As a Director of Texitech, Mr. Sohail ur Rehman holds the knowledge and expertise of managing corporate relationships across different industries. He gives an insight on IT industry of Pakistan.
Please give a brief about your professional background?
I completed my dual masters in Marketing and Finance in 1992. After that, I did couple of courses in Info Design, Textile CAD Surface Print Designing,
Woven Designing, Ned Graphics and Digital Printing.Besides Texitech, I have served and am still serving other sister companies too and that has provided me a great chance to work in highly diversified environments and different countries. Currently, I am also the Director of Rehman Industries and Eureka Xpress, and also the Chief Executive Officer at JossComputers.
Being associated with these organizations, I have gained exceptional know-how of trade and cross-cultural communication and also possess vast experience in International communication, client profiling, team development, business modeling from planning to implementation for manufacturing and service industries. While serving these companies and performing my duties, I have always aimed and strived to deliver the best IT solutions to customers.
Please tell us about your company?
Texitech was established in 1996. It is a sister concern of a group of companies, which includes a vertically integrated Textile mill, a publishing house, a printing press, an IT hardware solutions firm, and an ISP. Texitech carries a vast portfolio of products and services and has been a pioneer in many areas. It is a leading technology supplier in the field of Textile and was the first one to introduce CAD CAM in the Pakistani Market. It was also the first company in the country to launch designing services for textile printing mills. The company also possesses a high resolution fast film plotter or image setter for services to the textile and prepress industry, which complements the company’s designing services.
How much work force you have?
Texitech is led by professionals and we have a diligent and skilled workforce. Our management and staff include both technical and sales personnel. The team is divided into sales and product managers supported by officers and specialists, who cater to the requirements of sales and after sales services. Overall, the sales team includes 12 people who have expertise in sales of textile accessories, computer accessories, PC hardware, textile CAD/CAM equipment, and software. The Texitech team includes directors, too specializing in Marketing and Sales of industrial and consumer products.
On the whole, we have quite a large, efficient, and proficient workforce that works collectively towards the company’s goals.
What’s the present situation of IT business in Pakistan?
The present situation of IT business in Pakistan is quite promising. The increasing technology requirements of individuals and organizations are playing a significant role in strengthening the IT business in the country. The desire of taking edge over competitors and to meet the expectations of customers is helping the IT business to flourish as the demand of scalability, efficiency and agility has increased in recent times. However, as compared to international markets, the IT business here is not that robust and I think the IT companies will have to strive more for the next few years to move parallel with other nations.
The major issues that are holding back IT business in Pakistan are lack of foreign investment, lack of knowledge of latest developments, and improper utilization of resources. The country is teeming with talent, but unless we get a grip on these issues, we won’t be able to reinforce the IT business and move side by side with other regional and global markets.
What are the main reasons that companies don’t implement latest technologies?
As I said earlier, companies here, somehow, are not following the latest IT trends and are unaware of the leaps taken by technology from time to time. One of the reasons, therefore, is the inadequate knowledge and following of the latest innovations. Second, it is the cost and the organizational environments that are unsuitable as well as unwelcoming for the implementation of the latest technologies.
Which sectors are in need to implement new technologies?
I think adapting and equipping oneself with the changing technologies is essential. It is because a new development or advancement replaces the other and thus it the old technologies no longer remain useful and productive. Owing to this behavior of technology, in my opinion, almost every sector is in need to update them with latest technologies. In particular, the energy, health, and education sectors should implement new technologies. The upgrading and implementation of new technologies can definitely bring a significant change in the functioning of these sectors.
What would you like to recommend to government offices about their usage of software technology?
This is an important question as well as issue. The effective and result oriented usage of software technology entails selection of a reliable and known vendor. Even if the government offices download or purchase them online, they should make sure that the source is authentic and they are not being cheated or deceived.
Second, it is very important to upgrade the software technology from time to time because not doing this could impair the software and can make it more vulnerable. Since, malwares and defacing attempts are on rise, the susceptibility of these software could be very detrimental for the system as well as the businesses.
What are the major issues in dealing with your local clients? (Is there any lack of knowledge in your clients?)
I won’t say that our local clients are completely ignorant or unaware of the latest technologies, or their problems and solutions, but they do lack knowledge and are not much tech-savvy. Some of them, however, are, and it gets easier to deal with them. At times, we come across those customers who have great know-how about technologies and it becomes challenging for us to deal with them. Therefore, dealing with every client involves different levels of ease and difficulty.
Often, clients are unable to identify their requirements and this comes off as a major issue for us because then we have to make them understand that what do they need, and how our offers could help them to fulfill their requirements.
How do you compare the local market with other countries in which you are operating?
I’d say that major difference between the local and foreign markets is people’s reaction and acceptance towards the technologies. The acceptance rate is higher in international markets and the users their also react positively towards the evolutions. In short, we observe and experience better response across the globe as compared to the local market.
Is Pakistan lacking in skilled persons in IT industry?
As I told earlier, the IT industry has abundant talent. We have people who are skilled and ingenious but they are unable to identify them .They also don’t know how they can utilize this expertise. The IT industry does offer numerous opportunities, but the problem lies at persons’ end where they fail to make use of their talent and the IT companies too have been unable to cater to these skilled individuals.
Who are your main competitors in the local market and how do you compare yourself with them?
We don’t have, as such, any competition with anyone in the local market, but we do compete with the local manufacturers and service providers in terms of delivery of supreme quality and innovative products and services.
In which segment of IT sector you think investment is required?
I think the Research and Development segment requires most of the investment as well as attention. The local market could only improve by investing in this area. It’s quite a drawback that local sector has been quite unable to make its own software as well as hardware, but by investing in this segment, the local market could learn those methods, techniques, and skills that are essential to be self-sufficient.
What would you like to advice new entrepreneurs entering into this field?
I would like to tell them that IT field is very vast and full of opportunities and, at the same time, challenging too. However, if one has a strong will and upbeat attitude and character, this field offers a huge scope for such individuals. I suggest that they should remain focused and should not fear the difficulties or competition.