INTERVIEW: USMAN TARIQ SULTAN

SUCCESSFUL IT MARKETING SPECIALIST FOR SYSTEMS LTD

AMANULLAH BASHAR
Feb 04 - 10, 2008

A good face is the passport to the success, and that is the exact case with Young Usman Tariq Sultan who is productively applying the natural gift and talents as an outstanding Sales & Marketing Manager of Systems Limited.

Actually Systems is not only one of the largest software house and IT services provider in Pakistan said Usman in an interview with PAGE and went on to say that SYSTEMS is among the leading IT solution providers within Mortgage & Apparel segments in the USA.

Usman Tariq infact carries an MBA degree from the prestigious Institute of Business Administration (IBA) besides his exposure to global IT education to his distinguished academic and professional career.

Usmans entered into practical life in 1990 when he got the opportunities to attend Professional Trainings of Microsoft Volume Licensing Sales Specialist as well as Courtesy SCC UK ERP, Storage and Networking Sales Specialist Courtesy Insight UK and with a vast experience in IT Industries.

He has already built a pipeline of projects worth more than Rs. 50 Million in just short span of 3 months of joining the company. His previous experience includes working as Enterprise Sales Manager - Specialist Computer Holdings PLC - UK, SMB Sales Manager - Insight Direct (UK) Limited and Business Development Manager - Zestans Limited - UK.

When asked to comment as a marketing expert on scope of IT growth in the private sector of Pakistan specially large scale industries like textile, sugar, Usman agreed with a broad grin on his face that large scale industries have yet to opt for corporate culture in Pakistan yet people have started realizing the significance of automation and application of IT solution to face the global challenges and to survive the cut throat competition both in domestic and international markets. In this backdrop, Usman said that SYSTEMS specializes in developing industry specific products and currently engages in developing softwares for the Spinning Management system for the textile industry, the largest contributor to the economy of Pakistan. Another important industry being brought into IT ambit is Sugar industry, he added. Usman said that production of sugar cane, its procurement, distribution and pricing mechanism is a chronic issue, which causes industrial unrest almost every crushing season. Usman said with a sense of achievement that System has developed software for Cane Management system which, he was confident, would help a lot in smooth sailing of this vital industry as it caters a large number of allied food industries in the downstream.

The IT market is growing in Pakistan however it needed to be supported by IT universities and schools to produce quality IT graduates and skilled manpower which is the basic raw material for this cutting edge industry. He regretted that most of the institutes spend heavily on publicity to attract students, however, the faculty, the lab and rest of the environment which are highly desirable for producing quality graduates are absolutely missing in our society. Mushrooming of such institutes just to make money is really painful as such a practice not only deprive the hard earned money of the parents but inflicting irreparable loss of precious time of the youngsters. There is a serious need for scanning IT institutes specially to check the competency of the faculties to impart quality education to the knowledge seekers.

As far as marketing side of the IT industry was concerned, Usman observed that in fact the existing size of IT market in Pakistan is roughly $2.5billion while a huge and willing market was in the store in our country; the only thing required to tap the potential of the market is to create awareness among the potential customers regarding business benefits to the relevant industries.

When he was asked to share his trade secrete to excel in the market, Usman stated without any pause that in fact a pre-sale interaction with the clients does a magic in the marketing business, and he always prefers to have pre-sale meetings to make them mentally prepared to opt for the system; that approach always proves a success, he added.

Usman while sharing his personal life said that in fact he joined Systems when he was on a visit to Pakistan to see his mother. During his stay in Pakistan, his mother desired him to stay in the country for whatever it has given to him. Though besides the charm of a hi-fi life in the West, opportunities to earn more were waiting for him abroad but he decided to respect his mother's wish. The soft corner he carries for the homeland was really impressive and appreciable.

SYSTEMS LIMITED

Having a word on Systems Limited, Usman said it is the oldest and one of the largest software houses in Pakistan. It started operations in 1977 and, therefore, is in business for the last 30 years. Actually, Systems Limited was established as the first software house and computer services bureau in Pakistan, in 1977. During the last 30 years, Systems Limited has remained on the center stage of information technology, providing effective computing strategies and solutions to business and government organizations and is playing a major role in some of the largest IT projects in the country.

