SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Jan-28 - Feb-03, 2002
Ibrahim Qureshi completed his BBA from the US with
major in marketing and minor in management information systems. Then
completed MBA in management from the US. He came back to Pakistan in
1995. He was hired to launch Pizza Hut in Lahore and worked with the
company for two years as general manager Restaurants and operations.
In 1997 he joined Micro Masters, the leading importers of computer
hardware in Pakistan. The company sold the first Pentium 4 based
computer in Pakistan and has been the highest sales achiever in
Pakistan for last three years. The company was given award by Intel
for highest sales for the year 2001. Raffles computers are being
assembled from components supplied by leading manufacturers of South
PAGE: What are the major areas of
activity of your company?
Ibrahim Qureshi: Micro Masters, established
in 1997, is a company with full operations of sales, marketing,
distribution and customer service. It imports around 100 computer
related items. We are among the top companies in Pakistan in the
distribution business. Raffles is a subsidiary of Micro Masters.
Recently we have launched locally assembled branded systems with the
name 'Raffles' which is backed by a complete 3 years warranty and its
price is affordable. Raffles company is an Intel genuine dealer and
Intel Premier Provider (IPP), the first and the only company in
Punjab. Raffles vision is to be the technology leader in Pakistan. Our
major area of focus are educational institutions, government agencies
and institutions, multinational and local companies. We plan to offer
these institutions a branded solution with complete warranties at
affordable prices. We hope to achieve approximately 35 per cent of the
target institutions by the end of this year.
As the government is giving specific attention to
information technology, the first and the most important item on
agenda should be making available computers based on latest
technology. All of us are aware that the latest software cannot be run
on outdated computers. Unless programmers and operators get training
on state-of-the-art hardware and software they will not be able to
play any role in boosting export of software from Pakistan. In my
opinion the use of computers in Pakistan's core industries should be
promoted to attain competitiveness in the global markets first and
then we should work to become a leading exporter of software.
PAGE: Your company has been given the
status of an IPP. Being the first in Punjab, does this give your
company an edge over other vendors?
Ibrahim Qureshi: Only the best of the best
are certified as Intel Premier Providers (IPP). This is possible only
by demonstrating a commitment to leadership, technical expertise and
customer service in all areas of information technology. Being the
first in Punjab, give us a very significant edge over many other
vendors. At the same time, we are in a position to offer very
attractive prices and efficiency based solutions. We have a mission to
sell high computer systems which have power and are capable of
delivering superb performance, affordability remains the prime
consideration. On top of all these we will be recommended by Intel as
the optimum solution providers for any business deal. Intel marketing
programs will also highlight and certify our credentials.
PAGE: How would you describe the
Punjab market and what is its potential?
Ibrahim Qureshi: Punjab's IT fever is
getting very high with every passing day. We foresee a major
turnaround in the perception of customers when it comes to purchase of
computers. More and more people are now buying personnel computers
(PCs) which not to mention is adding to the high sales volume in
Punjab. At the moment Punjab has the highest share in the total number
of PCs sold in Pakistan. We think that with the government focus on
the implementation of the IT policy and its efforts to make it a
flourishing industry, the number of computers sold per year will
PAGE: Looking at the market size,
what is your marketing plan?
Ibrahim Qureshi: We are working very
aggressively and our plan is to make Raffles branded computers a
household name. We are working with top education institutions and
government and private companies in order to give them a complete
branded solution at the best possible prices. Through our highly
professional staff and marketing team, we are educating students,
teachers and people from all walks of life on what to look for when
you buy a PC.
PAGE: How would you compare the
Punjab market with the rest of the country?
Ibrahim Qureshi: Punjab market is growing at a much faster
rate than any other province in Pakistan. The PC fever is on the rise.
More and more organizations are getting equipped with computers in
order to increase their efficiency. Plus, Punjab is also becoming the
hub of software development. All in all students, professionals and
amateurs all are very eager to jump on the IT bandwagon and learn more
and more about the use and applications of the PC.