“InfoTech is growing, and it’s growing fast”
Founder & CEO, InfoTech
Interview: Gulraiz Khalid
Mr. Naseer Akhtar, the founder and the CEO of InfoTech, stands tall in the Industry having built one of the largest IT Houses locally that enjoy a rather large fervor internationally. In an interview that follows below, Naseer Akhtar briefs the readers on the right choices made at the time by team InfoTech that is responsible for the name it claims today.
Teletimes – Please talk through the early years of InfoTech, and its formation?
Naseer Akhtar – Venturing into entrepreneurship, I tried my luck with PC peripherals, aviation etc in the early days. But in 1995, I wound up all and decided to concentrate on one particular type of business. That is when I founded InfoTech. In business for a decade and a half, InfoTech now stands as a market leader in several domains such as Business/ information Consulting, and Systems Integration amongst others.
InfoTech was formed with a simple idea that focused on hard work and commitment. When we started off, we were working on every project we could get our hands on until we realized that the only way to truly make a mark in this industry was to differentiate ourselves from all others.
TT – Please talk about the driving factors behind Infotech’s success?
NA – Inclusion and collaboration have been the two main factors driving Infotech’s success. As a Knowledge-Integration Company, InfoTech has achieved success by constantly increasing the ‘volume’ and ‘value’ for its customers. Another thing I would like to mention here is that InfoTech is one of the few companies that figured out a good layout for the future in its early days.
We worked towards growth and success from day-one, choosing growth whenever there was a trade-off between growing and making money. I think this is very important for a company like InfoTech, to make the right choices at the right time.
TT – What is Infotech’s stand regarding international operations?
NA – Our initial plan was to penetrate the Pakistani market, capture it, and take our experience and credibility outside Pakistan, but I think it is working the other way round. InfoTech is an international organization which is serving many different companies. We are handling our International Operations from Singapore which has given us leverage in dealing with international clients that is not possible from other countries.
We are now operating from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In Middle East, we are operationally linked to a lot of banks. Furthermore, we are working with the Abu Dhabi police and on projects in Accra (Ghana). A mark of honor for us is the reputation we hold in the World Bank circle as most of the deployment we did in Africa, was World Bank funded. We have got our fingers crossed on a big contract from Bangladesh at present.
InfoTech is expanding swiftly on international basis. The concept behind this global expansion is to earn our due share of the global market, which has been neglected by the Pakistani industry. Our mission is to serve to the current and future global market needs and to grow with our clients.
TT – Would you like to share a comment or two on the services provided by InfoTech?
NA – Yes, indeed. We offer Technology Consulting, Technology Infrastructure, Industry Focus, Outsourcing Solutions, Training Solutions and Digital Communications. We specialize in Portal technology. At the Software end, we have a vast range of input. We prefer using IBM and Oracle for Database, but everything is done with respect to what the customer requires.
TT – What is your core organizational focus?
NA – We, at InfoTech, consider “human development” a top priority. When we invest in HR, we invest in people. InfoTech is known to be a breeding ground for producing some of the exceptionally bright young professionals within Pakistan and outside.
TT – Would you like to share a few words on your working relationship with your partners?
NA – Here again I would like to state that collaboration has been one of the driving factors behind InfoTech’s successful working relationship with its partners. We believe in achieving success by creating value for our customers and partners. InfoTech has had the honor of working with big names such as IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft and McAfee.
TT – Generally, Pakistan is considered to be one of the toughest markets in terms of competition. How is the level of competition for you?
NA – Honestly, we do not face competition in the local market. There is hardly any competition, and whatever there is, we can’t exactly call it competition. True, Pakistan is one of the most competitive markets, e.g. the mobile market, but as far as system integration is considered, there is not a lot of competition mainly because the buyers are not mature. Hence, the sellers are not at a point where there is a desperate need to gain a competitive edge to sell better.
TT – Talking about the Pakistani market, what is your view at the industry?
NA – As I said before, the market is not mature as the buyers in the local market do not know how to buy technology. Where a bank of a particular size is spending 1 million on infrastructure, there is another bank of the same size, spending 30 million on infrastructure. The businesses in the market haven’t matured in relation to technology purchase.
TT – Would you like to comment on the role of PSEB?
NA – As far as PSEB is concerned, we need to follow an international model as PSEB itself is not working to the maximum of its capabilities. I think the country can make up to 7-8 billion from IT software export. But for that, we need to sit out and layout some plans, and not just sit down. We have done that before. We need to implement them and make sure things are working the way they should be.
TT – How do you see the future of InfoTech?
NA – I think, (by the grace of God), we have a bright future ahead of us. InfoTech has managed to create a lot of goodwill and brand image in the international markets. People and companies, respect and appreciate us for the work we have done. All our partners are happy, that makes us happy.
InfoTech is growing, and it’s growing fast. Whenever I go to Washington D.C, I hear people praising InfoTech which is a sign of success and recognition. And we are looking forward to more good things that are yet to come.
TT – Would you like to comment on TELETIMES International?
NA – Informative and interesting, TELETIMES is catering to the larger need of a publication of its nature. The vast coverage of TELETIMES makes it distinctive, as a global publication. The content and the quality of the magazine are amazing. It is an honor to be a part of TELETIMES and I would like to wish its team all the best for the future.