Pakistan IT Industry

Jawwad farid of Alchemya posted about quite an interesting study regarding the Pakistan IT industry. According to this study the size of the industry is around $2 Billion with most firms experiencing a growth of around 30%.

Some other interesting bits from this study are:

– 13 of these companaies have annual revenues of more than $10 Million.

– 58% of exports go to USA.

– Pakistan ranks 74th out of 159 countries in the “ease of doing business”.

I personally think that these revenue numbers are understated. They definitely don’t take into account the individuals/freelancers working for thousands of offshore clients through portals like oDesk, elance, Getafreelancer.com and personal referrals.

This report is published by P@SHA.

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July 8, 2008 at 7:59 pm 2 comments

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Mohsin Hamid)

Excerpt
1.
EXCUSE ME, SIR, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America. I noticed that you were looking for something; more than looking, in fact you seemed to be on a mission, and since I am both a native of this city and a speaker of your language, I thought I might offer you my services.
How did I know you were American? No, not by the color of your skin; we have a range of complexions in this country, and yours occurs often among the people of our northwest frontier. Nor was it your dress that gave you away; a European tourist could as easily have purchased in Des Moines your suit, with its single vent, and your button-down shirt. True, your hair, short-cropped, and your expansive chest—the chest, I would say, of a man who bench-presses regularly, and maxes out well above two-twenty-five—are typical of a certain type of American; but then again, sportsmen and soldiers of all nationalities tend to look alike. Instead, it was your bearing that allowed me to identify you, and I do not mean that as an insult, for I see your face has hardened, but merely as an observation.
Come, tell me, what were you looking for? Surely, at this time of day, only one thing could have brought you to the district of Old Anarkali—named, as you may be aware, after a courtesan immured for loving a prince—and that is the quest for the perfect cup of tea. Have I guessed correctly? Then allow me, sir, to suggest my favorite among these many establishments. Yes, this is the one. Its metal chairs are no better upholstered, its wooden tables are equally rough, and it is, like the others, open to the sky. But the quality of its tea, I assure you, is unparalleled.
You prefer that seat, with your back so close to the wall? Very well, although you will benefit less from the intermittent breeze, which, when it does blow, makes these warm afternoons more pleasant. And will you not remove your jacket? So formal! Now that is not typical of Americans, at least not in my experience. And my experience is substantial: I spent four and a half years in your country. Where? I worked in New York, and before that attended college in New Jersey. Yes, you are right: it was Princeton! Quite a guess, I must say.
What did I think of Princeton? Well, the answer to that question requires a story. When I first arrived, I looked around me at the Gothic buildings—younger, I later learned, than many of the mosques of this city, but made through acid treatment and ingenious stonemasonry to look older—and thought, This is a dream come true. Princeton inspired in me the feeling that my life was a film in which I was the star and everything was possible. I have access to this beautiful campus, I thought, to professors who are titans in their fields and fellow students who are philosopher-kings in the making.
I was, I must admit, overly generous in my initial assumptions about the standard of the student body. They were almost all intelligent, and many were brilliant, but whereas I was one of only two Pakistanis in my entering class—two from a population of over a hundred million souls, mind you—the Americans faced much less daunting odds in the selection process. A thousand of your compatriots were enrolled, five hundred times as many, even though your country’s population was only twice that of mine. As a result, the non-Americans among us tended on average to do better than the Americans, and in my case I reached my senior year without having received a single B.
Looking back now, I see the power of that system, pragmatic and effective, like so much else in America. We international students were sourced from around the globe, sifted not only by well-honed standardized tests but by painstakingly customized evaluations—interviews, essays, recommendations—until the best and the brightest of us had been identified. I myself had among the top exam results in Pakistan and was besides a soccer player good enough to compete on the varsity team, which I did until I damaged my knee in my sophomore year. Students like me were given visas and scholarships, complete financial aid, mind you, and invited into the ranks of the meritocracy. In return, we were expected to contribute our talents to your society, the society we were joining. And for the most part, we were happy to do so. I certainly was, at least at first.
Every fall, Princeton raised her skirt for the corporate recruiters who came onto campus and—as you say in America—showed them some skin. The skin Princeton showed was good skin, of course—young, eloquent, and clever as can be—but even among all that skin, I knew in my senior year that I was something special. I was a perfect breast, if you will—tan, succulent, seemingly defiant of gravity—and I was confident of getting any job I wanted.
Except one: Underwood Samson & Company. You have not heard of them? They were a valuation firm. They told their clients how much businesses were worth, and they did so, it was said, with a precision that was uncanny. They were small—a boutique, really, employing a bare minimum of people—and they paid well, offering the fresh graduate a base salary of over eighty thousand dollars. But more importantly, they gave one a robust set of skills and an exalted brand name, so exalted, in fact, that after two or three years there as an analyst, one was virtually guaranteed admission to Harvard Business School. Because of this, over a hundred members of the Princeton Class of 2001 sent their grades and résumés to Underwood Samson. Eight were selected—not for jobs, I should make clear, but for interviews—and one of them was me.
You seem worried. Do not be; this burly fellow is merely our waiter, and there is no need to reach under your jacket, I assume to grasp your wallet, as we will pay him later, when we are done. Would you prefer regular tea, with milk and sugar, or green tea, or perhaps their more fragrant specialty, Kashmiri tea? Excellent choice. I will have the same, and perhaps a plate of jalebis as well. There. He has gone. I must admit, he is a rather intimidating chap. But irreproachably polite: you would have been surprised by the sweetness of his speech, if only you understood Urdu.
Where were we? Ah yes, Underwood Samson. On the day of my interview, I was uncharacteristically nervous. They had sent a single interviewer, and he received us in a room at the Nassau Inn, an ordinary room, mind you, not a suite; they knew we were sufficiently impressed already. When my turn came, I entered and found a man physically not unlike yourself; he, too, had the look of a seasoned army officer. “Changez?” he said, and I nodded, for that is indeed my name. “Come on in and take a seat.” His name was Jim, he told me, and I had precisely fifty minutes to convince him to offer me a job. “Sell yourself,” he said. “What makes you special?” I began with my transcript, pointing out that I was on track to graduate summa cum laude, that I had, as I have mentioned, yet to receive a single B. “I’m sure you’re smart,” he said, “but none of the people I’m talking to today has any Bs.” This, for me, was an unsettling revelation. I told him that I was tenacious, that after injuring my knee I had made it through physiotherapy in half the time the doctors expected, and while I could no longer play varsity soccer, I could once again run a mile in less than six minutes. “That’s good,” he said, and for the first time it seemed to me I had made something of an impression on him, when he added, “but what else?”
I fell silent. I am, as you can see, normally quite happy to chat, but in that moment I did not know what to say. I watched him watch me, trying to understand what he was looking for. He glanced down at my résumé, which was lying between us on the table, and then back up again. His eyes were cold, a pale blue, and judgmental, not in the way that word is normally used, but in the sense of being professionally appraising, like a jeweler’s when he inspects out of curiosity a diamond he intends neither to buy nor to sell. Finally, after some time had passed—it could not have been more than a minute, but it felt longer—he said, “Tell me something. Where are you from?”

