Pakistan’s software industry is booming, and with small to medium sized businesses’s outstanding performance and growth, the country’s software industry is fast becoming a force to reckon with globally

According to TechJuice, Pakistan’s IT sales were worth $2.8 billion in 2014-15. The local sales were worth $300 million, with a third of it contributed by freelancers. These numbers are conservative as some remittances for IT services are not properly documented.  Pakistan also ranks at #3 for freelance IT work on UpWork. Pakistan’s growth in the freelance IT sector has made it the among the top countries in terms of feedback and value for money.

International venture capital investments are being pledged in millions of dollars and teams numbering just a handful of members are grabbing the interest of incubators, accelerators and mentors. A good example of this which has managed to raise $8.5 billion in venture capitalism. There is great development in local incubators and accelerators, such as the privately owned LCE and Telenor Velocity . Government owned Plan9 is Pakistan’s largest tech incubator, while PlanX is the accelerator. Internationally, P@SHA, Google for entrepreneurs and Samsung have invested in The Nest I/O.
Pakistani companies and individuals are shining as software developers, and are not afraid to step up to industry giants and make their presence felt as competitors.

From payment solutions to social platforms and network securities, Pakistan has a lot of feathers in its IT-development hat and is proudly showing it is just as good, if not better in IT services, as any other country in the world. NASDAQ listed companies Netsol and Fire Eye are worth billions of dollars, while Convo is based out of Pakistan and Tricast Media’s Cricket Companion is one of the most popular cricket apps . Similarly, Silicon Valley based start-ups Swaggable and Jawbone are also making waves in their field.

A good example of this is the localized development and deployment of ERP solutions. Medium sized companies are willing to challenge global giants with their home-grown products, and with rates much more favourable to the local companies, they are seeing success in gaining tract with SMEs in Pakistan, as well as local large-scale enterprises in the oil, cement and banking industries.

The need for local ERP solutions was felt because the international solutions, while effective and satisfactory, were far beyond the budgets of MSMEs in Pakistan. Some of the international solutions did not offer the customization required by Pakistani companies, and others did not offer local support. This meant clients were paying high fees for products that were either not tailored for their needs, were prohibitively expensive or did not offer the customer support needed.

Locally developed ERPs solutions meet all these requirements – the cost is low, option to buy any combination of modules is attractive and customer services and trainings / refreshers are easily accessible.

However, ERP solutions providers need to raise awareness of their products and put out the idea that even MSMEs can use different modules of their solution for their business.

Since 2010, 25 Pakistani companies have won gold or silver awards a the Asia Pacific ICT Awards in different categories. However, Pakistan is still not a Tier-1 country for software development and much needs to be done to bring it at par with other countries in South-East Asia. This would include steps to encourage development and export of ITES at the government level, private sector investment and a mind-set that will allow the cultivate creativity in ideas and problem-solving.