Farrukh: First of all an awareness has to be
created about the importance of CMM and then software houses should be
encouraged to get this certification. This is a rather expensive
proposal and very few local software companies will be able to afford
the cost. I suggest that the government should invite people from SEI to
let the local developers know all about this certification. Since the
fees to acquire certification is very high the government should also
provide subsidy to software developers.