Internationally, the company operates as Visionet Systems Inc., and has established itself as a key player in critical areas of focus in the United States, providing services and products to a growing list of corporate clients that feature several names from the "Fortune 500î.

To achieve this prominence and growth, the company combined strong management with the gathering together of a large pool of highly qualified and skilled personnel. It invested heavily in Research and Development and in re-training of its professional staff in leading-edge technologies, and new computing platforms and environments. Rapid growth in technology and the heightened competition in the market have resulted in the need for enterprises to increase productivity, integrate all available information and increase levels of customization. The company has met these phenomenal challenges, by effectively utilizing disparate computing resources to deliver application functionality.

Systems Limited has 5 offices in Pakistan and 2 in the United States of America. In the United States, Systems Limited operates through its fully owned subsidiary called Visionet Systems, Inc. The offices are located in Lahore, Karachi, Pakistan, Cranbury, New Jersey, and Woodland Hills, California, USA.

CLIENTS IN PAKISTAN

• Ministry of Commerce • Ministry of Finance • Pakistan Baitul Maal • Pakistan Customs

Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan • Central Directorate of National Savings • Pakistan Railways • State Engineering Corporation • Water and Power Development Authority • Water and Sanitation Agency

PRIVATE SECTOR CLIENTS IN PAKISTAN

• Citibank • Bata Pakistan Limited • Brooke Bond Pakistan Limited • Crescent Textile Mills Limited • Husein Sugar Mills • Khazana Sugar Mills • Monnoo Group of Industries

• Packages Limited • Shakarganj Sugar Mills Limited • Ferozsons Pharmaceuticals Limited

INTERNATIONAL

• Asian Development Bank • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) • International Labor Organization (ILO) • The World Bank • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) • Washington Mutual Bank

• IndyMac Bank • National City Mortgage • Cendant Mortgage • Countrywide Home Loans • JP Morgan Chase • Reynolds Metals • Titleist & Footjoy ï New York City Transit Authority • Nestle • Liz Claiborne • Polo Ralph Lauren • Abbott Laboratories • Simply Wireless.

MICROSOFT AND EMIRATES BRING NEW INNOVATION LAB TO DUBAI

Microsoft and Emirates announced today they will set up an Innovation Lab in Dubai to develop new products and services for the travel industry using Microsoftís cutting-edge technologies and tapping on Emiratesí expertise and experience in developing IT solutions for the aviation and travel industry. Both companies will invest in the project.

Microsoft will work with Emirates experts in the "Dubai Innovation Lab", which will be amongst the first of its kind for both companies in this field. The lab will enable Emiratesí IT division, Mercator, to incubate and develop creative new solutions for airline and travel customers around the world, including Emirates Airline. Mercatorís IT solutions are today used by over 100 airlines globally.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates witnessed the signature of the memorandum of understanding outlining the project during a meeting in Dubai.

"Innovation has been a cornerstone of Emiratesí success across our businesses. By working with technology leader Microsoft to develop cutting-edge products and services, we are looking to reinforce our commanding position in the travel industry and continue to pioneer new ways to serve our customers better," Sheikh Ahmed said.

The lab will take Microsoftís latest technologies and apply them to the development of new ways of doing things across all parts of the travel and aviation industry - from reservations and check-in to cargo and ground handling systems.

"Emirates Airline has established a powerful reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking company, and this agreement will strengthen this reputation further," said Charbel Fakhoury, General Manager, Microsoft Gulf. "By adopting these next-generation technologies, the airline is setting an important precedent. The Gulf region has a massive potential to contribute to the global development of technology-driven innovations, and Emirates is leading the way." "Through the establishment of our Innovation Lab, Microsoft and Emirates Airline will demonstrate how technology can play a defining role in enhancing business operations and customer experiences."

Through the innovation lab, Emirates and Microsoft will explore implementation of technologies based on Microsoft software and hardware as well as online services such as the Windows Live platform.