April 4, 2007 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment

I can almost feel the night. Its warm yet empty; no comfort, no soothing.
Sometimes when you feel the wind blowing in your face and a starry sky, you almost think that the darkness is not that bad, but at other times it can be a black hole, a narrow hollow.

Kabhi milogay tu tum ko sunaingay qissay
shab-e-hijraan k chiraagon ki bujhti lau k

I don’t find moon beautiful in any state, except the crescent, which I am in love with. I specially don’t like moon on starry nights because it over shadows those tiny miny life-like symbols of light. The fact that they seem to be so small, actually helps a lot of people, or atleast me. They look so small when we look at them but deep inside we know that they are actually really big. Just like this, they remind us (or me) of the fact that If today people don’t understand/like/appreciate me its because they are far away from me and one day when they will come close to me, one day when they’ll get to see the real me, they’ll know that I am all the great things too.

hamaray pass sey guzro gay tu dekhogay
hamara dil bhi dharakta hey, saans chalti hay

damn i want a telescope!!!

April 1, 2007 at 4:12 am Leave a comment

Musharraf, going?

Things are taking an interesting turn for Musharraf.

This email by Hamid Haroon, and all the news about one of the heaviest protests against Musharraf, are not ignorable.

Would this be the end for the Armed forces rule in Pakistan? Probably not, but it will definitely give a bump to Musharraf’s so-far-cozy trip to rule Pakistan like a king.

March 27, 2007 at 1:29 pm Leave a comment

Fariduddin Attar

Khwaja Fariduddin Attar was once sitting in his shop, when a Faqeer came by and started staring at all the fancy glass bottles full of perfumes. When Khwaja asked him the reason to stare like this, he said ‘I am just wondering how will your soul leave your body when it is trapped in these fancy glass bottles here.’

Fariduddin Attar replied : ‘My soul will leave my body the same way that your soul will leave yours’.

To this, the faqeer said ‘My soul will leave like this’. Then he recited the Kalma  and lay down on the ground. When fariduddin tried to gently shake him, he realised that the faqeer’s soul had indeed left his body.

This incident was a turning point in his life and he then became one of the famous saint/scholars of all time.

This anecdote does tell us how precarious life is, but it also reminds us that really petty things can have a titanic influence on our lives.

March 21, 2007 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Sach kahdo…

CLOSE SHAVE
Husband and wife
on the carpet last night
inextricably knit.

