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Information Technology   DATA WAREHOUSING FROM THE TRENCHES
Column  FOR THE RECORD
Politics & Policy  CORRUPTION IN BOLIVIA
Profile  AAMIR QURESHI
Environment GROW MORE MUSHROOMS DO NOT EAT TOADSTOOLS
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PROFILE

AAMIR QURESHI

Aamir Qureshi completed his MBA from Punjab University and BCS from Pak American College of Computer Sciences, Lahore. Aamir is the Managing Director of Micro Masters. The company was established in 1997. The company has been growing at a rapid speed and today Micro Masters is a company with full operations of sales, marketing, distribution and customer services. Micro Masters was the first company to sell Pentium-4 system in Pakistan. Keeping pace with the latest technology, the company launched Pakistan's first locally assembled branded system RAFFLES in year 2000. Raffles Branded Systems is a subsidiary of Micro Masters.

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
April 29 - May 05, 2002

PAGE: What is the importance of local assembly of computer hardware?

Aamir Qureshi: Raffles is Pakistan's first locally assembled branded system, with three years warranty. The need of the time is to have locally assembled branded computer systems which enjoy quality, power, performance, reliability, back-up support, maximum guarantee and last but not the least affordability. These are all the features Raffles is compromised of. It is very important for us to have a local brand like Raffles, which would be upgradeable, provide customer support throughout Pakistan and at the same time is very reasonable in price. We are working on protecting the customer's investment on PC's. Our locally assembled branded systems provide maximum guarantee for 3 years. On top of this you can have the system made according to your own specification and requirements. We are urging the Ministry of Information and Technology to recognize Raffles as the leading local brand and register it with the Ministry as branded system so that maximum benefits can be passed on to educational institutions.

PAGE. You are an IPP, how does this give an edge over others?

Aamir: Only the best of the best are certified as Intel Premier Providers (IPP). This is only possible by demonstrating a commitment to leadership, technical expertise and customer service in all areas of information technology. As an IPP one enjoy an enhanced relationship with Intel, which offers increased visibility in a competitive market. In fact, it informs potential customers that the vendor is a preferred source of Intel-based technology solutions. We are the first company in Punjab to be certified as an IPP, this gives us a very significant edge over many other computer vendors and solution providers. We are being recommended by the Intel as the optimum solution providers for any business deal.

PAGE. When you talk about superior quality, it also means higher price. What are your comments?

Aamir: We at Micro Masters are never willing to compromise on quality. I also believe that quality products do not have to be expensive. This is one area in which we have worked very hard to establish it as a fact, and Raffles branded system is a true example of this. Raffles system are based on quality, power, performance and most important of all affordability. We test our system and our products very aggressively in our labs to make sure that each system is quality oriented. This allows us to offer very competitive prices to the customer, which allows him to get a better value for their money.

PAGE. An increasingly large number of second-hand computers are being imported into Pakistan, do they support latest version of different software?

Aamir: Second hand systems are not helping the information technology motorway. Yes with second hand systems you are able to provide a PC at a very cheap price, but you don't have any warranty on it, the monitors are fitted with voltage converter kits. Basically your total investment is at risk as any thing can collapse at any time, not only all the new software are also not supported by these machines. Many have old motherboard technology, which cannot be upgraded and are not capable of running many new software programs. We are working very closely with leading hardware manufacturers to launch a very affordable PC, which should replace the second hand system problem. I would urge all customers not to go for a second hand PC, as it will end you up in a dark closed lane, with no options to play with.

PAGE. Local educational institutions face limited availability of computers, what is your company doing to support these institutions?

Aamir: The present government and specially the ministry of science and technology have been very supportive for the growth and establishment of IT centers in local educational institutes. The need of the time is to have strong IT based education institutes, which can produce quality students, who can work as the backbone of this industry. Pakistan has to surge forward and create a niche in international markets and be self-sufficient. Our aim is to set a standard in locally assembled PC's and create an excellent reputation in these institutions. We are working very closely with many educational institutes, running IT exhibitions, Product display shows, offering special discount packages to the institutes and the students. We are educating them in making the best decisions for the purchase of Computers and other items. I am very hopeful that very soon more and more institutes will be equipped with the latest technology and Raffles will be there to help them achieve this target. In my opinion the use of computers in Pakistan's core industries and educational institutes should be promoted to attain competitiveness in the global market first and then we should work to become a leading exporter of software.