Pakistan IT sector has seen a booming growth in the recent years and it doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. IT sector’s contribution to Pakistan’s economy can properly describe its trajectory. During the fiscal year of 2016-17, Pakistan’s IT exports were $3.3 billion, which climbed to $5 billion last year. This year’s predictions put Pakistan’s IT exports close to $6 billion. Enterprise software has grown by 17 percent, marketing tech by 15 percent, financial services 13 percent.
Pakistan has won the Government Leadership Award (2017) for IT, Spectrum for Mobile Broadband (2015) and GSMA Awards.
Pakistan was ranked as the fourth most popular country for freelancing as stated by the Online Labor Index in 2017 by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for a large amount of international IT/ITeS companies. International It companies like IBM, Intel, and Huawei have already started their operations in Pakistan, which shows their confidence in the Pakistan IT sector. Easy access to skilled professionals, a rapidly growing IT infrastructure, and affordable connectivity rates are compelling reason for the companies to look to Pakistan for their needs.
This year, our PM Imran Khan, received a letter from none other than Bill Gates himself, expressing his desire to invest in the Pakistan IT sector. Bill Gates, if anyone doesn’t know him, is the founder of Microsoft and a die-hard philanthropist. The letter was delivered by the President of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Cristopher Elias.
There are many Pakistani IT companies and individuals working in the international market who have strengthened the international community’s vote of confidence in Pakistan IT sector. Many Pakistani IT companies have created mobile applications and gaming apps while one company made history be developing paid BlackBerry applications which attained top ranks on the BlackBerry’s App World store.
Hameed Shaukat, a Us-born Pakistani has produced the title animation sequence of Game of Thrones, the world’s most-watched TV series. Another son of the soil, Mir Zafar Ali has received three Oscars for his work in The Golden Compass, Life of Pi and Frozen. Novaira Masood, a Pakistani animator, holds the achievement for adding effects in some of the most popular movies in Hollywood like Maleficient, A Christmas Carol, Thor, Transformers 3 and Jack the Giant Slayer. Another upcoming animator Laraib Atta has done visual effects for films like X-Men, Godzilla and Gravity.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoIT) has introduced various incentives to boost IT products and services in Pakistan. These incentives are expected to grow our exports to $10 billion by 2020. Another feather in Pakistan IT industry’s cap is the “Pakistan Digital City Haripur” which the ministry has envisioned to build by 2023.
All of this and much more will definitely boost the employment ratio in the IT sector. According to the Pakistan Technology Industry Survey 2018, there will be between 12,000 to 18,000 new jobs for IT professionals in 2019. In early 2004, there were around 4,000 professionals in this industry. In the survey conducted in 2018, the range of employees in different parts of the IT sector was somewhere between 60,000 to 75,000 and it is only going to grow in the future.