Tell me, darling, kiss,
have you ever done this
to anybody else, kiss
honestly I won’t mind.

And he, poor fool,
in those sweet contractions
gratefully caught
very nearly confessed.

What maggots, oh what snakes,
would have crawled out from
the underside of the stone
had he lifted it.

Taufiq Rafat

January 26, 2007 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Urdu Nursery Rhymes and much more

Folks, this is treasure!

Please add if you have anymore of these:

chandamama dur ke, puye pakaayen boor ke
aap khaayen thaali mein, munne ko de pyaali mein
pyaali gayi toot munna gaya rooth
laayenge nayi pyaaliya baja baja ke taaliyaan
munne ko manaayenge ham doodh malaayi khaayenge,
chandamama …

udankhatole baith ke munna chanda ke ghar jaayega
taaron ke sang aankh michauli khel ke dil behlayega
khel kood se jab mere munne ka dil bhar jaayega
thumak thumak mera munna vaapas ghar ko aayegaa,
chandamama …

********************** 

Titlee uree
Urh na sakee
Bus may baithee
Seat na milee
Bus driver bola
Aaja meray paas
Titlee bolee
Chal badmaaaash!!

********************** 

Bul Bul ka bacha
khata tha kichRi
peeta tha paani
aik din akela
beTha hua tha
maiN nae uRaya
wapis na aaya
bul bul ka bacha

********************** 

Akkar bakkar bumbay baw
Assi naway poorai saw
Saw mai laga dhaga
Choar nikkal kai bhaaga
Rail aaye chuk chuk
Anda Double roti biskut

********************** 
eik tha raja
eik thee rani
dono milgaye
khatam kahanee

********************** 

Choonchoo choonchoo chacha
ghari par chooha nacha
ghari ne aik bajaya
chooha neechay aaya

 Abbu ji nay pakra
Ammi nay pakaaya
Sab nay mil kar khaya
Bara maza aaya!

********************** 

Mota Aloo pllpila, Buhu ko ley kar ghir para
Buhu gaee Nalay me, Mota gaya thane mey.

********************** 

Mota pait

sadak per late

gaari ayi phat gaya pait

gaari ka number 428

********************** 

aik tha larka tot batot
Naam tha uss ka Mir salot
Pita tha woh Soda water
khata tha badaam akhrot

********************** 

one day cricket

khelengey cricket

marengey chakka

tooteyga sheesha

ayegi police

jayenge thaaney

mareengey dandey

khaaingey andey

********************** 

hari thi man bhari thi

no laakh moti jari thi

raja jee k baag main

doshala ohrey khari thi

********************** 

tum mere dost ho

billi k gosht ho

********************** 

cham cham cham

aath aaney ki chalia

aath aaney ka paan

chal mere ghorey hindustan

hindustan ki pehli gali

pehli gali main liaqat ali

liaqat ali ko goli lagi

sari dunya roney lagi

rotey rotey bhook lagi

khalo beta moongphali

moongphali main dana nahin

hum tumharey nana nahin

nana gaye dilli

dilli sey laye billi

billi ne diye do bachey

allah mian sachey

sachey sachey jaingey

bhai ki dulhan laaingey

bhai ki dulhan kali

sau nakhron wali

ek nakhra tuut gaya

bhai ka mun sooj gaya!

********************** 

Doost haiN apnay Bhai BhulaaKar
BatieN sari unn ki GarbaR
Rah chalaien tu rastaa bhoolieN
Bus main jaieN tu bastaa bhoolieN


********************** 

surriya kee gurriya nahanay lageee
nahanay lagee doob jaanay lagee
baree mushkilon say bachaya ussay
kinaray pay main khainch laya ussay…

********************** 

Aik thi achchi chirya pyari
Dana chughti thi bichari
Doosray Chirya uRh kar aaee
Bhooki pyasi thi be-chariAchchi chirya nay jo dekha
us ko apnay paas bulaya
“Aow meri pyari aow
bhooki ho to dana kaao
dana dunka jo kuch paaiN
hum tum mil kar dono khaaeN”
********************** 

Chanda mama gol matol,

Kuch to bol, kuch to bol.

Kal tai aadhey, aaj ho gol,

khol bhi do ab apni pol

Raat hote he tum aa jate,

Sang-sath sitare late.

Lekin din mai kahan chip jate,

Kuch to bol, kuch to bol.

********************** 

 Machhali jal ki hai raani ,
Jeevan uska hai paani ,
Haath lagao, dar jaayegi
Bahaar nikaalo, mar jaayegi

********************** 

Subha Savere Aati Titli , 
Phool-Phool par jatti Titli, 
Rang Birange pankh sajaye, 
Sabke Mann ko bhati Titli. 

January 1, 2007 at 7:35 am 70 comments

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