Q&A WITH INTEL CORPORATION
May 11 - 17, 2009
Q: WHEN DID INTEL COME TO PAKISTAN AND WHAT ROLE DOES IT PLAY HERE?
A: Intel Corporation was founded in 1968 and started operations in Pakistan during 1997.
For over twelve years, Intel Pakistan Corporation has played a pivotal role in facilitating growth of the IT industry of Pakistan, from spreading IT awareness within the country to strengthening the local market. The Intel team constantly endeavors to support Pakistan's industry by providing leading edge technology products to the local market as soon as they become available internationally. Launch of new micro- architecture IntelĂ CoreTM 2 Duo processor technology, world's first quad core processors for desktop and mainstream servers and more recently the Core i7 processor speaks for Intel's commitment to technological development in Pakistan.
It is our vision to find and drive the next step ahead ˝ in technology, education and culture, corporate social responsibility, manufacturing and businesses. For us, it is not just about making technology faster, smarter and cheaper - but in fact more about using that technology to make life better, richer and more convenient for everyone it touches.
Q: WHAT SORT OF PROGRAMS HAS INTEL ADOPTED TO BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE?
A: Intel World Ahead Program is dedicated towards bridging the digital divide in developing economies including Pakistan. The Intel World Ahead program aims at enhancing lives by accelerating access to uncompromised technology for everyone, anywhere in the world and has given technology exposure to people from the most underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. The key focus areas of the Intel World Ahead Program are accessibility, connectivity, education and content.
Under the umbrella of 'Accessibility,' Intel aims to bring the power of PC usage to more people by increasing access to fully capable PCs. Intel is doing this in Pakistan through various PC purchase and PC donation programs in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan.
Intel is continuously expanding 'Connectivity' through wireless broadband Internet access by leading industry efforts worldwide in ecosystem development and WiMAX deployment. Intel is working towards WiMax deployment through partnerships with government and private organizations. Intel's recent partnership with Wateen is an example of one such example where Intel has succeeded in exposing the masses to high speed connectivity
Intel organizes annual science fairs and provides teacher training to both government and private schools free of cost. Intel Pakistan also hosts a multitude of interactive workshops, seminars, exhibitions and special events in Pakistan.
Q: HOW DOES INTEL HELP THE EDUCATION SECTOR IN PAKISTAN?
A: Intel works to help improve the quality of education around the world. Intel has invested over $1 billion and Intel employees have donated over 2.5 million hours in the past decade towards improving education in 50 countries. The IntelĂ Teach Program helps teachers to be more effective educators by training them on how to integrate technology into their lessons, promoting problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills among their students. Intel Teach is the largest, most successful program of its kind. By 2011, Intel Teach will have reached 13 million teachers in more than 40 countries ˝ and their 1 billion students.
Apart from teachers training, Intel holds annual science fairs to help promote research and innovation in students. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is an international competition focused on research, technology and science. It is held every year in May in the United States. Since the past 6 years, ISEF affiliated fairs are being held in Pakistan. The focus is on developing students' skill in research, creating an interest in science and technology, and other general sciences like Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. They start with the district levels, moving on to provincial fairs and the students that are short-listed from these competitions participate in the National Science Olympiad, which is eventually affiliated with the Intel ISEF. Every year winners from the National Science Olympiad represent Pakistan at the Intel ISEF in the US.
Q: WHAT OBSTACLES DOES INTEL FACE IN PAKISTAN WHEN TRYING TO BOOST THE IT INDUSTRY HERE?
A: The Government of Pakistan has always facilitated Intel in its various initiatives to promote technology penetration and education. One such example is The IntelĂ Education Initiative that was introduced in Pakistan in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education to train in-service teachers under the IntelĂ Teach Program. The aim is to support the government's professional development goals within the sphere of education.
The challenge that is being faced by the IT sector in Pakistan is the influx of second-hand or refurbished computers. Besides being an environmental hazard, the used computers available in the local market are obsolete. They do not have the processing power to run latest software like Windows Vista and cannot accommodate newer hardware. Another problem that the buyer has to face is that these computers come without a warranty, to make matters worse these defect prone computers are fitted with outdated parts, thus finding replacement parts becomes impossible. This means that these computers have to be disposed off once they develop a fault. Therefore, investing in a second hand computer involves financial risk.
Q: GIVEN THE INCOME LEVEL OF THE MASSES, HOW CAN ONE EXPECT NOT TO INVEST IN SECOND HAND COMPUTERS?
A: Today people have the option to buy a new computer in installments for just Rs. 400 a month. Plus due to recent developments in technology, processor prices have dropped tremendously. Intel recently launched Intel Atom processors which is a range of low cost power efficient processors. Intel Atom powered PCs are available for as low as approximately Rs.13,000. These systems work much better and are more reliable then similarly priced second hand PCs. Therefore, now there is no reason for consumers to opt for secondhand computers.
Q: HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF INTEL IN PAKISTAN?
A: In the coming years, Intel Pakistan aims to re-emphasize and build on its dedication and commitment to the local market with continued focus on bringing the latest radical technology to Pakistan. Intel strongly believes in the power of technology, and that this power can enhance the quality of lives of people living even in the most remote areas of the country.