Pak to study India's ITES boom

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 28 October 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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ISLAMABAD: After years of watching India reap rich dividends from the global outsourcing phenomenon, Pakistan is taking tentative steps towards also cashing in with call centres and other low-cost IT services.

"Work in America without leaving your family and homeland," reads a newspaper advertisement by Touchstone Communications, a US contact centre located in Islamabad serving the US and British financial services companies.

The chairman of the Call Centres Association of Pakistan, Farukh Aslam, described the nation's call centre and IT-based outsourcing as "nascent" with just two dozen companies employing 1,000 people.

But Aslam predicted the industry would rapidly expand.

"Next year over 10,000 people can get jobs in these industries, it's probably 1,000 per cent growth," Aslam said, who is also country manager for US-based Touchstone communications.

Aslam, who left his home city of Lahore to study in the United States in late 1983, said Pakistan's IT-based industry was coming off a very low base, largely due to government apathy.

"To my shock and dismay there was no clear-cut policy of the government of Pakistan in March 2000, when I first set foot in this industry here," Aslam said.

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