The Rapid Growth of Pakistan’s IT Industry and the Role of Innovators – Insights from Azneem Bilwani

The Rapid Growth of Pakistan's IT Industry and the Role of Innovators – Insights from Azneem Bilwani

Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) sector has undergone significant transformation over the past two decades, emerging as a vital contributor to the national economy. Advancements in technology, government support, and the contributions of key figures and companies have bolstered the industry’s growth trajectory.

IT export remittances in Pakistan have witnessed exponential growth, increasing by 137% over the past five years, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.85%. This growth is reflected in the industry’s status as one of the top five net exporters in the services sector. According to the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), IT exports reached $2.6 billion in the fiscal year 2021-2022, up from $1.19 billion in 2018-2019.

The sector’s expansion is fueled by a young and tech-savvy population. Over 64% of Pakistan’s 207 million people are under the age of 29, with a significant portion engaged in IT-related fields. Each year, more than 25,000 IT graduates and engineers join the workforce, contributing to a pool of over 500,000 English-speaking IT and BPO professionals.

In a recent interview, Azneem Bilwani, a significant contributor to Pakistan’s IT industry, emphasized the importance of innovation and adaptability in the IT sector. “The IT industry in Pakistan has tremendous potential. We need to continue investing in technology and human capital to maintain our growth trajectory,” he stated. His vision and leadership have been instrumental in driving Intersys’s success and contributing to the broader industry.

Bilwani, the Founder and CEO of Intersys Ltd (which rebranded from Abtach in 2024), has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry. His company offers a wide range of IT solutions and services, catering to both local and international clients.

Bilwani’s career began in 2003 in the Information Technology and Financial Services sectors. He served as the Chairman and CEO of Intermarket Securities Limited from 2003 to 2021, a tenure during which he gained substantial experience in the industry. In 2015, he established Intersys, which has grown into a leading software company in Pakistan.

Intersys provides comprehensive IT services, including software development, mobile app development, and digital marketing. It has established itself as a reliable partner for clients worldwide, leveraging Pakistan’s cost-effective and skilled workforce.

The rebranding of Abtach to Intersys in 2024 marked a new chapter in the company’s evolution. This strategic move aims to align the company with global market trends and expand its service offerings. “Our rebranding reflects our commitment to innovation and our ambition to become a global leader in IT services,” Bilwani explained.

The future of Pakistan’s IT industry looks promising, driven by continuous innovation and the contributions of key figures like Azneem Bilwani. However, the sector faces challenges, including political instability and a tightening global macro environment. Despite these hurdles, the industry remains resilient, with a strong foundation of skilled professionals and supportive government policies.

The government’s initiatives, such as the establishment of software technology parks and incentives for IT companies, have been crucial in fostering growth. Additionally, Pakistan’s ranking as the fifth most financially attractive location for offshore services, according to A.T. Kearney’s Global Services Location Index, underscores the country’s potential as a global IT hub. It is undoubtedly an industry that is still booming and holding bundles of opportunities for young entrepreneurs in Pakistan. For those who want to innovate and launch their services, now is perhaps the best time to take the leap.

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